Age range: 7 or up
If your children are naturally skilled at DIY, they will be able to use their Dad’s tools. You might consider giving your handymen their own toolbox. This will encourage them to be more involved and keep your collection safe.
This toolbox can hold basic tools that are easy to use for a beginner do-it yourselfer, such as a saw, pliers and hammer. It is simple to build: Most of the tools you need are already in your possession, and materials can be found at sporting goods stores and home centers. You will need a stable worktable, whether it is in the garage, the workshop or the playroom. It’s all about having something to do for everyone and practicing for future projects.
Download templates for this project
There are seven parts to this toolbox, and they will all fit on one 2×4-foot sheet of plywood. You can line up the parts so they share a common cutline. However, you should also account for the 1/8-inch kerf that will get eaten by the saw blade.
Birch Veneer plywood is the best material for this project. It’s strong and can withstand stains and paints. Although construction plywood can be used, the face won’t be as smooth.
Lay out and Cut the Parts
Using spring or bar clamps, clamp the plywood to a sturdy worktable. You must ensure that the plywood piece you are cutting hangs freely from the edge.
Cut the plywood in individual pieces using a circular saw, jigsaw or handsaw. A straightedge saw guide can be attached to your saw for extra accuracy.
To parents: Operating a circular saw or jigsaw is for adults. Before you begin, make sure your children and you wear safety glasses.
Lay out the Handle Grip
Using a combination square, lay out a 5×1 1/2 -inch rectangle near the top of the handle to denote where the grip will go. It should be centered. Mark the handle’s top 1 1/2 inches away from either end of the grip. Then mark each side of it 5 inches away from the bottom. Draw a diagonal line from these marks to each side of your grip.
Attach the handle to the table. Use a drill/driver with a 3/8-inch bit to cut the corners of the rectangle. Be sure to follow the lines. These holes allow you insert and turn your jigsaw’s blade to create a cutout.
Cut the Handle Grip
Set the jigsaw flat on the workpiece, with the blade in one of the holes.
Slowly cut along the layout line until you reach your next corner. Turn the saw so that it faces the next line. Then stop the saw and start cutting again. Keep going in this direction from corner to corner, until the handle is removed at the center.
Use the jigsaw to cut each angle.
Drill the Tool Holder
Clamp the tool holder insert on top of some scrap wood. Use 1/2-inch and 1-inch spade bit to drill holes on the square.
Sand the Parts
Using a random-orbit sander and 120-grit sandpaper, sand all the toolbox parts until they’re smooth and free of splinters. Make sure to place the dust bag on the backside of your sander. You can smoothen the edges of plywood, but don’t round them.
Hey, kids! Help with the sanding. You can help with the sanding, but a parent should be there to supervise you. The vibrating sander is very noisy.
Glue and Assemble the Pieces
Put a thin bead of stainable wood glue on the short ends of the long side pieces. Place the small sides on top of these. Use bar clamps to hold the box together. Use a damp cloth to remove any glue.
Hey, kids! Help your parents glue the wood pieces while you help.
Nail the Box Together
Hammer 4d finish nails at the corners, through the ends of the small sides, and into the long sides. This is done for each corner, with four nails per side.
Take out the clamps. Apply glue to the bottom edges. Then, place the bottom piece on top. Attach the bottom piece to the top and nail it down with 4D finish nails.
Glue the insert of the tool holder to the handle. Place glue along the handles and the outside corner of the toolholder. Then, place the entire assembly in the toolbox. Place the clamp on the handle and nail it in place.
Use a nailer to sink all nails below the surface. Stainable wood glue can be used to fill the holes. Allow it to dry and then sand it.
To parents: Nail setting can be tricky. You can either have your children practice setting nails on scrap wood or you can do it yourself. You can have your kids help fill the holes with putty, and then sand it once it is dry.
Apply the Stain
Wearing latex gloves and using a 2-inch paintbrush, brush stain onto the wood, then wipe it off with a clean rag. The darker the stain, the more you apply it. It should be dried.
Hey, kids! You can choose the color you like for your toolbox.
Cut a few lengths of hockey-stick tape, and use them to wrap the handle to make a comfortable grip.
You can also use the bottom of the box to attach furniture glides. This will keep floors from being scratched. Fill it with tools and grab the handle to get it ready for action.