Start-em-early Kids' Tool Tote
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Start-em-early Kids' Tool Tote

Looking for a quick and easy project sure to delight a child? In just an evening or two, and using only a tablesaw, scrollsaw, and small pieces of 3/4" medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and 1/4" hardboard, you can make this toy set.

Kids Tool Tote

Kids Tool Tote

Looking for a quick and easy project sure to delight a child? In just an evening or two, and using only a tablesaw, scrollsaw, and small pieces of 3/4" medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and 1/4" hardboard, you can make this toy set.

As a convenience to allow you to view this free woodworking plan before downloading it, we now offer a page-by-page review. If you like the plan, you'll find a Click here for a free downloadable plan link on the last page of the plan. The downloadable plan will have larger, easier to view illustrations than the online preview.

Need help downloading plans? For step-by-step instructions, use the link below.


 

Assemble the Parts

Assemble the Parts

Cut and assemble the tote
  1. From 3/4" MDF, cut the base (A) and handle (B) to the sizes listed in the Materials List.
  2. Make one copy of the full-size handle pattern and two copies each of the two tool tote patterns from the free Downloadable Plan on the last page at the end of plan. Spray-adhere the handle pattern to the handle. Set the other patterns aside.
  3. To form the opening in the handle, drill two 3/4" holes, where shown on the pattern, using a Forstner or spade bit and a backer to prevent tear-out. Then, using a no. 12 blade with 6 to 12 teeth per inch in your scrollsaw and cutting along the pattern lines, complete the opening. Now cut the handle exterior to shape. Remove the pattern using a cloth moistened with paint thinner.
  4. Rout 1/8" round-overs on the base (A) and handle (B), where shown in the Exploded View drawing. Using a sanding block, sand the parts to 180 grit.
  5. Glue and clamp the handle centered on the base, using a combination square to check for equal measurements to the handle from opposing edges of the base. Drill the mounting holes through the base and into the handle, and drive the screws.

 

Holder and tools
Cutting board with scrollsaw
Enlarge Image
 
Inserting your blade through the start
holes, scrollsaw out the openings in
the tool holders (C), cutting along the
outer pattern lines.
Exploded view
Enlarge Image
 

Holder and tools

Now make tool holders and tools
  1. From 1/4" hardboard, cut the two tool holders (C) to 3 5/8x10". Then, to make the tools, cut two tool blanks (D) to the same size from 3/4" MDF. Using the tool tote patterns copied earlier, spray-adhere one copy to the hardboard blanks and the other copy to the MDF blanks.
  2. To form the openings in the tool holders (C), drill a 3/32" blade start hole through each tool on the patterns anywhere within the cutlines. Then scrollsaw out the tool-shape openings, as shown in Photo right, cutting along the outer pattern lines. This will create approximately 1/16" clearance for the tools, which are defined by the inner lines, to ensure easy insertion and removal in the holders.
  3. To cut out the tools from the 3/4" MDF blanks (D), drill 3/32" blade start holes through the shaded waste areas on the saw, plane, and combination square, where shown on the patterns. Scrollsaw out the areas. Then cut the tools to shape along the inner pattern lines.
  4. Rout 1/8" round-overs on the tool holders (C), where shown on the patterns in the patterns in the downloadable plans and Exploded View. Then remove the patterns from the tool holders and tools. Sand the parts smooth, lightly rounding over the edges of the tools.
  5. Glue and clamp the tool holders (C) to the top of the base (A), where shown, tight against the handle (B) and centered side-to-side.

 

Paint the pieces

Paint the pieces

Apply the colorful paints to the project
  1. Sand any areas that need it to 180 grit, and remove the dust. Then apply two coats of primer to the tote and tools, ensuring you saturate the thirsty edges of the MDF and hardboard. (We used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch aerosol, no. 1981 White Primer.) Sand lightly to 220 grit between coats to remove the raised fibers.
  2. Apply two coats of paint to the tote and tools using colors of your choice or following the color key on the free Downloadable Plans at the end of the story. We used Painter's Touch aerosol, no. 1994 Almond, for the tote assembly (A/B/C). For the two-tone tools, we used the Painter's Touch colors identified on the patterns, painting the complete tools with two coats of one color, and then masking them where necessary to paint the areas with the second color, where shown on the patterns. For example, we painted the entire chisel with two coats of no. 1982 Winter Gray, masked the blade, and then painted the handle with two coats of no. 1945 Sun Yellow.
  3. Finally, after the paint dries, present the tool tote to a child, and watch the excitement begin as he or she plays with the tools and matches them to the openings in the holders.

 

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