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This instructable embodies the principle of "portable workstations" because a toolbox allows you to work about anywhere by bringing your tools along with you. Although the exact type and nature of the tools can vary from one hobby to another and one profession to another, this sturdy toolbox can be used to transport almost any piece of equipment. This toolbox is something that can be used for a long time, even if your interests change.

Not only is versatility a key feature of this toolbox, but sturdy construction is also important. With 8 metal corners, and weatherproof wood glue, this toolbox can stand up to rough handling and a tough environment.

Finally, the last main feature of this toolbox is its price. The total cost for me was less than $75, including some tool purchases. The amount of scrap wood from the project is also very small.

Overall, this toolbox is a project that will further your woodworking skills and allow you to create something that will be useful and long-lasting.

Step 1: Design

Originally, I set up the model for the toolbox in FreeCAD, a CAD program. However, I ended up changing the dimensions by lowering the wood thickness from 23/32 inches to 1/2 inches in order to decrease the total weight of the toolbox. After many other small changes, the original CAD file was not useful anymore. I began to create sketches and mockups of the final product instead, transitioning away from the CAD software.

I decided to use poplar wood to construct the toolbox because of its strength and light weight. After I decided that I would definitely be going with poplar wood, I sketched out the locations of the cuts for the parts of the toolbox on a piece of paper. Home Depot stocked perfect poplar panels for this toolbox, so I worked off of their sizes to create the dimensions in this project.

In terms of hardware, I knew that I wanted to go with sturdy, load-bearing hinges, hasps, and handles. I've had good experience with McMaster-Carr in the past, so I decided to order the hardware from them.

Lastly, I had to choose a stain color that I thought would look appealing. After testing out Minwax's Cherry stain, I thought that it would be a good fit for this project. Of course, you can choose any stain color that you like if you decide to try this project.

 
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McMorrasyesterday

Hi
I just finished my very first project, based on this pattern with some tweaking due to what I had in stock (pallet boards), my tools (A hacksaw that is a pain to store).
I hope I can upload some pics soon.
Than you for the extremely thorough instructable!

blue-ice (author)  McMorrasyesterday
You're welcome!

I'd love to see the photos and I'm glad you enjoyed the project!

HI. I wounder on to here from time to time, amazed at what people do (and somewhat.. .well allot jealous HAHA). I have a little question, and need some insight. I collect medals, and have a huge collection I am trying to make presentation boxes/ or nicer/ safer storage then just an ammo crate with cardboard levels. Some of my sets are Grand Cross/ or Full Sets (They are Sash, medal/order and breast badge/star/ insignia). My over all goal is to sort them, by country, a box like this would be epic. How might I go about adding little segregated off areas? Like slats, or dividers? Or anything you wonderful people, feel might help me on this quest? Also, my medium is pallet wood. Everyone says its stupid, BUT wood is wood. Yea know? THANKS AGAIN!

chilihook8 months ago
Made this over the last couple of nights. Great, simple and straightforward plans and build. Thanks for putting it together for everyone!
14, 12:27 PM.jpg14, 12:27 PM.jpg

I know this is an old thread but hoping to get a response still... I definitely plan on making this as a potential father's day gift, but curious if anyone has thoughts on filling in the screw holes with caps/putty? I don't hate the look of the screws by any means, but think it may look cleaner with them filled.

Finished up yesterday. I ended up using 1" thick board because I just couldn't find anything decent in 1/2". It's a little heavier than I'd like (partly because of the thickness, partly because of the type of wood), but I think it looks pretty nice. Thanks for posting the Instructable, it was fun!

Imgur picture (because the built in uploader isn't working) - http://i.imgur.com/21GydrX.jpg
blue-ice (author)  walterwoodsiv1 year ago

Wow! That looks really great! I'm happy that you made one, and it's cool for to see the design made by someone new! Very nice job with that :)

And the wood is most of the weight of the empty box, so you nearly double that when you use 1" thick board. On the bright side, you make up for it in durability what you lose in weight, so it's not a bad tradeoff.

I'm glad that you liked the instructable! Thanks for posting your finished result- it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside that you built it and everything worked out :)

See you around the site!

Noce job

blue-ice (author)  cyberminusie1 year ago

Thank you! :)

What alternate wood would you recommend? I can't find any lumber place near me that stocks poplar.

blue-ice (author)  walterwoodsiv1 year ago

I would go for birch, if poplar is not available. It's strong and stains well, but I'm not sure if the lumber stores near you stock it.

If they don't have birch, you could ask a store employee which wood that is in stock is the best to use for this project, or you can ask me if you want :)

Thanks. I ended up using pine after talking with my neighbor who's an avid woodworker. I've never really done a project like this, so if nothing else it should let me learn a little bit about the process.
blue-ice (author)  walterwoodsiv1 year ago

Sounds great! I would love to hear about or see pictures of your completed product when you are finished- I've never made a toolbox out of pine before, so it's a new thing for me too.

