Darth’s Modified Tool Case

Viewer Project - By Darth Rust from Chesapeake, VA
Added on May 16, 2014

My hand tool collection has been growing. Storing a Jointer plane was a challenge, but a knocked together case of scrap plywood kept the jointer, jack and smoother in good enough shape. That simple case made from scraps and screws lasted about a year. Then I picked up a shoulder plane, more block planes, but it was the spoke shaves that pushed me over the edge. Luckily TWW had a great video series on building just such a thing a while back, it made the solution obvious.

Baltic birch was problematic to source in 18mm around here. I had other projects in mind that would call for 4’x’8’s and my hardwood dealer had sheets of Luan with 15 plys for relatively cheap—cabinet grade, so they say. I wanted to test that stuff and there’s no better place to do that than shop furniture. The down side was that the exposed plys have no where near as pleasing of an appearance as Baltic birch. Some experimentation with finishes revealed that under dewaxed shellac, bubinga was a decent match in grain and color to make some edge banding and other fixtures. It also used up some scrap I’d been hoarding for a while.

Construction and joinery are pretty much right down to the video spec. Instead of shelves, I consolidated my saw till into the left hand side and added two drawers on the bottom. I’d never made drawers before, so that was an adventure in and of itself, but it did give me a useful little nook to store spare plane blades, screws, and other assorted debris. The saw till rail itself was as easy as it appears and I thought it really shows off how flexible this case is; the possibilities for organization are endless. Of note, when I built my Ruobo, the trailer hitch and 55 mph casters were out of stock at Benchcrafted (go figure), but this case with the french cleat should move reasonably well when I have to reorganize the shop. I went a little nuts with the magnet idea and have one under every plane, even the block planes. While a fun innovation, I found myself experimenting with ways to get the magnet just a little bit recessed to keep it from contacting the sole of the plane. Probably a bit of paranoia, but I didn’t want to risk dissimilar metal corrosion or let repeated use start pitting my planes since I don’t know the hardness of rare earth magnets. The top is also obvious space for various other bits of widgetry. You may notice the gaping void on the right above the spoke shaves—that’s reserved for a router plane.