Project-Safe storage for my Sweetheart No. 45

As soon as I finished cleaning up, sharpening and testing my “new” 45 planes in One, I discovered what a pain it was to have no place for it. LJ

This looked awful:

P01-Stanley-No-45-Bench Storage

And I worried that all the parts, accessories and accoutrements could easily get misplaced or damaged. So clearly, a box was needed to house everything.

Box design
I wanted to approximate the box design that the early Sweetheart #45s used. So I settled on the graphics from the image of a Sweetheart #45 cardboard box that I found on eBay.

P17-Stanley-No-45-Sweetheart Box

The heavy plane and accessories called for sturdy material, in this case big-box-store pine ¾” thick for the top, bottom and sides. For joinery, I chose to mirror earlier-era Stanley boxes, and settled on 3/8” box joints. They came out nicely.

P05-Stanley-No-45-3-8ights-Box Joints

As to dimensions, I wanted the box to accommodate neatly housed accessories and the plane. And because I wanted a traveling plow/beading plane, it had to fit in the lower compartment of my Dutch tool chest. That led to interior dimensions of: 10 7/8” L x 7 7/8” W x 6 3/8” H and exterior dimensions of: 12 3/8” L x 9 ¼” W x 7 1/8” H. These numbers make for a snug, but organized, fit. If I had it to do over, I’d increase the dimensions to accommodate ¼” more interior length.

The build
I started with the accessory docking board by building a prototype. This allowed me to finalize slot dimensions as well as to practice routing grooves and coves without blowing the piece apart.

P06-Stanley-No-45-Accessory-Docking-Station P09-Stanley-No-45-Accessory-Docking-Station-Front View

A chamfer on the top edge of the docking platform better supports the seated plane.

P10-Stanley-No-45-Planed docked resting on chamfer

After using my Rockler jig to cut the joints, I routed a ¼” groove for the bottom and a 1/8” groove for the sliding top. I’m kicking myself for not using the 45 for this, but I cut the grooves instinctually out of habit before I realized what I’d done! After that, I rabbeted the bottom to fit the grooves and glued up the box. Finally, I rabbeted the sliding top’s three edges to fit in the 1/8” groove. Were I to do this over, I would use a ¼” tongue because 1/8” is just too fragile.

To finish the lid, I added a section of pine to serve as a handhold.

P07-Stanley-No-45-Front View

The next step was to confirm that everything fit correctly (accessories and plane) into the docking station, then screw it to the box interior from the bottom.

P11-Stanley-No-45-Docked plane and accessories

At this point, the assembled box was ready for some graphics.

P02-Stanley-No-45-Sliding Lid P03-Stanley-No-45-Three-Quarter-View

My choice of graphics favored coolness (to me) over accuracy. For the refinished cutter boxes, I downloaded graphics from a fellow Lumberjock.

Then I drafted the top-box decal in PowerPoint as well as the “One 45 Plane” graphic that goes underneath the “Stanley Tools” decal.

P13-Stanley-No-45-Box graphics-Top decal P15-Stanley-No-45-Box graphics-Side-No-45-decal

I couldn’t find a comparable font to draft my own “Stanley Tools” graphic so I cropped the one in the box image.

P14-Stanley-No-45-Box graphics-Side-Stanley-decal

Then I inserted all the graphics into a Word document, printed them out and tweaked the image sizes until they looked “about right.” These I printed on full-page mailing labels using my brother’s fancy, schmancy HP Laser color printer. Then, to protect the decals, I applied three coats of Mod Podge Gloss Clear Acrylic Sealer. Next I peeled off the backing and affixed each decal to the box. To fix them in place and further protect them, I applied two coats of poly over the decals and box exterior.

P04-Stanley-No-45-End-View P12-Stanley-No-45-Box graphics

At home in the Dutch chest
What a relief to find that my measurements were spot on and that the box fit neatly into the tool chest.

P18-Stanley-No-45-Sweetheart Box-In Dutch tool chest three-quarter view P19-Stanley-No-45-Sweetheart Box-In Dutch tool chest front view

And that box is infinitely cooler than the cardboard home that it replaces. This project completes the outfitting of the chest. It’s ready to travel afar for use on projects as yet unimagined.

© 2015, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.



About The Write Biz

By day, I'm a mild-mannered copywriter who harnesses frontal-lobe creativity (right brain) to help B2B marketers generate leads and sales. By night I pick up hand tools to create wooden masterpieces...and give my black lab Bella the "red dot" laser to chase after.
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3 Responses to Project-Safe storage for my Sweetheart No. 45

  1. I like the application of the graphics. That isn’t infringing on a copyright is it?

    • Probably. But because I’m not using the logo to make a profit from, and because I’m respectful of the logo, and because I’m simply using it in this one case to celebrate the Stanley tradition, I doubt I’ll be getting any letters from corporate attorney’s.

  2. paul6000000 says:

    Nice! I have a box for my Record 405 that’s about the same dimensions but you need to take the fence off and fit it in seperately (which feels like an unneccesary PITA).

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