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Traveling Tool Case built by David Lyell

I’m excited to share that my traveling tool case is featured on the cover of the December issue of the magazine. If you are a subscriber, you should receive your copy in the coming days, I believe they’re out to the post office at this point.

I first learned of this tool case design from Chris Schwarz when I first started at Popular Woodworking. I was searching for something to build that I could tote my personal tools to and from the PopWood shop in. He shared this design from The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years Vol. 4 (Lost Art Press). It embodied everything I wanted in a tool case. I’ve seen several variations on this case now that the basic design is on my radar, but this is where I ended up. I have room for #4 and #5 planes, five chisels, marking and measuring supplies, my round mallet, one diamond sharpening plate and guide, and a few miscellaneous supplies in the drawer.

This was a fun build that you can dress up or down depending on how you feel. I ended up using spalted maple for the case and 3/8″ plywood for everything else. Hayward called for a pine case and omitted the rabbets that I used to set the plywood front and back panels into the case. He just slapped the panels on the front and back and called it a day-which is totally fine if this is going to be a utilitarian tote. My suspicion was that my case would end up in the background of magazine images down the line as I build more feature projects, so I dressed it up a bit.

If you have any questions about the case, let me know!

–David Lyell


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  • marinosr

    Looks nice. It’s good to see woodworkers who can pare down to the bare essentials and skip newfangled contrivances like saws. Ha just kidding, but of course the saw is always the elephant in the chest… most satisfacory thing I have found (and it’s unsatisfactory) is to remove the blade from my ryoba.

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