Joiner’s Toolbox – Episode 14

Joiners Toolbox 14

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The last step in finishing off the toolbox is the fitting of the box lock. Paul takes you through the different aspects to consider when choosing, positioning and fitting the lock. He recesses the lock body making sure it is flush and drills the keyhole, ensuring the key fits before fitting the keep in the lid. The last process is fitting the handles, then we’re done with the joiners toolbox.


  1. Scott on 25 March 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Thanks for this series Paul. I particularly liked the lock mortise lesson of this episode. You really demystified the process for me.

    I know there has been some discussion regarding the cross-grain glue-up on the lid assembly, and that you contended that you were building the chest true to an original. With that stated, I am more concerned that the expansion of the lid would cause binding in the lock, or prevent the lock catch from aligning altogether.

    You wrote up a similar concern a while back regarding a tool chest project in Fine Woodworking, where expansion of the box sides would cause misalignment with the frame-and-panel lid.

    I assume the simple answer is, to make the lid from plywood, or change it to a frame-and-panel design.

    • ballinger on 26 March 2015 at 12:23 am

      I think he has already answered that question on expansion for this box vs the article you mentioned. From memory it was down to thicknesses of the stock. Have a look back through the comments or it could have been on the blog.

  2. adrian on 25 March 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Great Job I have already started the cut out of stock for my new Traveling Tool Chest.
    Thanks to all for an excellent lesson.
    Wish me luck to find that Perfect Fit!

  3. kenh on 25 March 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Paul and team –
    I have enjoyed every minute of the videos for the project. You do a wonderful job of passing along the information and skills needed for the project without all the dramatics of so many video woodworkers. Your videos are a joy to watch, and I learn so much from each one that I have watched.
    Thanks for all your efforts to share your skills and knowledge with us.

  4. STEVE MASSIE on 25 March 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Paul I really enjoyed this and anxious to start this project myself, I also have not worked with Milk Paint before and want to try.


  5. davedev on 26 March 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Fettling! A good Northern word. But will our American cousins understand it?

  6. Derek Long on 27 March 2015 at 11:36 am

    Thanks, Paul, for another enjoyable and informative series.

  7. rleon on 27 March 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Paul, is it conventional to recess or not the handles?

  8. patrickwright on 31 March 2015 at 1:58 am

    I just finished watching the joiner’s toolbox videos, and I have to say that every time I watch Paul build something I am reinvigorated to build something of my own. I can’t wait to finish all of my honey-dos so I can get to work. Thank you, Paul, and all who make this site possible. =o)

  9. tmpt on 3 June 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Never new I would want a box so much!!! Loved watching this series!
    Was the painting of the box ever captured on video?

  10. jakegevorgian on 19 August 2016 at 11:08 pm

    It was a complete pleasure watching these series. Thank you.

  11. Adams.rt on 26 December 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Wonderful conclusion to a very good project for any woodworker. I actually deconstructed a toolbox that I had built about 4 years ago that was much bigger, thicker, and far too large for my needs and reduced the stock down for this much more appropriately-sized project. I really enjoyed your step-by-step process and how you worked through the small issues you had with the lid. Well done and I really enjoy your approach to woodworking.

  12. larryl49 on 20 October 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Hi my box has passed the half way mark, now constructing the lid, 50 dove tails completed really enjoying this sessions, my tools will look great in it.
    I will keep it indoors over the winter so the tools won’t rust, it almost a piece of furniture.
    Many thanks to you all great job.

  13. Alan on 29 March 2018 at 11:10 am

    A brass friction-fit Internal Escutcheon is a worthwhile addition to the keyhole.

  14. David Cracknell on 6 November 2020 at 11:19 pm

    I was waiting to see what you would do about the key escutcheon … have you a video on how to fit that? I am told they are spring fitted?

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