How To Build Your Own Wooden Toolbox and 12-Pack Carrier

Photos by Kevin Kramer, The Growler

Skill level: Moderate

Total time: 3 hours over a few days


  • One 1” x 6” x 8’ oak board
  • Six 1¼” pocket screws
  • Kreg Pocket-Hole System
  • Wood glue
  • 6” length of ½” black gas pipe (1)
  • 4½” length of ½” black gas pipe (2)
  • ½” black gas pipe cap (2)
  • ½” black gas pipe connecter (2)
  • Stain (Varathane Provincial)
  • Finishing nails


  • Drill press
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Miter saw
  • ⅞” spade bit
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Clamps
  • Pocket screw system
  • Stain brush


1. Start by crosscutting three 18” long sections from the 8’ oak board for the bottom and sides. Next, cut two 11” long pieces from the oak board to be used for the ends of the toolbox.

2. Drill the holes in the end pieces for the handle. Measure 1” down the side of the top of each end piece and make a mark. At that mark, measure in 2¾” from the side to the middle of the board. This is the center of the hole. Use a drill press with a 7/8” wood-boring spade bit to drill the hole through the boards (be sure to put a piece of scrap wood under each end piece to keep the board from splitting).


Illustration by DWITT (Click to enlarge)

3. Taper the tops of the end boards. Make a mark 1½” in from each side along the top of the end piece. Next, from the top corners measure 4½” down each side and make a mark. Draw a line from this mark to the top mark. Using a miter saw, cut the angles into the end pieces, about a 22-degree angle.

4. Drill two pocket screw holes about 1” from each side of the bottom interior of each end piece. I used a Kreg K4 Pocket Hole System ($99) which works great, but you can also find other ways to fasten everything together.

5. Stain each face and edge of all the boards. I used a Varathane Provincial Stain, but any stain color or brand will do.

6. After the boards are dry, it is time for assembly. Start by fastening the end pieces to the 18” long bottom piece via the pocket screw holes you drilled. First, apply a bead of wood glue to the bottom edge of the end pieces, place on top of the bottom board, and clamp in place so the edges are flush. Screw in the pocket screws, and wipe away any excess wood glue with a moist cloth.

7. Once the ends are fixed to the bottom, screw together the pipe to form the handle. Start by screwing the caps on the ends of the 4½” pieces. Slide them through the handle holes in the ends toward the interior of the box, and screw them into the connectors. Finally, screw both connectors into the 6” piece to complete the pipe. Screw tight and make sure the end pieces form a 90-degree angle with the bottom piece.

8. Drill three pilot holes on each end of the side boards with a bit slightly smaller than the finishing nails. Place the toolbox assembly on its side. Apply a bead of wood glue to the edge of the end pieces and the bottom piece where the side boards will be secured. Place the 18” long side piece on top and clamp in place. Next, hammer in the nails to fix the side in place and clear away any extra glue. Repeat for the other side.

9. Turn upright and carefully place 12 cans or bottles of beer inside. Show up at a party and thoroughly impress friends and family with your mad DIY skills.


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