Japanese toolbox - 大工の道具箱 (post)

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Project by mafe posted 06-11-2012 09:54 AM 22550 views 24 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Japanese toolbox

This post comes from my Japanese toolbox blog.

The toolbox is made from reclaimed wood from a trashed pine ceeling.

In the blog i make a tour in Japanese tool boxes and my conclusion was:
Low price light weight wood: pine.
Thin planed boards for low weight.
No hardware.
Size that I can easy carry.
Proportions slim for elegancy.
A drawer for small things, and for giving myself a challenge of traditional Japanese drawer making.
Finally I choose to buy a bag of bamboo nails, this to try the traditional way, for beauty and again for giving myself a challenge – this I know is not traditional at all.

And for the dimensions 72cm long x 25cm wide x 20cm high, I think this gave some elegant proportions, but do as you want or as your wood commands you.
The boards are planed down to 0,8cm / 0,3inches thick this gives a light box to carry (it is more than enough).

It all started by me reading Toshio Odate’s book ‘Japanese woodworking tools their tradition spirit and use’, and now since I have moved to a new location where I at least for a while will have no workshop, the story will continue since I plan on using Japanese tools and methods in the meantime.

1. The workspace where the tool box works as a tool holder also.
2. The wood.
3. Using the kanna (Japanese plane).
4. Making a wood drawer lock.
5. Wood nails.
6. And more to come from the blog.

I hope this could be to some inspiration, perhaps some Japanese tool boxes.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

30 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4254 days

#1 posted 06-11-2012 10:41 AM

Great result on your Japanese box Mads. This is a perfect way of working for those who don’t have workshops and it would also appeal to those with limited budgets. I’m sure your blog will help get a lot of them started.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3522 days

#2 posted 06-11-2012 11:12 AM

Looks like a really positive and creative environment. This work and the blogs have been a real inspiration for enjoying the path just as much as the end results. Thanks for sharing it all!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25485 posts in 4025 days

#3 posted 06-11-2012 11:14 AM

Very nice toolbox, my friend. That was a great detailed blog on the build process, too. It is amazing what we see on here from recycled materials- such great things come from them. You have built a family heirloom for a very fine set of tools!!! Great job on that one!!...................Jim

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4223 days

#4 posted 06-11-2012 11:19 AM

your passion for wood work and your wonderful interest in how there cultures approach our craft has developed into a wonderful project here, your set up and now can use your new area to continue your journey, the blogs you have done leading up to this have been a wonderful learning experience, and i know we will learn more as you go forward here, thanks mads for teaching us of other ways, different tools, and as wood working might be something to someone else, i know that our Asian brothers give it the due respect that we also feel, and were all here to learn from one another, again thank you mads,

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Brandon's profile


4380 posts in 3871 days

#5 posted 06-11-2012 11:24 AM

Very inspiring! That first picture should be a postcard.

Stupid question: How do you fasten/remove the lid?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3192 days

#6 posted 06-11-2012 12:01 PM

Most excellent, sir.

I’ve really enjoyed this project blog of alternate methods, or are our ways the alternate methods. :-/

Thanks for the history at the beginning and the results at the completion.

A great tool chest and it appears you’ve adapted well to your smaller workshop.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 3264 days

#7 posted 06-11-2012 12:16 PM

It appears that your new shop is coming together well. Looks good! Cheers

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 3126 days

#8 posted 06-11-2012 12:48 PM


You are a true inspiration! a gifted artist and one heck of a woodworker! Thank you for sharing. I am thrilled to be learning from you!

Your Friend,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4899 days

#9 posted 06-11-2012 01:05 PM

Very cool.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Ken90712's profile


17910 posts in 4109 days

#10 posted 06-11-2012 01:09 PM

Mads, So you moved? Hope all is well, sure sounds like it. What a great post my friend!! I had watched some videos on a Japanese wood worker one time on youtube who used no power tools at all. He worked on the ground like your set up. He made a jewerly box, it was so well done when he closed one drawer another would open from the air pressure because the the fit was so tight. It was amazing!

Always goos hear from you and read your posts!!!!

Talk to you soon. Great Job!

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

View PurpLev's profile


8601 posts in 4568 days

#11 posted 06-11-2012 01:27 PM

what a nice box, and a fantastic work set! looks lovely!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View balidoug's profile


514 posts in 3398 days

#12 posted 06-11-2012 01:36 PM

What a wonderful path you’ve found to wander down. Great work, as always; and great fun to see a new direction being explored so successfully.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Bricofleur's profile


1480 posts in 4113 days

#13 posted 06-11-2012 03:07 PM

Adding the dust pan and the brush on the picture was great! You’re one of a kind! :-)



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3960 days

#14 posted 06-11-2012 04:44 PM

Cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View mafe's profile


12692 posts in 4009 days

#15 posted 06-11-2012 05:38 PM

Here a update from MaFe-San.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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