I did a little less than scientific weight trials on the completed toolbox. I used a bathroom scale and weighed myself. Using that base weight I was able to obtain a fairly close approximation of the empty and packed toolbox.
To find the empty weight I simply stepped on the scale while holding the toolbox. A quick calculation and the empty toolbox was found to weigh approximately 15lbs. Pretty light, I think, for the size. Next I began loading in tools to get an idea of the capacity.
I was surprised at just how many tools I could pack in. In fact it easily held all of the tools that I would typically need for any of my projects with a little extra room remaining. I’ll not list everything here but here are the highlights. The box held a #4, #5 and all of my joinery planes. All of my Japanese saws easily fit as well as the majority of my layout tools. It also held a full complement of chisels plus my sharpening setup. My boring tools also fit.
Once fully loaded I installed the lid, picked up the toolbox and stepped on the scale. Another calculation revealed that the loaded box had 50lbs of tools in it, giving me a 65lb package. Not too bad for the number of tools that I had in it.
This toolbox was never intended to be worked out of. It was designed for transport and possibly storage and I think it will excel for these tasks. It’s just a box after all. With a few additions it could become a toolbox that could be worked out of. A shallow tray for chisels and layout tools would be a really good start in that direction. For now, I like the flexibility that a simple box affords.
The toolbox is surprisingly strong given it’s weight and simple construction. There are a couple of design elements that I would like to point out. The first being the integrated handles. Besides being, well, handy, they cause the ends to be inset. This moves the screws securing the sides well away from the edge of the sides. Reducing the chance of a spit during assembly and during use. The other design element has to do with the bottom panel. Generally speaking, the width of this type of toolbox is fairly narrow. Typically 10″-16″ being the width chosen. This narrow width reduces the loading on the bottom and allows for a thin, light bottom panel. One additional weight reducing element is the lid. The lid has no structural value for the box. It simply closes the top opening to protect the contents. So the lid can be quite thin. The lid battens adding rigidity and helping to keep the panel flat.
A finish isn’t really necessary but to further my uzkuri research I added a single soaking coat of BLO. Once that had dried for twenty-four hours I added a coat of Tried & True Original. When that had dried I buffed the toolbox with a soft cloth. As expected the oil brought out the grain and added a little color.
Part 4 Greg Merritt