Portable toolbox anyone?

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    Hi everyone – I’ve wanted to build a toolbox similar to the one on the cover of the Dec 2018 Popular Woodworking magazine since, well, probably Dec 2018. The copy was on my bench for a little over a year before I finally get around to it. Head to the internet to see if there’s some similar ones around that are maybe a bit bigger than the magazine for ideas.

    The size of this one was close to what I was looking for:
    but wasn’t really interested in the screwing around with a coping saw to cut the front off – then I noticed the author’s name and thought – that’s a blog I should probably search for ideas.

    So, freshly ripped off of 5+ year old posts – here’s my version. I went with side by side drawers rather than two stacked.

    Anybody else make this kind of toolbox? What’d you stick in it?

    I’m a bit stuck on how to put a few saws in so they won’t just rattle around – I’m thinking maybe adding a block under the drawer support put them in flat. We’ll see.



    That’s the exact article I referenced a bit in my toolbox build. That’s one of the earlier fall front tool boxes in many that Paul has described and built. I quite like the plywood fronts and backs as they are are easier to build and more on the utilitarian side. I think eventually the panelled frame fronts and lidded tool chests were favored in the masterclass projects.

    I went a bit bigger in dimension to house all my woodworking tools but looking back it would be great to have a smaller more portable one.

    For saws you’d have to go with steel or brass backed tenon saws. If you have or can find smaller panel saws that fit it would be great to have on the fall front too. I traced inside the handles to fashion mounting blocks to the lid. It doesn’t rattle at all if you get it snug.

    Larry Geib

    My first traveling box was this day box i built in 1970-ish for when the boss sent me out in the field to hang doors or something.
    It still has some of the tools I used back then, including my first brace and the original set of auger bits I purchased. Note the price tag.
    Also notice it says made in Germany on the plastic. I would have expected West Germany back then. ( Hirsch?)
    Also note the large Yankee screw driver in the top till. This was before the battery powered era.

    The box was spruce ends and 1/4” AB Douglas fir ply trimmed in Spruce for lightness – all fall down from the joinery shop.. these were not fancy boxes, but just glued and nailed together affairs that we sized to fit behind the wheel well of a pickup bed loaded with lumber or doors and were half expected to eventually get crushed by the load. The paint was surplus battleship grey, still widely available for cents a gallon. ( since repainted).

    The saws were a Disston D8 8 point 24” panel saw and a bluegrass 11 point handsaw – both crosscut.

    The dimensions were universally 8”x16”x32”, which would just fit behind the wheel well of the truck and was big enough to hold handsaws and a framing square on the diagonal. I was still using it in the 1990’s. And there was room enough for the white carpenter’s overalls which were the uniform of the day. Only the apprentices wore nail aprons.. I’m not sure you can still buy carpenters overalls like those anymore. The best were JC Penny’s with a reinforced back pocket for your hammer and a Zip off nail pouch for easy cleaning. It had special pockets for your pocket watch, time book, , folding rule, and pencil which were all standard kit.

    At the end of the day you shed the overalls and replaced the Tshirt with a collared shirt you stored behind the truck seat to get your beer at the pub. There was a dress code.

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