Practical Wood Working

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Monday May 8, 2017

A Drill Caddy - and others

After I upgraded my drill & impact batteries to lithium I found that they would not fit in my drill caddy. Time to make a new one. This project also let me try a new idea of making a wooden grate with my box joint jig and using up some small scraps of mahogany that I had laying around.


I'll start off with some pretty pics and then go into a few details for those interested parties.

caddy-quarterview.jpg caddy-topview.jpg
caddy-grateview.jpg caddy-drills.jpg
Wooden grates are often used on boats and I build boats so I wanted to try my hand at it. A better way would be to use a wide board, say about 6" or so, and afterwards cut it into strips but you use the wood you have, not the wood you want. I'm pretty sure that I'll be making more wood grates in the future though to try that theory out on.

Someone suggested making floor furnace grates. Maybe so. A few people said that it was too pretty to carry tools in. Others wanted to know if there was a purpose for putting grates on a tool chest. The answer is I made them because I can.

OK, so tool caddies. Love 'em. Everytime I make one a plastic tool box leaves the shop and goes to plastic tool box hell. And if I'm making one from nice wood I usually make another one from pine to make my mistakes on first.

Old caddies are often seen with nothing more than a broom stick for a handle. That works for sure, but I like to make mine a little nicer. My handles are bent wood. I slice the wood fairly thin then steam bend, glue and clamp the pieces together around a form. You can see me making one in the video above.


caddy-lg-pine.jpg caddy-lg-pine2.jpg
One thing I like about wooden tool boxes is that you can modify them later on. Here is a test one from pine that I made and then later on decided that I needed a saw to go along with this tool kit. Maybe someday someone will find it and think that it is cool.

caddy-two-drills.jpg
Here are two more. The one in the foreground was a present and made from quartersawn oak. The black one was the test box that I kept for myself. I don't feel so bad about the beating that my tool boxes take when they are made from a cheap wood. Later on I attached a box to the bottom of the black caddy to hold drill bits and drivers in. It was convenient to have them all in one place but made the caddy a little heavy.

caddy-lg-oak.jpg
This oak caddy has two lift out trays. One is the usual type of tray you often find in caddies and the other is patterned after the Japanese tool box above. It was made from the same white oak plank that the drill caddy was made from above and was a present to the same person.

caddy-lg-mahogany.jpg
Here's another pretty one from mahogany - another present. The people I give them to seem hesitant to use them. They say that they are too pretty to use. I just tell them that it's their's to do with as they please, but to get over it.

j-toolbox.jpg
And finally here are several non caddy tool boxes. The first is a Japanese tool box. East and West. This style of Japanese tool box is traditional, just as the caddies are in the West. I got aquainted with these tool boxes when I was in Japan. One could do much worse than to study Japanese woodworking! I've made several and will no doubt make more in the future.

toolchest1.jpg toolchest2.jpg

And last of all I'll leave this topic for now with a tool chest that I use for my cutting tools - planes, chisels, scrapers & the like. Again, not a tool caddy, but, you know. I found the plans for this in a magazine and have seen plans around the internet for several others that were very similar. I was going to make it out of scraps of pine and then make a better one out of nice wood but I haven't done the nicer one yet, therefore the paint. The tools don't know the difference.


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