The design of my tool blocks did
not come from me but from a primitive lamp or candle shelf on
the wall of an old log cabin here in the Missouri Ozarks.
I was intrigued by that shelf when
I was nine years old and over the years I have made lots of
copies and the design evolved into tool storage blocks. The
important aspect of these blocks is that they take advantage of
sliding dovetails to hold them firmly to a wall. Yet, the blocks
can be easily lifted from the brackets and taken to my bench,
This saves lots of time compared to
storage of little tools in drawers or boxes. I make the blocks
out of rived red oak billets that are hewed square with a
hatchet, scrub planed, and then planed smooth with a jack plane.
The final surfaces are scraped with a card scraper.
Sliding dovetail slots are then cut
in back of a block and mating brackets are planed to shape. The
sizes and spacing of holes in a block depend on what kinds of
tools go in it. Often I make some holes near the front margin
all the way through for awls and small turnscrews.
This tool block is made out of a rived piece
of red oak and has a single bracket.
I often decorate the fronts of blocks to make
them more visually appealing.
This photo shows the sliding dovetail slots
and the matching brackets.
This photo illustrates the brackets in the