Need suggestions for filling a tool box

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Forum topic by cdaulton posted 07-06-2015 07:24 PM 1352 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View cdaulton's profile


25 posts in 3809 days

07-06-2015 07:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dovetail tool box hand tools tool chest question

I just found out that I am being deployed around the first of the year and I was wanting to be able to take my woodworking with me in one form or another. I am thinking of building this tool box from Popular Woodworking #181.

Here is a link to the article with a little more info about the box.

I’m not sure what the conditions will be when I get there as far as material availability but I am wanting to work on my dovetail skills by making small boxes and what not.

So I am looking for suggestions on what to fill the small space I have with. Space will obviously be at a premium, for a tool to make the cut it will need to be versatile or completely indispensable. Weight will also be a factor as I will have to have the box shipped to me.

There are a few tools that are a given such as a dovetail saw, small carcass saw, chisel for chopping out dovetails, a mallet, dividers, marking knife and a marking gauge but I am looking for suggestions to fill the rest of the box.

Let me know what you would recommend.

6 replies so far

View pulchridude's profile


15 posts in 2396 days

#1 posted 07-06-2015 07:32 PM

Well, in addition to what you have listed – something to sharpen your chisels, maybe a block plane and a single clamp and perhaps a pencil and some tape (if you want to try the blue painters tape trick which works AWESOME!). Don’t know where you’re headed, but one of my trips down range I went to Honduras and they had a full woodshop (and lots of available Honduran Mahogany!) it was pretty sweet!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4674 days

#2 posted 07-06-2015 07:47 PM

Here is what I would consider a pretty good hand tool kit:

  • Jack hand plane, because it’s versatile.
  • set of bench chisels and mallet.
  • Japanese Ryoba saw (crosscut teeth on one side and rip teeth on the other.
  • pointed marking knife with a double bevel on one side and flat on the other.
  • diamond sharpening stone with 600 grit on one side and 1200 grit on the other.
  • drill (hand or power) and a set of bits including some Forstner bits.
  • tape measure
  • couple of ‘F’ clamps
  • 12” steel ruler
  • Carpenter’s hammer
    This is just a suggested list of bare essentials. I’m sure I have missed some things, but it is what I can think of right now. The selection might also depend somewhat on what type of work you will be doing and whether or not you will have access to electricity. I hope you find it helpful.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bandit571's profile


30500 posts in 4024 days

#3 posted 07-06-2015 07:54 PM

Might want to check out the thread about a “Basic First Tool kit” I started, Chief.

There is even a few photos..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Pendragon1998's profile


74 posts in 2916 days

#4 posted 07-09-2015 03:19 AM

For work holding, you can find vintage L-shaped front vises that screw-clamp onto a benchtop. They were originally sold to carpenters needing a portable solution.

However, my suggestion would be to get a roll of knives, chisels and gouges, spoke shave, scraper, small carving hatchet, and a few sharpening supplies and work on your carving while out there. Much less weight to carry, minimal work holding and clamping needs, depending on the project, portable and fast to set up, and all you need is a stick of greenwood to get going.

View BurlyBob's profile


9521 posts in 3606 days

#5 posted 07-09-2015 05:00 AM

cdault, You be careful out there and come home to your family. They need and want you. We all want you back safe in their arms.

My appreciation and respect for all you do.


View BadJoints's profile


103 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 07-13-2015 07:48 AM

cdaulton, I’m about 10 months ahead of you. Check out my response in this thread. I had the same dilemma myself earlier this year. Hopefully my experiences will help you out. I didn’t mention it in the other post, but cordless drills are pretty much everywhere here. Drill bits however, are another story. I’d recommend a set of bits and screws if you intend to construct things that way. I am using this time as an opportunity to do no metal joinery. Good luck, and stay safe.

-- Producing furniture grade firewood since 1984

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