Compact Tool Tidy

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Project by Jim Rowe posted 06-02-2012 02:28 PM 3099 views 10 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a tendency to be quite disorganised around the bench top which results in tools being scattered all over the place and never to hand when you need them. I suspect I am not alone here!
So, inspired by MAFE’s recent Japanese Toolbox blog and a need to get some sort of order I used some off-cuts of Rappala Lacewood to make this 5.5×3.5×3 inch tool tidy that will hold some of my regularly used tools.
Picture 2 shows the 5 Japanese chisels, 2 Zona razor saws, various scalpels and marking knives, pens and a 6inch rule and a beautiful Starrett 3 inch divider (wish I could find another of these!). Picture 3 shows how the dividers are jam fitted to allow for future rearrangement if needed and the bottom is lined with a piece cut from one of those self healing cutting mats to help protect the edges on the chisels. The Rappala Lacewood looks just like lace as its name suggests and I intend using it on some future projects.
I hope you might find this of interest and maybe of some help in keeping tidy.
Thanks for looking.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

10 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17888 posts in 3988 days

#1 posted 06-02-2012 02:34 PM

Great job I think your correct that we all can get tools scattered aroung the bench at times. Love the wood.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 3024 days

#2 posted 06-02-2012 03:14 PM

Wow – you get a lot stored in that little space. How did you attach the top (the part that holds down the dividers)? – is it permanantl or does it come out for the rearrangement? I really could use a couple of these – I have the same problem at my workbench, at my computer desk, at my glass cutting table . . . . oh, so many places. And the lacewood is really pretty!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4488 days

#3 posted 06-02-2012 03:46 PM

Very nice storage solution and the Lacewood looks great !
Added to my favorites for future use …thank you : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Boxguy's profile


2878 posts in 3067 days

#4 posted 06-02-2012 07:26 PM


This is everything a shop box (or any box) should be. It solves a problem, is attractive, and is a well thought out design. I checked your home page and noted that most, if not all, of your posted projects are on this theme. The mat at the bottom is an especially thoughtful idea.

It seems to me that boxes should always do something not just be pretty. That said…a box that is both pretty and attractive (as this one is) is the ideal. Making shop aids that please the eye (like this lacewood does) makes working in the shop more fun, and it is just pleasant to take pride in your tools as you use them. To me, there is nothing that is a more irritating waste of time and energy than wandering around the shop looking for a tool or material needed to do a job. Organization is the absolute key to efficiency.

It is a constant surprise to me that I can share woodworking ideas with a craftsman in England through this LJ web site. Keep boxing and keep posting. Thanks for sharing this.

-- Big Al in IN

View Ted's profile


2875 posts in 3011 days

#5 posted 06-02-2012 07:30 PM

This is an excellent idea.. I’m gonna make me a couple of these right now. Thanks for sharing! :)

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Brit's profile


8103 posts in 3642 days

#6 posted 06-02-2012 09:25 PM

You can never be too organised Jim. Actually it is nice to be able to spell organised with an ’s’ for once since I’m talking to a fellow Englishman. :-) These Americans take our language and send it back to us with ‘z’ instead of ’s’ and miss the ‘u’ out of words like colour. Rabbet instead of rebate, aluminum instead of aluminium. What a liberty! LOL. Only joking guys, before someone bites my head off.

I love that Snakewood Jim and how you got all those tools in such a small footprint. Well done!

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View ruddy's profile


550 posts in 3739 days

#7 posted 06-02-2012 11:51 PM

Jim…..I need a couple of those. I have it on my To Do list. I like the use of the green cutting mat material in the bottom.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View clieb91's profile


3967 posts in 4735 days

#8 posted 06-03-2012 01:30 PM

Nice solution to an all to common problem for LumberJocks and it looks really nice to boot.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View jonnybone's profile


30 posts in 3673 days

#9 posted 03-22-2013 09:15 PM doesn’t tip over?

regardless, nice work colour and all!

-- Everyday Woodworking is saving my life.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1115 posts in 3112 days

#10 posted 03-22-2013 09:23 PM

Nope! It defies gravity and helps me keep organised.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

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