How to Build a Wooden Tool Carrier

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Pine wood boards
1 1/4” dowel
Measuring tape
Drill bits and drill
Sand paper
1 1/4” wood screws
Wood glue
Straight edge

Craftsmen have long used simple wooden carriers to tote their essential tools around. Not only are these wooden tool boxes simple to build, but they can be adjusted to accommodate just about any kind of hand tool on the market. They can also be made out of scrap pieces and assembled in a few hours time. Follow these simple steps to give your tools a home and be prepared for whatever job comes your way.

Step 1 - Determine the Dimensions

The dimensions of the box will vary depending on the size of your tools. Lay out all of your tools and base your length on the longest one, adding a few inches for some breathing room. Six inches is a good height for the box, though you can make it bigger if you plan on carrying more tools.

Step 2 - Select the Wood

The amount of wood you need will depend on how large you want the box. This project includes six pieces of wood: a bottom board, two side boards, two end boards, and a dowel for the handle. Try and pick pieces that are free of big knots and have straight edges.

Step 3 - Cut the Sides and Bottom

With the plans laid out and wood selected, you can start measuring and cutting the lumber. Make sure you measure carefully and double-check before making the cut. The side and bottom pieces will need to be as straight as possible.

Step 4 - Measure the End Pieces

The end pieces will be a different shape than the rest of the box. To start, measure 6 inches from the bottom and make a mark on the edge of the board. Then, measure 11 inches and mark it in the middle of the board. Use your compass to make a 2” radius arc and connect the 6-inch line with the side of the arc.

Step 5 - Cut the End Pieces

With the measurements in place, cut the end pieces along the lines. You can use the first end piece as a template for the next. After the piece has been cut, use your compass to make a 5/16” circle at the top for the dowel. You can also round out the top of the pieces to save time in the sanding process.

Step 6 - Pre-drill the Holes

Now that all the pieces are cut, it's time to drill. Start by drilling out the slot for the dowel using a cordless drill or a wood auger. Then pre-drill holes for attaching the sides, ends, and bottom together.

Step 7 - Check the Cuts

Before moving forward, check to ensure everything fits together nicely. If you have clamps, use them to secure the pieces together. Otherwise, just make sure the boards are the right size and square.

Step 8 - Sand the Edges

Before you assemble the pieces, sand them each individually. Start with lower grit sandpaper and work your way up to a higher grit. Electric palm sanders will speed up the process, though sanding by hand will work fine.

Step 9 - Assemble the Wood Cuts

Apply wood glue where the pieces connect and screw them together. Make sure the end pieces butt up against the bottom piece. If the bottom piece is not placed inside the end pieces, then the sides will not match up.

Step 10 - Install the Dowel

After everything has properly dried, it's time to install the dowel. Slide the dowel fully in place, making sure one end is flush against the outer end piece. The other end should stick out a few inches. Apply a little glue to both sides and allow it to dry. Once the glue is set, simply saw off the overhang and sand both ends. You can install a screw at the top of the end piece to secure the dowel and prevent it from moving.

Step 11 - Make the Finishing Touches

You can choose to finish the piece or leave it alone. Consider finishing it if you plan on exposing the box to the elements. If the carrier will be kept indoors, then a thin layer of finish like Danish oil will protect it.