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Japanese Toolbox - carrying

804 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  SMP
i almost had an aneurysm trying to find the correct spot for this conundrum!

Q: Japanese toolbox has those cute handles on the ends, but how is it carried any distance?

i'm thinking a shoulder strap, but is this the right way to approach the problem?

i need a hand free for my coffee cup!

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I don't know how big (heavy) it is but a picture would help. A tool box carried to a jobsite in my opinion would have a craftsman and a helper each on one handle if it had multiple tools in it.
I've seen a few different options:
Wood Plant Gas Box Wood stain

Wood Wooden block Rectangle Table Hardwood

Wood Rectangle Basket Hardwood Wood stain

Wood Outdoor bench Outdoor furniture Wood stain Hardwood


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I like the idea of a combination of #2 and #4 of what kenny posted. A leather strap on two handles on the ends seems like it wouldn't be a bad approach
#3 is great if it's not to small. Otherwise I think Mos is on to something.
kinda sounds like they're all viable, based on preference lol

I do kind of like the form of these Japanese tool chests. I might have to find an excuse to build one
I made one recently, it was very satisfying.

Th wood grain directions don't allow for nail-less joints, I ended up using brass screws that looked pretty good. Cut nails would have certainly given it a distinctive look.

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the strap style is what i'm thinking. i mean, if you're using both hands to carry the box, how do you scratch your nose?
the strap style is what i m thinking. i mean, if you re using both hands to carry the box, how do you scratch your nose?

- secharles
In my younger days, I'd just use my foot. :)
This one is on eBay right now. The strap has a Y at one end, presumably to make it more comfortable on the shoulder

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-Nathan, TX-Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

my father spoke a variation: give the laziest man the hardest job and he'll find the easiest way to get it done.

but back to the strap. i don't think i want to fit the kit, so tipping the box won't be an option for me. innovative, though!

wonder how the straps attach to the box? right now, i'm leaning towards two ropes bored & knotted. gathered at the shoulder center by a fabric sleeve to give the whole a bit of panache.
Toshio Odate says, carrying is the apprentice's problem.

I can't find a good picture of somebody carrying a toolbox specifically, but similar loads are shown hoisted up on one shoulder.

Personally, I got into Japanese woodworking through medieval recreation, so I don't understand why anybody would spend time making a traditional toolbox and then add modern innovations!
If you click the ebay link I shared. you can see that there is bolt that acts sort of like a swivel for that strap.
If I were adding a strap to a Japanese toolbox, I'd do it in the style of the box. I'd add a block to each end that would act as handles when the strap wasn't attached. Then in each of those blocks, I'd cut a tapered mortise in the center such that I could put the ends of my strap into the mortise then slide a wedge matching the angle of the mortise wall in from the bottom to wedge the strap in place.

Hopefully that makes some sense, I couldn't find any pictures illustrating what I have in mind :)
From Odate's article "Japanese Toolbox" in American Woodworker magazine, October 1995:
Font Number Circle Art Document


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Makes me wonder if an apprentice ever said "my last day was when I dropped the Masters tool box"
Problem solved:

Or cut a drink holder into the toolbox lid
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