Eh Lie Us!1 year ago

Two things:

1) Great project. I can see myself buiding one outta scrap wood. Nice!

2) I hope you understand how RARE your Porter Cable is. A left blade circular saw? I took me YEARS to find one. Never understood why most circs saw have the blade on the opposite side where you have to STAND over the saw to see where you're cutting. It appears that worm drive (Hypoid) saws and cordless are the only ones that are always left blade.

Sorry for the tangent. Great build.

blue-ice (author)  Eh Lie Us!1 year ago

Thank you! No need to apologize for the tangent- I couldn't agree more! It seems like left-blade circular saws are becoming more popular, which is good for us right-handers :) Thanks for sharing.

Good one! :) Us right-handers need a break once in a while. Wait a second my pen is even advertising to me because i'm a right-hander!

This is a FANTASTIC build and I am going to make one. or twelve. I love working with Poplar and I never have enough toolboxes. I feel this would be a great project to teach woodworking to new woodworkers also and might invoke this project in an intro class. (Woodworking concepts are better taught when there's a project to teach them with) and especially a useful one that can help a woodworker store their new tool collection!

Kudos to you, and your very detailed descriptions and documentation. You have my votes, and I hope you win something the contest.

blue-ice (author)  xNerdiusMaximusx1 year ago

Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you are thinking of teaching this project to new students- it is some of the most meaningful praise I can get. Getting this comment from you made my day. I'm really glad that you enjoyed my project and I would really like to hear about it if you end up using this in a class.

Kozz1 year ago

Really beautiful. It's a simple piece that I think would make an owner proud to have. I wonder if you considered a heavy piece of leather strapping as a handle? I don't have such skills with wood or leather, but it just occurred to me it would be a nice modification. Imagining the natural brown patina the leather would acquire over the years of use!

blue-ice (author)  Kozz1 year ago

That does sound very nice! I haven't considered doing that because I really don't have any skills with leather either. I'm sure that it would look great on the toolbox and I think that if the leather can hold it up, it would work very well. Perhaps you could curl the leather inwards for the handle to provide more of a gripping surface, but have it lay flat where it is attached on the box? It's a great idea! Thanks for the input :)

rondrus1 year ago

Very nice work, I like everything except the bolt heads on the protective metal corners. Looks like they can damage whater you put them on. Haven't you thought of a solution that would not have those little pesky (potentially sharp and tearing) bolt heads sticking out? Any bad experiences with that?

blue-ice (author)  rondrus1 year ago

I thought that would be a big issue for me when I was finished with the toolbox. However, I realized that the locations where I would set the toolbox (concrete floor, car trunk, workbench) wouldn't really get damaged by the bolt heads. I can also set the toolbox on a marking floor and it will not cause issues unless I drag it.

If you want to set the toolbox on a floor that could be damaged and be more sure that you will not create marks, I would recommend putting in small flush nails to secure the box corners instead. You might not need box corners at all, though, if you are using the toolbox in a relatively gentle environment.

Great project...! Way to go...!!!

blue-ice (author)  Ray from RI1 year ago

Thanks for the compliment :)

Way to go.!

blue-ice (author)  snoopindaweb1 year ago

Thank you!

Thank you for sharing. Great instructable.

blue-ice (author)  beingobserver1 year ago

Thanks!

wheels31 year ago
I love the tool box when I first saw it I was thinking dovetail joints etc ...not done those since O level woodwork over 35 years ago...I dont need a box so big but given me a great idea for storing my craft tools thanks for sharing will let u know I manage it. a
blue-ice (author)  wheels31 year ago

Sounds great! Thanks :)

seamster1 year ago

Very nice looking toolbox!

blue-ice (author)  seamster1 year ago

Thank you!

DanYHKim1 year ago

This is beautiful and classic. It can easily be modified to include more complex joinery for a nicer piece, or just as-is for a good, solid and functional piece. A great work.

blue-ice (author)  DanYHKim1 year ago

Thank you! I was thinking about creating dividers for the main box part as a design for the future, or perhaps making small holes in the tray for a screwdriver rack. Also, I would love to hear what your ideas are for improving my design, because it seems like you have some good ones :)

artworker1 year ago

Mass produce and sell them! Best design ever!

blue-ice (author)  artworker1 year ago

Thanks! I don't really have the time or tools to do mass production, but I might do it in the future :)

0bes1 year ago
Ridiculously detailed write up! Kudos. I'm sure a lot of people will never get lost. Great work.
blue-ice (author)  0bes1 year ago

Thanks! I spent quite a while working on it and I'm glad that you are impressed :)

Very well done, I appreciate the thoroughness of your instruction and your finished product is awesome, I like the traditional look of this tool box much more than the metal and plastic ones you can buy now in days. Thanks for sharing!

blue-ice (author)  Matt2 Silver1 year ago

No problem! Thank you for the feedback and good luck with your contest entry as well. Cheers!

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