The drill handled junk style one board tool box build

A drill handled toolbox from pallet wood, filled with lilacs via

When Julie introduced the idea of all of us trying to build a tool box, my first thought was, “But I like old authentic stuff… and I can make most anything work that I find, so why build one?”

Well, Miss Julie made me put my thinking cap on. I’ve never built one before, but my criteria quickly became all nit picky like and soon realized I needed to build my own after all.

I wanted it a certain size.
I wanted it to look old, authentic and in my trademarked woodsy preference.
I wanted it original in some way.
I wanted it to be easy to build. (read: CHEAT)

Could I do it? Well by golly, I was gonna give it my best shot!

How I built a drill handled toolbox… out of 1 board The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

Front, back and bottom

1 2 3 – I measured out how long I wanted my toolbox and cut the first piece. I then used that piece as a guide for the other two. These pieces would become the front, back and bottom.

4 – I dry fit it to get a visual. LOVED the wood patina and nail holes. ๐Ÿ™‚

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via


Once I decided how tall I desired the sides to rise, I cut a board twice that long so I could make both sides at once.

5 – The board was clamped to two sawhorses for stability while cutting with a jigsaw. I drew one side, then cut it. (with a dull blade… use a sharp one!)

6 – I used the cut piece to transfer the design to the other side.

7 – The old board got a good sanding.

8 – The middle of the board was measured out.

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

9 – The board was cut in the middle, creating the two sides.

10 – Everything got another good sanding, especially the edges and ends, but care was given to not overdo it as I wanted to maintain the squareness of the edges.

11 – I dry fit to ensure it was working. It was! So hmmm… what’s that old tyme drill for anyway? You shall soon see. ๐Ÿ™‚

12 – I used a spade bit in the cordless drill to drill the holes in the sides for the handle.

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

13 – After one hole was drilled, I used it as a template for the next hole position.

14 and 15 – I didn’t drill right through this time. Yet.

16 – I re clamped the board back onto the saw horse and jigsawed two small cuts leading up to the intended hole.

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

17 and 18 – I then finished drilling the hole. You see, I needed a slot for…

19 – the drill handle of course! The blade end of the (VERY DULL) drill slips into one hole, and the handle slips into the slot of the other.

20 – I predrilled and nailed all of the pieces together….

And called it done. ๐Ÿ™‚

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

 I loved it but it needed a small tweak….

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

 So I added an authentic cow tag from my parent’s farm onto the box. Perfect!

It now tells a story. My dad’s back shed was all about rusty tools. This little tool box most certainly brings back farm life memories.

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

And with an authentic keepsake from that very place. ๐Ÿ™‚


While I loved it as is, I really needed the toolbox for a different purpose.

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

 So it became a kitchen essential.

The drill handled junk style one board pallet wood tool box build via

 It’s the perfect little telephone companion! 

It holds just what I need with junk style, looks pretty authentic, is indeed original with that handle, and I now can proudly say I built a tool box! Thanks Julie!

Did you miss the toolbox series?

Part 1 – inspiration

Part 2 – how to build one

A mini toolbox to entice you was HERE

Are old boards safe to use? Read HERE on how to work safely with pallet wood.

The one board toolbox build. Way easy.
What’s stopping you now? ๐Ÿ™‚




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Categories: How To Build, Reclaimed wood projects, Spring, Tool boxes
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  1. I am absolutely out-of-my-mind CRAZY about this! It is wonderful from one end to the other, but the handle is truly inspired. LOVE it! You’ve gained yet another among your thousands of followers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. oh! I love this!! great handle. I bought yet another great tool tray….but not this cool. Still haven’t made one yet..kind of running out of room for them. great great job!

  3. That is so over the top!!! I love the drill handle! Humm…I have one of those! That is just adorable…love it next to the phone! What am I saying…I’d love it anywhere!

  4. You AMAZE me, Donna… absolutely AMAZE me!! You have so much talent and creativity, girl!!! That handle and “lady” are the PERFECT touch and your displays gorgeous… love the lilacs!
    Have a wonderful week, my friend!
    ~ Jo ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love the junky style of your tool box! How cute is that? I want to make one for the toilet paper and other things on the back of the toilet. I definitely will be referring to your awesome tutorial! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. You surprised me with the handle! Just when I thought I knew where you were going with it you switched it up one me. Thanks for the smile on my face.

  7. OMG – I have a drill just like that!! It was my dad’s. Love your ideas, don’t know if I can manage to create something that looks as good – but I’m sure gonna try!!

  8. Love it, Love it, Love it! Ok, was this a challenge? I will take out my jigsaw (yes I have one) and see what I can do… You made it look fairly easy… (kind of)
    My post for Friday might still be the store bought one but now you’ve got me wanting to make a real one on my own….

  9. Susan, I think I’m going to CRY. That’s exactly what Julie and I wish to instill. Try something new! It’ll expand the way you think in ways like you’ve never even dreamed of.



  10. Love the handle but would probably impale myself on a regular basis ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it (for your house) though! LOL! Working on decorating my second one I made based on your inspiration right now.

