Simple Wood Toolbox




About: Ordinary guy with no special skills, just trying to change the world one backyard invention at a time. See more at: On Twitter - @300MPGBen and at

A simple wood tool box.

The bottom is a simple wood box, held together by brads and glue. The upright is thin plywood pushed in to a slot in the base, cut with a table-saw.

The tool-holding brackets on both sides of the box are off-set from each other, so that both can be attached with screws through the backside. The one side has holes drilled through it for screwdrivers and similar tools. The other side is cut with a jig saw, to fit pliers, tin snips, and similar hand tools.

Larger and odd shaped tools fit in the bottom.

The box is narrow enough to not hit you in the knee while walking with the box. Because of the height of the handle, you don't have to bend over as far to pick up or set down the box.

The open design holds tools in place and in sight. No more digging to the bottom of a bag.

The box could be finished with stain, varnish, paint, or clear-coat, or simply left as-is.




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13 Discussions


3 years ago

can you tell me how you held the upright piece together with the actuall box .


6 years ago on Introduction

Ben - beautiful work here! This is a great instructable. The project demonstrates a strong combination of simplicity and function. Also - easy to understand from the clear photos. After seeing them, no schematics are really needed. Each person might want various dimensions to fit their unique tool situation. For example... just long enough to fit the prybar, hammer etc in the box. I plan to do this one! Thank you for sharing.

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

I am a carpenter and this is a brilliant project, just the right size for all your basic kit and very well constructed. Nice one


7 years ago on Introduction

Could you please provide some approximate overall dimensions (W x D x H)? It makes scaling the parts easier. Thanks,

3 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

The toolbox is 9.5 inches wide, 22.5 inches long, and 17 inches tall.

It's a pretty basic design, and the exact dimensions don't matter that much, but I like that it has a tall handle, as a person doesn't have to bend over very far to pick it up off the ground.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Yeah, it really is.
Tall makes it easy to pick up and set down on the ground from standing height.
Narrow keeps it from wacking into your leg while you carry it.
Length isn't that important. It only really has to be a bit longer than your longest hammer, wrench, or other item you would lay in the bottom.

The toolbox is sturdier than you think it is.

The upright portion of the box is a very thin wood, but it is only being pulled on by the weight below. Most materials are much stronger when being pulled on, than pushed against.

This tool box is based on one that has been used daily for over half a century by a professional carpenter. That box has never broken, and uses the exact same thickness material.

That said, nothing would prevent a person from using this design, but with a thicker upright. You would simply need to make two cuts on the sides and chisel between them to make the space for the thicker upright. It would be sturdy, but I think just starting to be a bit heavy as well.

bennelsonDr. Pepper

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Not until now, I haven't.

This toolbox is based off one my father has. When he was apprenticing to be a carpenter, his master carpenter built one for him.

His has been in use for about 40 years now.