Tommy Mac style toolbox in pine

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Project by pinebox posted 07-21-2013 05:11 PM 3611 views 13 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tommy MacDonald is the host of a woodworking television show. I enjoy his program, called Roughcut, because he emphasizes that power tools are for rough shaping of a project but using hand tools to finish the project really makes a difference. He also advocates modifying plans to your own taste.

In the background on his show you can often see his cherry toolbox which I really like. You can see a nice picture of his toolbox here

And he shows you how to build it step by step here

In an article in Popular Woodworking magazine he told how making this toolbox really raised his skill level. You can see it here I learned a lot from building it too, enough that I am going to build several more.

My skill level is not up to his so I decided to make one in pine. He really liked the stripe in the cherry lumber. One day I found a 1×12 pine board at the store that had a stripe down the middle, although the colors are reversed from his. My version is 23 ¾ x 11×11 inches. I didn’t have a thickness planer so the wood is the thickness it came from the store minus a little hand planning. I sized the drawers for what was going into them and put the knobs at the point where pushing on either knob would close the drawer without racking.

My second box added a divider to make two drawers on the top level. The knobs on the big drawers had to be adjusted to line up with the little drawers. Just to keep the color reversal idea going, I used redwood for the drawer sides and back but that was not really a good idea. The next box will add a few more details of Tommy’s box and hopefully one day I will decide to make a cherry toolbox too.

Cost of the wood and the knobs was about $16. And no matter how it comes out, you still have a useful toolbox.

10 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8887 posts in 3479 days

#1 posted 07-21-2013 05:54 PM

Great back story to your project. Looks like you thought it through and accomplished a nice tool cabinet. Great matching of grain that I can see.

Looks like you have a great journey ahead of you.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View PaulLL's profile


163 posts in 2613 days

#2 posted 07-21-2013 06:28 PM

Nice work, I watch that show too, saturday morning coffee and woodworking lessons for me and my son (he’s only 4months, figured start him early and hopefully one day he’ll be way better than I’ll ever be!) Tommy’s tool box is awesome, my mom wants one for crafts supplies, I thought pine was a little plain, but you found a nice piece with that stripe!

View jdh122's profile


1124 posts in 3454 days

#3 posted 07-21-2013 07:06 PM

You did a very nice job on this. Hopefully you made the big enough so that you can get a few new tools to fill it up…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3503 days

#4 posted 07-21-2013 07:22 PM

Hey, nice work. These will really help you out in your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Paul59's profile


56 posts in 2561 days

#5 posted 07-21-2013 09:35 PM

Very nice job, and very handy additions to the shop.

-- "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the sea." ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

View RaggedKerf's profile


425 posts in 2757 days

#6 posted 07-21-2013 09:41 PM

Very nice work! I think pine is a little underrated. I love seeing useful, well made projects of the humble evergreen. Thanks for sharing. May just have to make one myself for my carving chisels…

-- Steve

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2461 days

#7 posted 07-22-2013 09:54 AM

Nice neat tool boxes…great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View punk's profile


181 posts in 3052 days

#8 posted 07-22-2013 12:45 PM

real nice I like it

-- Punk in PA

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3677 days

#9 posted 07-22-2013 09:47 PM

Very Nice !!

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

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2812 days

#10 posted 07-24-2013 04:10 PM

They look good, great additions to store and organize tools and stuff around the shop. Great job!

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