Introduction: Kids First Tool Box

About: I have been working with wood since I could stumble into the shop with my dad. About a year ago I moved into a house with no space for a full shop so I decided to take up all hand tool wood working. That start…

My Daughter is always hanging out in the shop and as she is about to turn 7 I thought it would be a good time to build the first project with her. This Tool Box Is a great first-time project as you can learn to use a saw, hand plane, Brace and Bit, and even dowel joinery. With a little encouragement and help, most any kid could easily make this with a parent and then have the joy of making their first tool they can use for years to come.

Also, if you want full diagrams and plans you can download them for free here.


Hand Plane -

Hand Saw -

Brace -

Bit Set -

Flush cut saw -

Clamps -

V-tool Carving Chisel -


Glue -


3/8” Dowel -

1” Dowel -

1X4 Oak -

1X8 Oak -

Step 1: Cut to Dimensions

Most of the time I would use a western panel saw to cross cut the lumber but for kids, the thinner blade of an eastern pull saw is easier. I start the cut, then I will hold my hands over there's to show them how to work the saw, and in a matter of a couple minutes, they will be off to the races cutting the lumber.

The same goes for the angles on the two end pieces. just put them in the vice at 45 degrees and let them cut away.

Step 2: Drill the Handel Hole

With both of the end pieces cut out, you can clamp them together and drill out the 1" hole for the handle. It is easiest to clamp them together so that the two holes line up in the future.

This is also a great opportunity to teach how a brace works. let them hold it in place while you crank the handle.

Step 3: Connect Bottom and Ends

I find it easier to drill out the holes for the pins through the ends and into the bottom before the glue up. this makes glue up much easier. but this can also be done after glue up.

They should now be familiar with the brace and with the smaller 3/8" hole they can normally drill the holes on their own.

Start by drilling 3 holes along the bottom of the end caps. Then transfer the marks of the holes to the ends of the bottom piece. last drill the holes into the bottom. now you are ready for glue up.

Step 4: Glue Up Main Assembly

Let them experience the fun of putting glue in and clamping it all in place. make sure to get the handle in place before clamping it up.

Step 5: Install Dowels

Now that the glue has setup we can drive in the dowels, then cut them flush with a flush cut saw. make sure to use enough glue as this is what will hold the whole thing together.

This is a great opportunity to teach how to hold a mallet and how a flush cut saw works.

Step 6: Attach the Side Panels

For the side panels, they are fairly easy to set in place and clamp them up. With the long grain to long grain, the glue will easily hold them together till you put in the dowels later.

After glue up, you can use the brace and bit again to drill 7 holes per side. 2 go into either end cap and 3 go into the bottom. then you can repeat the last step and drive in dowels and flush cut them off.

Step 7: Smooth and Carve

This is the perfict opportunity to learn how to use a hand plane and smooth out the dowels and clean up the joints.

Also, My daughter wanted to try a bit of carving. Though most people think this is advances it is actually very easy for most all beginners. she drew out the design she wanted with a pencil and then I held the V-chisel in the right place and let her smack it with the carving mallet. on the last line, I let her do both hold the chisel and tap it along.

Step 8: FINISH IT!!!!

The last step is to apply the finish. I chose to use Boiled Linseed Oil. the stuff I use is home made and all natural so it is safe with hands but with the store bought stuff you might want the kids wearing gloves. if you want to know more about a BLO finish here is a video on the subject. After 3 coats have sat on it then we called it done.

Box Contest 2017

Third Prize in the
Box Contest 2017