Welcome! Forums Project Series Joiner’s Toolbox Project Getting Enough Lumber

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    Short story, what type of lumber besides pine and how much board feet did you buy?

    Hello, I’m thinking of starting the joiner’s toolbox, but had a question on which lumber and how much of chosen lumber to buy.

    Besides commercial building suppliers, and local big box stores, I have only found two local lumber suppliers. Both around 45 minutes drive time. The big box store quality is low and very limiting, and the commercial guys only sell construction grade material.

    One of the mills/yards carry some nice stock, but no pine and I was thinking of using Ash, in 4/4 form it is some of the cheapest they carry.

    Reviewing the cut list and the sizes are also very overwhelming. How much do you think should I get the finish the job. Mr. Sellers shows thicknessing the stock to 9/16″ from just above 3/4″, will I be doing to same for the 1/4″ stock or is getting someone to resaw it closer to thickness a good idea?


    I got 4/4 3s poplar (at $3/ board foot here, it’s about the same as pine). I think I can finish the box with about 3 8″ x 12′ boards ~ 24 board feet.

    I think you’ll want 8″ boards so you can glue two together for the main box as in video 1. I hope this helps.


    Joe in California

    Charles Cleland

    I looked around for and lucked into some clear Red Alder that is wide enough. It’s unusual to find it in 14″ widths though, I got it from a local guy with a small sawmill and some kilns.

    Chris Schwarz has written a lot about tool chests, and has a good post about what your asking here:


    He actually recommends against Ash and the oaks, saying they are hard to dovetail. I have no idea if that’s true, the only thing I’ve used Ash for is a couple tool handles and I don’t really like the way oak looks so I never buy it.

    I went with Alder because its super common here so it’s inexpensive. Its a dream to work with hand tools as well, and lightweight. I’d look at your local woods that are inexpensive, and do some research to see what’s light and easy to work with.

    As for the thinner stock, I don’t have any suggestions there. I plan on resawing my own by hand, but that’s not for everybody. I’m thinking about building a kerfing plane ala Tom Fidgeon to help with that part. I can and have done it by hand with just marking gauge lines before, but I think the kerfing plane might eliminate some of the waste from planning. I do have a thickness planer so that is always an option, but I hate to turn that much good wood into chips, and these pieces aren’t too big so I don’t think it will be too labor intensive.

    You can see the process I’m talking about here:

    Washington State, USA
    My own humble blog:

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