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Child's toolbox design - wood movement

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NickM

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I'm contemplating making a tool box for a godson.

I was thinking something along these lines (possibly without the drawers).

5a5109e7423b50d71f88d050f7863bce.jpg


I'd like to dovetail the corners, but it wouldn't have end grain for the end pieces and I'd also worry about expansion when the grain of the side and end pieces run in different directions. However, the end pieces need to have the grain running that way for strength in the handle.

Any advice?
 

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kevinlightfoot

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Dowels may be the answer with the base dovetailed to the ends and the shelf housed into the sides with a dado.
 

NickM

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MikeG.":2j9mtidz said:
That's not suitable for dovetails. Long grain dovetails will end in tears.
That's what I thought. I can see lots of issues with this sort of design.

The other possibility is a small chest. I think I might go down that route instead.
 

Doug71

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I know it's not real wood but birch ply is great for things like that.
 

NickM

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Doug71":16b764bd said:
I know it's not real wood but birch ply is great for things like that.
Agreed, and I have some, but that won't do for this project (although I probably will use it for the base)!
 

Sheffield Tony

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Awkward one, the tool tote. The usual way to allow for movement is to nail it together. This was my work around:



The uprights and the ends join by a singe huge, 2D dovetail. Just tapped together, so the handle is removable. It is a bit heavy though. Mine was for carrying axes etc, so that hardly matters - might be more of a problem for a child's toolbox.
 

NickM

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Sheffield Tony":1g5ljg0i said:
Awkward one, the tool tote. The usual way to allow for movement is to nail it together. This was my work around:



The uprights and the ends join by a singe huge, 2D dovetail. Just tapped together, so the handle is removable. It is a bit heavy though. Mine was for carrying axes etc, so that hardly matters - might be more of a problem for a child's toolbox.
You made a beautiful job of that.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Sheffield Tony":2kg0eacj said:
Awkward one, the tool tote. The usual way to allow for movement is to nail it together. This was my work around:



The uprights and the ends join by a singe huge, 2D dovetail. Just tapped together, so the handle is removable. It is a bit heavy though. Mine was for carrying axes etc, so that hardly matters - might be more of a problem for a child's toolbox.
I made one of these last year, but I didn't "make a beautiful job of that", unfortunately. I was just playing with my new table saw, but even so, "Could do better if tried".

I used concrete shuttering quality pine, which was fine if a bit soft, and I glued up a panel of the same for either end, both of which have stayed together, much to my surprise. I used dowels to hold the ends on, and it is now my tool tote for specific jobs, where I raid various toolboxes for just what is expected to be necessary. It gets a hammering, frankly, and is holding together very well. The mistakes are twofold: firstly I shaped the ends by eye, and they are not symmetrical. Next time I would make a template. Secondly, the handle is far, far too low, so you can't see in to find anything. Very annoying indeed. But the dowels have worked splendidly.

If/when I make another, I will use dowels again, but I will put the handle a foot higher up, at least. I also have some idea of adding a curve to the handle, but that is another level of difficult. I don't think I was ever pleased enough with it to take photos, so no proof of incompetence, sorry.
 

MikeG.

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Mine is made from building site scraps, and makes Ben's look like a piece of fine furniture. It looked battered and careworn before I even finished making it, and uses an old wooden cutlery tray as a sliding & removable top drawer.

That said, if I were making one as a present for a youngster I would do precisely what Sheffield Tony did, so that the recipient might learn a little about the easily achieved beauty of a few bits of wood held together with traditional joints.
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":1dyyuawp said:
Mine is made from building site scraps, and makes Ben's look like a piece of fine furniture. It looked battered and careworn before I even finished making it, and uses an old wooden cutlery tray as a sliding & removable top drawer.
Some while ago Derek Jones, late of F&C notoriety, published some InstaG pics of a beautiful Japanese style tool box, superbly made in premium, quarter sawn Bog Oak.
I simply couldn't see the point...it's a tool box! - Rob
 

NickM

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I've made a start. I've decided on a simply chest type construction (probably with a breadboard lid). I'm making it from oak but it's neither of the bog nor quarter sawn variety...
 

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