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Before I developed the tool tote project, I did some online research and discovered that there are two major trends in the design of simple wooden totes: (A) Those whose tall end-walls flank the side walls and (B) those whose side-walls flank the end-walls. This raised the question: Which of the two designs would better suit our project?

When I design a project for my students, especially when teaching my young students, I always try to anticipate challenges and then develop procedures to overcome them. I try to evaluate:

  1. Are all the required tasks essential for the project? Can I make things a bit simpler and more predictable to contribute to a successful outcome.
  2. Can I come up with a project that is malleable enough so it can tolerate spontaneous or unintended changes, and can it posses an ability to compensate for mistakes that will certainly happen, especially with young students?

So when I developed our tote project I asked myself: What is the best design to ensure maximum success for this kind of a hand tool project? After a few sketches it occurred to me that design B is the simplest of the two as it requires only two critical cross cuts of the “mother board”, cuts that will provide a right angle butt joint between the two end-walls and the bottom of the tote.


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