Boxguy's Trusty Chainsaw Companion

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Project by Boxguy posted 11-03-2013 05:05 AM 7803 views 25 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks, to all who take time to look at projects. I always enjoy reading and replying to questions and comments from you out there in Lumberland. Perhaps you have suggestions about how to improve this Chainsaw “Box.”

There is a list of tutorials on specific box building techniques at the end of this posting. I will respond to all who “have your say” in the next 24 hours. So check back for feedback.

Pictured is my well-worn, portable (32×8 x 7) box designed to hold all the things you need to keep a chainsaw cutting in the woods. It holds mixed fuel, bar oil, bearing greaser, ax, wedges, screwdriver, wrenches, spare plug, spare chain, file, electric sharpener, chip brush, rags, and spare nuts. For the past 30 years this box has served me well. If it is in the truck or hanging by its rope on my tractor, I know I can keep cutting and not make time-wasting trips back to the barn or the shop. I have been cutting trees and firewood for 30 years with the same Echo 440 EVL chain saw as well. In fact, this box and my chainsaw are holding up much better to the task than I am.

Story: Neighbor Jim helped me fell two rotting trees that threatened my 80 year old barn. His powerful saw and long bar made quick work of these large trees. He liked my Chainsaw Companion and so I made him a copy of this box as a thank you.

Construction Hints: This box is not elegant, but it is utilitarian. It is made of 3/4 exterior plywood. All of the joints are glued with Tightbond’s waterproof glue and nailed with 2 1/2 inch finish nails. I rounded all the corners and edges because sometimes I just can’t help myself. I go router crazy.

The bottom is dadoed and glued into the sides. All the dividers are dadoed, glued and nailed. The 20 inch tapered verticals that hold the ax have 2 inch holes. The end flap should be tall enough to touch and hold the ax, but not too tall to keep you from turning your ax sideways and removing it from the holes. I recommend painting it blue or some color that will stand out in the woods. It is surprisingly easy to lose tools when you are cutting down trees.

This is a little different that my usual post, but it is a useful box if you are going to use a chainsaw.

Click here to see some of my more typical box projects.

Tutorials: For methods used to make a box like that pictured above just click on the blue links below. They are arranged by topic.

Combining Wood Colors:
Jig for 45ing corners:
Organizing a glue-up table:
$5 band clamps:
Adding splines to a box:
Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
Making splines with a simple jig:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Cutting off the box top and sizing piano hinges
Adding finger indents:
Mortising and installing hinges:
Tips on making trays: for inside boxes:
Finishing tips:
Swapping Wood By Mail:
Routing Boxes:
Adding Cloth Bottom Liners

-- Big Al in IN

26 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8358 posts in 3282 days

#1 posted 11-03-2013 05:30 AM

Now that is one great practical box Al.
The axe serving as the handle just makes it all work.
I love it!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2616 days

#2 posted 11-03-2013 05:34 AM

GREAT utility on the chain saw buddy box. If ya have to take it off the tractor and carry it far, add a padded shoulder cover to the rope for comfort. I’ll be sure to watch and save those tutitorials in the morning. I’m sure they will be VERY heplful for this klutz.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18660 posts in 4160 days

#3 posted 11-03-2013 05:53 AM

Wow, Boxguy, it doesn’t get any better than that! Very well thought out a serviceable box. About the only thing that could be added is runners for pulling it in the snow ;-)) If the snow is that deep, its too deep to be out anyway!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Eric 's profile


35 posts in 2163 days

#4 posted 11-03-2013 06:10 AM

Brilliant is all I have to say.

-- Eric the "Fabbrocator" Fabbro

View Richard's profile


11298 posts in 3517 days

#5 posted 11-03-2013 06:41 AM

Very Nice Piece Of Work Indeed! Thanks For Posting!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View mikethetermite's profile


599 posts in 3750 days

#6 posted 11-03-2013 08:16 AM

Great idea, thanks for sharing.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View JanKrompan1's profile


60 posts in 2310 days

#7 posted 11-03-2013 08:22 AM

Outstanding idea Boxguy, this is exactly what I need at the moment. I’ve got a lot mesquite trees on my farm that I must cut down. I know that term ” time-wasting trips back to the shop” very well. Your photos is so good and descriptive. Do you perhaps got a kind of box to protect a chainsaw? I’m afraid my saw will get damaged between the other tools at the back of my truck. Thank you for all the brilliant tutorials you placed here.



-- Jan, Free State Province, South Africa

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1307 posts in 2197 days

#8 posted 11-03-2013 08:44 AM

Like the idea with the axe as handle. Very Roy Underhill-style!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Boxguy's profile


2847 posts in 2751 days

#9 posted 11-03-2013 08:27 AM

Feedback From Boxguy:

Paul, thanks. Coming from a man who is the master of practical design this is high praise. Your nautical storage boxes are util and have elements of elegance.

Russel, the pad for the rope is a good idea. I do sometimes use the rope on my shoulder when I am carrying this box for some distance. Thanks.

Topa, snow runners is a fun thought, but then I might have to don a set of jingle bells while I am pulling it. When I was younger I cut trees in the snow, now I use those days to burn firewood.

Eric, nice to see that you solved the face plate problem on your saw re-do. As you know , aligning the blade with the fence makes all the difference in using a tablesaw.

Magnum, thanks for the kind words. Looks like it is time for you to post another project. I liked the ones you have added.

Mike, how nice to hear from a fellow Hoosier. I liked reviewing all of your Grandpa projects. That workbench table looks great. This Thomas the Train table was the hit of the birthday party for three year old boys.

Jan, hearing from you in South Africa makes me shake my head in wonder. Lumberjocks makes the world seem incredibly small. The light weight, form-fitting plastic case that came with my saw protects it so well that I haven’t thought about improving it. Mesquite trees sound like a challenge. Glad I can be of some help.

K, I liked the photo of you balancing in space. Denmark and hand tools seems an especially appropriate combination. The apple processor is a fun project. It has been some 30 years since I built the chainsaw companion so I hesitate to give credit to the origin of this design, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that an episode of Roy Underhill had something to do with it. If it did, thanks to Roy. Your shop stool looks great.

-- Big Al in IN

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1307 posts in 2197 days

#10 posted 11-03-2013 11:22 AM

Thanks for the fine words. Being an american you perhaps recognize the place my photo is taken?
That table for toy trains is a great idea- i might do someting like that.. Tanks for sharing

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Roger's profile


21010 posts in 3288 days

#11 posted 11-03-2013 11:58 AM

Nice all purpose tote. Handy dandy handle and axe.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30428 posts in 2822 days

#12 posted 11-03-2013 12:36 PM

Well done. Very useful.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2996 days

#13 posted 11-03-2013 01:09 PM

Very nice Big Al, is this box a replacement or a gift for your neighbor?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Boxguy's profile


2847 posts in 2751 days

#14 posted 11-03-2013 01:14 PM

Feedback From Boxguy

K, I don’t really know where your picture was taken. Is it Pike’s Peak? About the train table…the pipe legs can be screwed in from the other side to make a play table without the tracks.

Roger, good to hear from you. We should get together soon. This saw companion has served me well and saved me a good deal of time and frustration.

Monte, I liked your interview in the emag. I see you are making furniture now. Interesting shift of focus.

Blackie, luckily this new box is a gift for my neighbor. The one I made 30 years ago is still going strong…if I can just keep from dropping a tree on it all will be well. How is the new jewelry box coming along?

-- Big Al in IN

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

553 posts in 3482 days

#15 posted 11-03-2013 01:38 PM

Great idea Al. I have a chainsaw and all the usual junk, but no box. I think this is on my to do list.


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