Friday, August 23, 2013

Japanese Tool Box

I liked the look of the box that Christopher Schwarz posted about here:

And so I made one (two, actually). I think the sketchup model has an error in it, but more on that later. Anyway, here is take one:

I used cedar. In this case, fence boards. I hunted through the whole stack to find the clean ones. Not bad for $2 per 6' board. I let them dry out for eight weeks or so. Still, some were still a bit wet, so had to move carefully. I really like this design. Finger joints are actually harder to cut than dovetails in a way, but I always like learning a new skill. Also, cedar can be a pain. It can also be quite lovely. We move ever onward!


  1. I'd like to know what you mean by finger joints being harder to cut. I tried to post a comment on the Schwarz 'blog to explain the Japanese writing. By my best interpretation, the case was used to protect a kimono.
    You chose cedar so I wonder whether you also have textiles in mind for it.

  2. Hi Rob,

    I also like that design. I have some old reclaimed cvg fir stair stringers that I'm using to build a few of these. Bob Le also has nice stuff about Japanese toolboxes on the Daiku Dojo web site.


  3. Same here. Saw CS's post and the next day went out and built one for a traveling tool chest. With some careful positioning it can hold everything my anarchist tool chest can hold. Mine's about a foot square and somewhere around 36 inches long or so. Love it

  4. Potomacker, dovetails, being tapered, have a limited ability to suck themselves closed. Finger joints go e you nowhere to hide. Hitting harder does not compress them closed.

    This box is actually a presentation blanket box, but I chose cedar more because of local and affordability considerations. I did make a second and might make a third which will be tool boxes. I love working out of a chest but feel auger bits and braces might be better having their own box.


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