DIY smaller toolbox

By | March 13, 2016

Time for another toolbox. While the other toolbox turned out really nice, it also turned out a bit too big and heavy for my father to use. So I set out to make a smaller one.

What I wanted for the original toolbox was for my dad to be able to use it with his chainsaw and tools. Space for one jerry-can for the fuel, some boxes with replacement chains, and some hand tools like an axe and saw. While all these things did fit really nicely in the old toolbox, it was also overkill.

So the new one had to be smaller. I was browsing around instructables for some inspiration, and came across this little box made out of leftover fence posts. It gave me the idea for my dad’s new toolbox. So I took some more pallet boards and got started:

rough boards

Starting from rough boards.

I started by cleaning up these boards. I had a few tools that hadn’t seen a lot of use yet, so I wanted to use them on this project. I used a ferm planer alongside a parkside belt sander to get the boards nice and clean. As I’m doing more DIY projects I’m starting to find out how difficult it actually is to work with pallet work. It’s not really difficult to get wood to LOOK clean, but not that easy to get everything exactly straight and at right angles.There’s angle and bend to pretty much every board.

I don’t have room, let alone the money for a big planer or a table saw, so I have to pull boards together somewhat and eyeball measurements a lot when putting things together. Grinding a bit more here, use some wood-glue and filler-sanding there… This could be avoided by using boards or plywood… probably. But the whole point of me picking up DIY is to use pallet wood, discarded materials and such. so I’ll just have to learn to work around it.

toolbox coming together

The toolbox starting to come together.

One of the things you see in a lot of youtube videos of people working in woodworking, whether it’s pallet wood or 2x4s or straight boards or plywood, is that they have fairly big shops and a lot of tools at their disposal. My workshop is literally just a tiny space I only have space to turn around in, so every time I do anything I have to set-up everything outside. And while I’m slowly getting more tools as well, I still find it’s sometimes misleading to see another “make very cheap reclaimed furniture item X in short time” video as most of us starting out just don’t have the same means to make similar quality in the same time-frame. I don’t think that us starters should get discouraged from that though. We just have to be aware of it and muscle through it.

Assembly finished

Assembly finished. Now to paint it.

Back to the toolbox: For the previous one I had tried dove tails. Originally I wanted to do those on this one as well, but the bottom and handle boards weren’t wide enough. If I’d used dove tails the jerry-can wouldn’t fit anymore. This meant I had to just use glue and screws, but it also made construction a lot simpler. No wiggling with crooked planks to get the dove tails to fit. Just like up planks, drill pilot holes, glue and screw stuff together.

Here’s the finished toolbox:

Painted and finished box.

Painted and finished box.

Painted and finished box.

Painted and finished box, other side.

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