My new Dovetailed Pine Tool Tote

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Project by flashlightman posted 05-16-2014 11:48 PM 12139 views 30 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After looking at all the tool totes I could find on the web for inspiration, I decided that the design by Gary Katz would work best for me. Then I made a few modifications…then I decided to make it out of solid stock instead of plywood…with dovetails. Three months later, I think I can call it done.
I stuck with pine because I wanted to be able to feel comfortable taking it to jobs in customers homes without worrying about it getting damaged. In fact, I had this idea that the nicks and scuffs would add character over time. I also have only done dovetails once before, and that was 14 years ago making a cradle for my daughter. I figured that the softer pine would go together better. A few items of note are things like fact that I can stand on it and there’s no flex or rack, (and I weigh about 210#), also the drawer is held closed by a gimlet drilled through the mid deck and into the right end of the drawer. Besides all that I just had fun with it. I’m not sure if I got enough Q factor, (ala the James Bond movies).

16 comments so far

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3077 days

#1 posted 05-17-2014 12:10 AM

Very cool idea. Great workmanship as well. I see most of the functions, which for such a small unit are considerable.

Can you explain the function of the pipe clamps on the end. They appear to run through to the inside. What type of uses do they accommodate?

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4212 days

#2 posted 05-17-2014 12:10 AM

Very nice tote

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View cutmantom's profile


408 posts in 4243 days

#3 posted 05-17-2014 12:42 AM

are the pipe clamps and the rope some kind of holding device

View Boxguy's profile


2899 posts in 3476 days

#4 posted 05-17-2014 02:06 AM

Bucket, I like this design. What a nice portable bench. I think Q would have approved. It may need wheels, but a great idea.

-- Big Al in IN

View naughtypine's profile


27 posts in 2988 days

#5 posted 05-17-2014 02:23 AM

Nice job. You have some classic details along with some new tech in there. Never seen anyone use the t-track clamping system on the top of a tote before. Pretty good idea.

View flashlightman's profile


6 posts in 2745 days

#6 posted 05-17-2014 03:25 AM

There are two reasons for the clamps on board.
One is to give it a way to carry clamps, and the other
Is to create a vise, after a fashion. If you look carefully,
You can see a board clamped on the left end, with the help
of a couple of pieces of plywood for face plates.

View flashlightman's profile


6 posts in 2745 days

#7 posted 05-17-2014 03:31 AM

What I found out though, is that they make it too heavy to carry around. The ropes are so I can drag it around inside the van a little, or to give me another way to lift and carry it;

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3500 days

#8 posted 05-17-2014 03:41 AM

Great design and craftsmanship—you really thought this one through and it shows.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Shuja's profile


287 posts in 2774 days

#9 posted 05-17-2014 07:06 AM

nice job!!!!!!
multi function Accommodating almost all the tools
it will be heavy!
wheels would make it easy to carry but you lose stability in working
is there a way to have both?

-- shuja

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3588 days

#10 posted 05-17-2014 07:39 AM

Very snazzy!

-- Rick M,

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4183 days

#11 posted 05-17-2014 07:47 AM

Very cool tote and I like the design as well as the features. Because of the weight I second the wheels, perhaps wheels on one end that can be folded up when not in use and you could have the bar clamp slide out and become the pull handle. Just thinking out loud,once again very nice job on a very useful tote!

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View flashlightman's profile


6 posts in 2745 days

#12 posted 05-17-2014 12:35 PM

Apologies folks, for omitting the dimensions. Here they are: 23”l x 14”h x 12.75d, and 53# loaded. Yes, it’s heavy but I’ve learned a trick in dealing with that. It’s easier if you carry something almost as heavy in your other hand, should be between half and full weight of the first item. That may seem counterintuitive, but it’s much easier on your back, and it gets the loadout done that much quicker at the small cost of both your arms being tired in stead of one. Another trick is to wear those rubber or nitrile coated knit work gloves, which really helps when you need a stronger grip for anything at all. I also installed a small piece of wood inside of the top center hand hold to give my fingers something to wrap around.

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 3141 days

#13 posted 05-17-2014 03:25 PM

very nice! I will copy this project :-) you have done well Flashlightman!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View K_B's profile


16 posts in 2810 days

#14 posted 05-18-2014 09:01 AM

Excellent piece :)

-- -> Kim, Denmark

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 3900 days

#15 posted 05-20-2014 01:41 PM

Very nice and super useful! Tks for sharing

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

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