Briefcase #1: The Idea

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Blog entry by Chris Wright posted 07-31-2009 04:20 PM 1893 reads 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Briefcase series Part 2: Cutting, sanding, finishing and glueing »

So, I decided to start an interesting project a few weeks ago and I thought I’d share my progress. I figured it would be neat to build a wood briefcase. Now, I know that in today’s business society people tend to use shoulder bags, “soft” briefcases or messenger bags to tote around their documents. But I figured, “what the hell, if anything it will be fun.”

Like the majority of my projects, it all starts with a drawing.


I planned the sides be about 5 inches high with an outside dimension of 18.5 inches by 13 inches. The sides and the top are going to be about half an inch thick. I didn’t want to go thicker because of weight.

The idea is for me to take one of my small gift boxes (like these and just make it bigger, but a handle on the side and some case locks. Like the second of the two boxes I’ve posted, I decided to do the dovetail splines in the corners. This serves two functions: One – it reinforces the joints, and two – it looks nice.

So, digging through my left over wood pile I found a nice piece of cherry for the sides that I planed and cut down:

sides cut

And I beautiful piece of quarter sawn white oak that I glued together for the lid:

Lid glued up

As I get further along with this project I’ll post more pictures.

Thanks for looking.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

6 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4359 days

#1 posted 07-31-2009 06:53 PM

I’ll be watching this one, because I’ve considered making a brief case as well. It will be educational to watch and learn from your experience.

-- Working at Woodworking

#2 posted 07-31-2009 07:43 PM

It’s a very cool idea. We used to carry a briefcase plan and hardware for it, many years ago. The only part we still carry is the support to hold it open, so take a look if you are interested. Can’t wait to see your finished project!

-- Create with Confidence

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4581 days

#3 posted 08-01-2009 12:12 AM

this will be a very special project… I can hear the great-grandkids saying “what is that?” :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 4355 days

#4 posted 08-01-2009 03:10 AM

I am with you on this one. I am thinking of making one for a laptop computer. But that’s still very far in the horizon. I will follow every install on this blog with enthusiasm and hope that I learn from all the steps that you make.


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View a1Jim's profile


117655 posts in 3997 days

#5 posted 08-01-2009 04:05 AM

sounds good look forward to more details

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 3852 days

#6 posted 10-25-2009 02:34 AM

I’ll be following this one, too. I’m also reminded that there was a time when really thin briefcases were in and I think with thin laptops and now netbooks, such a thing might be very useful and elegant.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

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