The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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2016 Toy Toolbox Set

In the 1980's, I made little toy toolboxes for my kids, plus all my brother's and sister's kids.  They loved them and wore them out playing with them according to their parents.

Now, another generation of children needs some more toolboxes.

I entered my 1980's design in Google Sketchup.



Test Run on Making New Tool box

 I decided to put the child's first name on the side of the toolbox using letters from Hobby Lobby:

I used the green 1/4" slotting bit to put in the groove for the bottom of the toolbox.

I decided to use only dowels, versus nails, for safety reasons. With dowels, if the toolbox falls apart from abuse, there are no sharp nails involved.

Mass Production of Saws

I stacked enough blanks to scroll saw 6 saws at a time......

I decided to give the handles 2 coats of red paint.........


I first sawed 1-1/4" diameter dowels to 3 inch lengths. I chucked each piece on the old 1939 Montgomery Wards lathe, and used the wire method to burn in a groove on 1 end.  I also sanded that end.  Next, I flipped the blank end for end, and burned the groove in the other end.

I used an old v-groove jig to hold the 3 inch piece, then drilled a 1/2" diameter hole for the handle.



I made a batch of 12 squares. It required making lap joints on 24 pieces.  I could have done this using many passes per joint on the radial arm saw, but I decided it was worth the time to set up the dado stack on the table saw.

I put a stop block on the fence, to set the side-to-side location of the cut border. These are 1/2" thick boards lap jointed to 1/4" depth.

Old-Fashioned Hand-cranked Drills

I made a couple of design changes on these to make them easier to make.  For the rotating piece, I reduced the thickness from 3/4 to 1/2" so I could use standard 1/4" axle pins to retain them.  I also made the point 5/16 versus 1/4", so I could drill a 5/16 through hole in the collet piece.

I cut the large OD rotating piece using a hole saw on the drill press.

I made a Youtube video showing one of these old style drills in action........

I made another YouTube video showing how I burned in the decorative grooves:





In the picture above, I still need to put "points" on the screwdrivers, which are angles ground on the belt sander.



I could have cut the 24 degree angles on the scroll saw, but it was much faster to use the table saw.  I set up a jig on the table saw to accurately repeat the cuts for every piece (24 of them for 12 toolboxes)........


This fixture worked really well.

To put the 1/4x1/4 groove in the bottom of the toolboxes, I took each piece to the router table, hand held the piece in its normal vertical orientation, and made the grooves.   They were through-grooves in the 2 sides, but stopped cuts on the 2 end pieces.

I then glued up the boxes with yellow toolboxes everywhere!


As my wife knows, "a woodworker can never have too many clamps!"  :)

It would have been faster to air nail the boxes together, but these will suffer abuse and may come apart.  I do not want to have sharp nail edges exposed if the boxes come apart.   I chose to use 1/4" dowels to supplement the glue joints.


Drilling 48 dowel holes for the toolboxes

I made a little pattern piece to located the 2 holes in each end piece on the drill press.  This set-up worked well...


Lots of Tools to make to fill 12 toolboxes!


One Finished Toolbox with Tools

Closing Thoughts

I had to develop some higher production techniques to make 12 toolboxes and the sets of tools.

The hand-cranked drills are the best I ever made.  They work smoothly when you crank them.

Hopefully, there will be lots of happy children at Christmas 2016




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