This post is less about the virtues of building a tote and more to do with some personal navel-gazing. Let’s deal with the tote first. I don’t think I’ve broken any new ground; my only aim was to keep it simple and strong. Attaching the base to the ends with dovetails gives a really strong foundation as this is where most of the stress and load is transmitted. All the wood grain is in the same orientation which is a bonus for long-term durability too. Dado joints on the sides lock the dovetails in and prevent the dovetails being able to lift out. The handle has a barefaced tenon giving a nice wide shoulder below the mortice to drive a nail in. I was tempted to go glueless – and I’m sure it would be plenty strong without – but a bit of PVA wood glue never hurt.
The nails were just what happened to be around (a legacy of four generations of hoarding). The design makes use of a single length of 1″ x 7″ pine with a 2″ x 4″ cut back cut back for the handle. The base needed to be cut back by 1/2″ to allow an 1/4″ dado in the sides. Apart from that it’s minimal stock prep. The tools inside are not the “essential list”; more it was to demonstrate how much you can load into one (skip to the end of the video below to see how much can be packed in).
That leads me to the navel-gazing. I’m highly likely to develop this style of video and blogging. Not so much basic tool totes but to be in the shop, let the camera run, edit the junk out and write about it. I’ve found when I’ve tried to do a series of things or the like, things get bogged down. I have a table to glue up the last drawer for and then the finish to apply. I’ve also got to get the jack plane done! Once those are out the way, I can hopefully make some tweaks.
The bogging-down is a real issue. Time is short, as I know it is for us all, and having projects stretch over months makes progress hard and less rewarding for me. The longer projects can still be done but like I said, I can have the camera running and do an update when progress is made. Anyway, if you have time, watch the video below and let me know if you think it’s something you’d like to see on other projects.
— Graham Haydon
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