First, let me give credit for the design and plans. This project is straight from this resource in MAKE: http://makezine.com/projects/make-34/japanese-toolbox/
I made this project because I needed a toolbox big enough to bring my drill and assorted hardware when working outside my house. I thought that this was an elegant design and especially liked how the lid is attached to the toolbox. It is a simple and elegant solution. The only divergence I made from the original was to eschew the use of a diagonal on the top. If you look at a picture of the toolbox in the closed position you will see that it forms a perfect surface to saw 2X4's or other wood. I can jam the wood up against one of the pieces of wood and it is very stable. I can sit on the box. I've even used it as a stepladder of sorts (upside down) in a pinch.
The total cost for new materials was $22 but that includes a big piece of 12 inch board that I will use for another project. If you pro-rate it for usage the total cost of new materials is $16. The total time for the build was about 4 hours, but that included drinking a beer.
I really encourage you to read the resource above as it is well-done and has the exact dimensions for the wood cuts and directions for the build. What follows is a synopsis of the build.
Step 1: Cut All Pieces According the Cut Sheet
Everything is made from a 4 foot section of 12 inch pine and an 8 foot section of 8 inch pine. Using a table saw cut the individual pieces using the schedule in the original article (see first step for reference).
Step 2: Make the Ends
The end pieces have a strip of wood on the top that will become the grips when you want to transport the tool box. Use glue and countersink the screws using a countersink bit. I used 1 inch screws for this step.
Step 3: Glue, Clamp, Countersink and Screw the Box Sides and Bottom
The important thing to remember here is to make this as square as possible before you tighten it all with 2 inch screws. You will note in the third photo that the right edge was slightly proud and so I sanded it down with my belt sander. Gluing and screwing the bottom on is pretty easy. Just make sure to mark the placement of the screws accurately.
Step 4: Drank a Beer
It's thirsty work. And it's Veteran's Day. Cheers to all the Veterans out there and thanks for all you do.
Step 5: Attach the Top Side Pieces
Make them flush with the sides and remember to round the corners with a sander because when you hold the tool box this is where you will be holding it.
Step 6: Attach the Top Braces
The top of the lid is cut to fit inside the box in width. The length is about 1 1/2 inches longer than the opening of the box. The two braces at each end are built to extend to the outside edge of the sides of the box.
Step 7: The Magic Moment
Step 8: Fill the Box and Store It
This box holds all the tools I use for most jobs outside the house. And it fits neatly on the table saw stand I built. Easy accessibility.