  11. I am so in love with the tool box and the handle is to die for. Such orginiality. And guess what? Lady is my nickname from my hubby. Never hardly ever unless something is wrong or he introduces me to someone does he call me by my name. Will definitely have to show him this post. Maybe he will make me one,,,,hint hint. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow! How do you think these things up? Great job, now I have to go look around for a piece of wood. I love the label, one of the cows, right? Ann

  13. I just have to tell you, that I am thinking I might try and make one of these…and I’ve NEVER made anything out of wood before! I love it.

  14. Donna thank you so much for the idea. Yup I said to myself, self what is she going to do
    with that brace & bit. Then I saw where you put it and low and behold you solved my problem. I have my daddy’s brace & bit and I have always wanted to display it somehow other than laying on the hearth. I will make me a tool box out of some of the lumber from daddy’s shop. He’s passed away 22yr ago. Thank you so much!!!!!
    By the way where are those sawhorses in that post you did a while back?

  15. Donna – you are AMAZING! I love that power tools rock your world AND you know how to use them! lol! That sweet cow tag made that toolbox soooo special and unique! LUV!!!!!!! โ™ฅ

    xoxo laurie

  16. That is the coolest thing I have seen made by hand in a long time. How fun is that to see that lovely piece you made every time you go near your phone? I bet that gives you a major happy every time you see it. Good job!

  17. Oh wow! I LOVE this project! It looks amazing, I really really love the drill handle! You are amazing! The toolbox has such an authentic vintage look! X

  18. That is so cute!! Love your site. I visit every morning during my coffee time.
    Can I ask how you keep the knob side in the slot?

  19. Okay, so now I MUST have a toolbox! And I am looking at all this “junk” and trying to envision it as a handle. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. You can’t see me so you’re just going have to take my word for it…I’m giving you a standing ovation! If I could do that “really” loud “fingers in the mouth” whistle I would be doing that too!

    That just rocks my socks off!!!!! Love it!

  21. Donna, I absolutely love this project! I love that it can be made with one board, and it looks fairly simple to make. I just made a factory cart-style coffee table out of reclaimed cedar fence boards, and I had a few left over. I just might give this a try!

  22. So stinkin’ cute I can’t stand it! That HANDLE!! Perfect re-use of a cool old tool and even better that it, along with the sign, has significance to you. ADORABLE, as always. {claps wildly}

  23. Your tool boxes are one of my favorite projects and tutorials you have made. I love the branch handle on the picket one so much. You did make it look so easy. I really think I need to buy a jigsaw. I can think of lots of things I could do with one and they seem fairly easy to use. Thanks for being an inspiration to everyone.

  24. I love it I love it I love it. How did you secure the handle end of the drill into the slot that you cut? This project and the wooden ironing board light are my 2 fav’s. from beautiful Upstate South Carolina

  25. Truly inspired! I am going to immediately go ask hubs if he has an old drill like that from his dad and convince him it should be on display (on my desk) rather than hidden in the barn.

    One question though…maybe I’m having a blonde day, but how do you get the handle to stay in the slot end? Did I miss something?

  26. What a great tutorial and how creative is that handle? It is so inspiring to see what others come up with that never would have occurred to me. Sharing is a GREAT thing!!

  27. I’ve got the drill and ready to build. One question… how does the handle stay in when you pick it up if it is just set into that slot you made connected to the hole? I do want it as a usable toolbox for my most frequently used smaller tools (hammer screwdrivers and duct tape of course)?

  28. Hey Katherine, I don’t use the handle to carry it around so I didn’t worry about enclosing the gap. Not sure what I’d suggest! In a perfect world, maybe you could somehow remove the knob from the drill to insert it into a hole? Or create some kind of tab for above the cut so the handle would stay in place.

    Sorry I can’t email you direct, you come up as a noreply with no email attached. I hope you come back and see this post!

    • I got your email and funny that the address came up that way as I had a hard time trying to subscribe to your blog. Anyway I got it figured out and that is the way I am going to do it with a premade metal bracket about 3″ long screwed on both sides of the slot. Should do the trick just fine. Love Your site here and am now following you on Pinterest where I originally seen this box. Thanks for taking the time for me and I can see a long relationship with me and all the goodies you have that I want to replicate (or steal). from a new humble groupie… Kat!

  29. Katherine, I’m so glad you subscribed to the comments! I can’t track an email back to you at all, even through your google+ account. I get notifications through my email when one comments so that’s the only way I can tell you made a comment.

    If you go back into your google account, just add an email contact. I mean, if you wish. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can even open your G+ account so others can communicate with you that way too.

    or reply here so I can reply to you:

    Thanks for your kudos! I’m honoured to be one to follow!

    • Hello Donna,
      I love your site and your beautiful original designs you come up with. I really love the drill handle you have put on your tool box. My Dad passed away just over a year ago and while going through his shop I found several of this old drills he had collected and wanting to keep a few I now know what I can do with them and be able to enjoy them! Thank you so much for this wonderful idea, I am going to put a handle on anything I can find that needs one : )
      Keep the wonderful ideas coming, Thank you so much Rhonda

  30. This project is a few years old, I know. To answer some of the questions that some of the other people asked– you can take the round handle off of the drill and drill a hole for that end, just like the other end–no slot needed. Just be careful when taking the handle off because there are a few pieces inside the handle. Try to make the hole pretty tight or the handle will turn in the hole. I made mine really tight and I still had to put a few drops of glue around the interior of the hole to keep the drill handle in the correct position. I love my box and thanks for the idea!