Helper’s Tool Box – Mixed Woods – 2016

With David Rae for Ander Rae

Anticipating that Brian and I would spend some time in the shop during his East Coast visit – I put together a tool box for the little helper he would be bring in tow.  To get Ander started off on the right path of life David and I built a tool box complete with a set of real grown-up tools – just a little scaled down;  no time like the present to learn how to use a mallet, a square, and a series of threaded bolts and nuts.  Heck, if he learns how to use a square correctly now, he will have his father beat by two or three decades.  Apparently my ascetic sensibility leaves much to be desired to the 2.5 year old eyes – 12 hours after Ander got his hands on the box, he slopped a thick coat of purple paint on it.  All projects with classical joinery are meant to last, but I am not sure this is what I had in mind!

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David made the square – using a central bridal joint and then touching it with a plane till it approximated square.  I put together the mallet, using a wedge mortise.




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The great part of a project like this is clearing out all the wood scraps that collect over time.  For the toolbox, I used Basswood left over from our Dulcimer project – both because it is light and well, because I had it.  We bored holes for the bolts.  The top of each side was rounded with a coping saw and then shaped with a rasp.  This is rough carpentry – so I touched the sander to the box, but just for a minute.

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I wrapped jute around the handle to lock the dowel in place.  I fastened the sides with the decorative nails left over from my much more grown-up toolbox.



In order to reduce the prospect of splitting I drilled the holes in the largest board I was willing to spare.  I then used a  tap to cut the thread.  This couldn’t have been any easier.

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With the threading done, I set forth to shape the bolts.  First, David used a plane to cut the board to sizes – and than we sawed the board into squares.


I made a jig for cutting the squares to octagons – this help improve my accuracy and guard my fingers while cutting small pieces.


I took a free moment at my turning class to shape the bolts.  I had thought of making  a threaded rod and than attaching the head of the bolt but a unified piece seems like it would be so much more durable.


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I ran the bolts through the thread cutter.  It works essentially like a giant pencil sharpener.



Our apprentice somehow lost all his tools, but has a new case for storing his cars.  You got a lot to learn kid, a lot to learn.  Fortunately, Ander has a full set of the speedsters from his last birthday.



2 thoughts on “Helper’s Tool Box – Mixed Woods – 2016

  1. Pingback: Shavehorse – Dimensional Lumber – 2017 | raecreation

  2. Pingback: Kerfing plane – adjustable fence – 2018 | raecreation

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