Witherby Tools

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Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Tool Blocks for Storage 1 of 4  

It seems like I have lots of little specialty tools that I often reach for and in order to keep them organized and within easy reach, I keep them in tool blocks mounted on my shop wall.


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, then returned.

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 slots.

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Folding Rule



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