Working on the toolbox build

Yesterday and today we filmed making the toolbox for the start to the New Year series to start 2015 with. I have a feeling that this could be as popular a series as any we have done so far and as far as conservation goes it’s important to me as it means hundreds of them will be made over the coming months. DSC_0001If you follow me as I build this toolbox you will see that the patterns used offer a simplicity and ease in the making that will inspire you to want to build one too. This toolbox is really more useful for storage and transporting tools and that’s where this type truly comes into its own. DSC_0221The functional size makes it neat and useful and of course the insides can be customised to the tools you use for different aspects of your personal woodworking. I think it’s the kind of box you might want to make two or three of so that the tools are indeed totally accessible. I have more toolboxes, chests and so on than I care to number because of the number of tools I have collected through the years, but soon we will work out how we want to let one or two of them goto new homes.


The filming went well because of the behind the scenes guys that do indeed make it all happen. It’s a workout for me to take off 1/4” from 12 square feet of wood even if it’s pine but exercise is of course good for me and it gets my heart pumping for an hour or two every day. Though I do exercise diligently, I find it boring, but when it’s work related I can muscle for two or three hours and feel as though I am accomplishing something so much more.


My stock is now milled to thickness and that generally means that I planed and jointed all of my boards by hand, planed the edges and endgrain square with scrub planes, a #4 smoother and a #5 jack. I did use some wooden planes and of course these are much lighter and easier to use than metal-soled planes anyway.

DSC_0061In the morning I will lay out the boards for dovetailing the corners using different methods for each corner to make the videos more interesting and to show some of the historical methods used that made dovetailing the corners of a box like this so fast. The fast method means one corner will take about 20 minutes so we’ll show how that is done; and, no, it’s not the coping saw method.


As I said, we will be unpacking the methods and the madness behind making strong yet lightweight and transportable toolboxes. Weighing in at around 12.5 Kilos (30 lbs), this box is one of the most useful because even when filled with tools it can usually be lifted by two people.


  1. Andrew Wilkerson on 12 November 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Hmmm. Looking forward to seeing this 20min method. I bet it will still take me 2 hours tho.

    • gblogswild on 13 November 2014 at 12:51 am

      Me, too. And me, too.

  2. Tim from Australia on 13 November 2014 at 3:28 am

    Thank you Paul, i am so looking forward to this next installment. I am now 60 years old and have been woodworking since i was 10, it is so comforting to discover a person who shares the same passion and most of all is prepared to share it. Kind regards.

  3. Alan Prescott on 13 November 2014 at 7:20 am

    If that photo of the workbench in the sunlight was in landscape it would make a fabulous computer screen wallpaper

  4. Chris B on 13 November 2014 at 9:17 am

    Rushing out to sharpen the tools now!!
    My tools are screaming for a box like this!
    I think I will engrave an inspired by PS symbol on the box

  5. Jack on 13 November 2014 at 11:19 am

    Nice chest for the tools. Watching with interest. I rarely lift mine; although I can when necessary. For moving it around, I plonked it on a castored trolley, with lockable wheels.

  6. Steve Massie on 13 November 2014 at 2:50 pm

    This is exciting and can’t wait, I am so looking forward to this and of course you all way’s show how things can be done using different techniques which is a bonus. I very well may make a couple boxes out fitted differently, but I really need is one nice box with tools I need most for when we travel to visit Family in other States and don’t take up a lot of room.


    • Paul Sellers on 13 November 2014 at 5:48 pm

      This one is of course very scaleable so I think it will be popular for everyone.

  7. Mark McNeill on 14 November 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Paul,enjoying the blog as always. I seem to remember a while ago you said you would do a piece on bandsaws , I was wondering if you done this and I missed it. I would like to buy but there so much out there on types it’s very confusing. As always I would appreciate your view on what would be suitable for a hobby user like myself who prefers to use hand tools for projects.

    • Paul Sellers on 15 November 2014 at 2:49 pm

      I will be doing this but haven’t yet decided on the bandsaw I want to use for UK and European availability. Laguna would be my US choice of bandsaw, but Europe is a different thing.

  8. mmelendrez1955 on 14 November 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Patiently waiting for this series to come out. How exciting to think how many lives you have inspired to make something with your hands. Well done Mr Sellers. When I look at this tool box I see not only the purpose it is intended to be but I also see a blanket chest,toy box,scale it down to any size you want. I am so thankful of how you and the team has opened my eyes to working wood. I SEE BOXES.

  9. Jack on 15 November 2014 at 7:16 am

    Some one once said; Boxes and frames, boxes and frames! (With the occasional top!

  10. Randy Allen on 20 November 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I am holding my breath for this one!! I’ve been meaning to do a (simpler) joiners box all year but haven’t started, now I know why. This will be great and transportable. Now if the bowsaw project piece would appear……….

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