My Tool tote...Proof that I need to take a class in Dovetailing.

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Project by KellyS posted 12-08-2009 04:39 AM 10871 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m taking a Hand cut Dovetail class at Woodcraft this next weekend from Rob Cosman. I decided that I needed something to carry my tools in and to demonstrate my true need to be in the class :). I built my tool caddy out of reclaimed pine and other scraps I had lying around. I think it turned out pretty decent…Serves the purpose. I couldn’t really find any plans to go by that I liked, so I came up with my own design. Good or bad, well here’s what I ended up with. I decided on the length based on the number of chisels I had and just rounded up to the nearest foot or so. The dividers for the chisels are made out of ¼” plywood. The width was determined by the width of the pine boards I had, again, I just rounded up. I think it’s about 8 inches wide and 24” long. After fitting my chisels on one side, the saws on the other, a slot to slide my squares down in, the well is just wide enough to fit a #4 plane. I hand cut the dovetails with my Veritas dovetail saw. I’ve only cut a hand full of dovetails, but I really enjoy doing it and really want to get better at it. I can make pretty good dovetails on my router table using the Incra LS positioner, but I really feel the inner Galoot / Neanderthal coming out in me :). I kinda like the old school ways of doing some things….some things… I still don’t think you’ll ever catch me using a panel saw though.
I deviated a little from the way I first began trying to cut dovetails, instead of marking the depth with a pencil; I used my marking gauge for the first time. I guess I had it set a little wider than I thought and well the joints are a little loose. More practice will help, I’m sure. I finished it with a coat of BLO, I just liked the natural look.
Thanks for looking.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#1 posted 12-08-2009 04:43 AM

Looks good Kelly nice tote

View stefang's profile


16722 posts in 3839 days

#2 posted 12-08-2009 12:04 PM

Nice tote Kelly. The dovetails look ok to me. I have an eerily similar tote with a chisel/screw driver holder much like yours. No dovetails though as I didn’t know how to cut them when I made it. Hope you enjoy your dovetail course.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3614 days

#3 posted 12-08-2009 01:07 PM

It is good to be modest about your work, but one should never be over critical in regards to their own accomplishments. I am fairly new to the whole woodworking thing but I will share with you my philosophy. If a project comes out better than feared but not as good as dreamed, you are doing just fine. Pine is a difficult medium to work with in regards to dovetails and I think it looks good.

Happy Holidays,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


368 posts in 3988 days

#4 posted 12-08-2009 03:33 PM

I love tool totes!

Nice job!


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4371 days

#5 posted 12-08-2009 05:29 PM

I like it. You’ll turn around ten years from now and that will have lots of worn marks on it and be fond of the little tote. Great job!

-- He said wood...

View sharad's profile


1118 posts in 4310 days

#6 posted 12-08-2009 05:37 PM

Very well done on that tool tote. You have displayed your skills by not using your router. Your next dovetails will the the best. What is the diameter of the dowel used for handle?

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4063 days

#7 posted 12-08-2009 05:38 PM

Very nice looking tote. You’ll get better as time goes alnog. But that actyually looks pretty good for the first one.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3612 days

#8 posted 12-08-2009 06:36 PM

Nothing like a project that you can use every day. Well done keep up the good work.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3970 days

#9 posted 12-08-2009 06:58 PM

Plans based on your needs, the materials at hand and a successful outcome are excellent plans by any one’s standard. Good job and enjoy the class. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View KellyS's profile


78 posts in 3738 days

#10 posted 12-08-2009 07:03 PM

Thanks! The Dowel I used for the handle is a 1” diameter oak dowel. Didn’t seem to flex too much when I loaded it up. I put the handle holes and little lower than what I should have, so it gets in the way of getting things in and out of the center well. To solve this problem, I drilled 1/4” holes in the dowel and used a couple of linch pins so I can just remove the handle and get at it.


-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 4101 days

#11 posted 12-08-2009 07:20 PM

not bad for a first timer. I have yet to try my hand at any kind of dovetail.

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 12-08-2009 08:12 PM

Looks very practical. I like the way you seperated all your chisels. Looks pretty good to me.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23364 posts in 3611 days

#13 posted 12-08-2009 11:53 PM

Very well done tool tote. It is nice to hand cut dovetails, but the joints you have will suffice for the life of that tote and they look good too. Keep up the good work and show us a project with dovetails after you take the class.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3674 days

#14 posted 12-09-2009 05:19 AM

sounds to me like you don’t need to take the dovetail class. all you need is more tool caddies!
looks great


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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