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Making a Box-Jointed Tool Tray

By: Phil Huber
Recently on the Woodsmith Shop, we built a classic toolbox. It features traditional details and finger-joint construction. Here, Phil shows some of the ways to expand its storage by adding a sliding tray to help wrangle small tools.

You can find the complete step-by-step plans to build this Carpenter's Toolbox at WoodsmithPlans.com.

Over the years, I’ve run across a lot of old carpenter’s toolboxes, but there’s something different about this toolbox. Most of the old toolboxes I’ve seen were quickly slapped together with nails and butt joints. And over time, the boards had shrunk or cupped and pulled loose from the nails. You won’t have that problem with this toolbox. That’s because the corners are joined with interlocking box joints.

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The individual fingers of the box joints provide a large amount of gluing surface, resulting in a much stronger joint that holds up over time. But the box joints aren’t the only reason to build this toolbox. It’s also loaded with other handy features. To start with, it’s the perfect size for toting around an assortment of your favorite hand tools. A sliding tray at the top of the box has compartments for nails and fasteners. The underside of the lid is fitted with a holder for a hand saw. And a leather handle on top of the lid makes it easier to carry the toolbox around from job to job.

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Whether you are building a small tote for an existing toolbox or elect to build this Carpenter's Toolbox, it's a fun little woodworking project and a great way to store your hand tools.

Published: March 18, 2021
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