How to Build a Tool Box

A tool box or as it is sometimes called, tool chest, is a handy device that gives a user a convenient place where you can store all your tools safely in one place. Perhaps you have been thinking of learning how to build a toolkit after watching some DIY projects, or perhaps you’ve just run out of ways to store your own tools. Here, we have compiled a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how you can build a toolbox from scratch. This toolbox will hold small essential items such as a hammer, saws, pliers, and even screwdrivers.

Building this box is relatively easy, and you might already have almost all the materials required for this project. If not, a quick trip to a home center or local hardware store is in order. Set yourself up on a sturdy work table in your garage and let the fun begin.

Building a Tool Box

The best choice for the material is Birch veneer plywood. This is because it’s strong, it has a smooth surface, and it takes paint or stain well – you can also use construction plywood, but it’s not as smooth.

Our toolbox will be comprised of seven different parts that will require a 2 by 4-foot sheet of plywood (four sides, one bottom, one top, and a handle). Ensure you add a 1/8-inch kerf measurement – it will be used up by your saw’s blade with each cut. Yes, you will need to have access to a circular saw to build this properly.  If you do not have a circular saw on hand and need to purchase one, consult a buying guide for details and recommendations.

Using bar clamps or springs, secure your plywood onto a sturdy work table. Ensure that the piece to be cut hangs free over the edge.

You will need to measure out:

Sides: Two 15’’ by 5’’

Sides: Two 10’’ by 5’’

Bottom: 15’’ X 10’’

Handle (Grip): 14’’ by 8’’ with hold opening of 5’’ by 1 ½.’’

Toolholder: 4 ¼’’ x 4 ¼.’’

You will also need to have 4d finishing nails

Step 1: Cut out the parts

Cut the plywood into individual pieces with your circular-saw. You can fasten a straight-edge saw point next to your saw as it’ll allow for more accuracy. Arm yourself with safety glasses before you start.

Step 2: Lay out Handle (hold) Grip

Now that all your pieces have been cut out, it is time to cut a handle opening. Use a combination-square and place out a 5-inch by 1 1/2-inch rectangle near the peak of the Handle piece and mark it. Ensure that it is centered as this will represent where the hold will be.

Mark the peak of the holding piece 1 ½ inches from either side of the hold – this will create angled sides of the handle. Next, mark each side of the hold-piece 5’’ from the bottom. On each side of the grip, draw a diagonal line between these marks.

With all hold measurements marked down, secure hold-piece onto your worktable and begin drilling. With a driver/drill fitted with a 3/8-inch bit, cut holes in all four corners of the four-sided figure – ensure you stay within the lines. These holes will allow you to place and turn the saw blade for a cutout.

Step 3: Cut out Handle Grip

Set your jig-saw on your worktable, with the blade inserted in one of the pre-drilled holes. Slowly cut along one marked line until you reach the next corner.

Stop sawing and turn your saw into the next line and proceed on. Cut from corner to corner, following the pre-marked lines until the center portion pops out of the handle-piece. Cut off each angled side with your circular-saw.

Step 4: Drill Tool Holder

Clamp your toolholder piece onto your work table and drill holes in X pattern onto the plank with ½ -and 1-inch spade bits. Drill four ½’’ holes on each corner of the plank and one 1’’ hole in the middle.

Step 5: Sand It Down

Sand toolkit parts until they are smooth and have no splinters – use an orbit sander and 120-grit sandpaper. Smooth off edges as well.

Step 6: Glue It Together

Using wood glue, put a thin bead of glue onto the short ends of the long side pieces. Arrange the small-sides over these fixed ends and compress box together with bar compressors. Wipe off any excess glue that seeps out with a damp cloth.

Step 7: Nail It Together

It’s time you use those 4d finish nails. Hammer these nails at the corners and through the ends of the small sides, and into the long side planks. Hammer all four corners with four pins along each side.

Remove compressors and put a bead of glue along all bottom edges. Arrange the bottom piece over the glue and fasten the bottom piece on. Finally, nail it in place with your 4d finish nails.

Glue and nail toolholder insert to the side of the grip plank. Apply glue on side edges of the grip-plank and all outer corners of the toolholder and then place this whole unit in the toolbox. Compress and nail it in place.

Step 8: Apply Stain

Brush stain onto the wood with a 2-inch paintbrush and then wipe of off with a clean cloth. Keep in mind the more you leave on, the darker your wood will get.  It is best to apply in thin layers with ample drying time in between coatings.

Let the stain dry, fill your new box with tools and get to work.