Tool Drive and Tool Box Workshop

As just about everyone knows there are a lot of families leaving Syria and coming to Toronto. Recently we reached out to Lakeshore Syrian Connection, a local group who will be helping a family come to the New Toronto community with an idea about how we could help out. One of the things that could make coming to a new city a bit easier is having some hand tools. Buying new tools can be expensive, but many people have some tools lying around that they might be able to easily pass on to hands that need them.

So, we’re going to run a tool drive and see if we can gather enough tools to gift newcomer refugee families with a small kit to help fix little things around the house.

Chances are, most families coming to Toronto will be settling in apartments or shared living spaces, so we aren’t looking for large items like table saws, lathes, or drill presses – despite those being very exciting tools to have donated.

Maybe you have some extra tools lying around the house – or have a relative with too many to use. Of course, new tools are also welcome if you want to bring those in as well.

We are partnering with the 1st Lakeshore Scouts to get things underway. The Scout group will be running their annual Dirt Drive to fundraise and it’s a chance for some symbiotic community giving-back.

We are looking for the following new, gently used, or in good working order tools, for example:

  • Hammer
  • Hand saw
  • Screw drivers
  • Level
  • Square
  • Pliers
  • Snips
  • Hand drill
  • Drill bits
  • Tape measures
  • Clamps

We are also going to be building some simple tool boxes to hold the tool donation and will be running a make-a-toolbox workshop: you, too, can make your very own toolbox!

We’ll have a number of pre-cut templates that can be bought on-site (for a small fee) and assembled with tools we’ll have there. The toolboxes can be made in an hour or two depending on how much you will be able to do on your own. Of course, we’ll be around and able to lend a hand or give some advice.

Here’s a sample toolbox that we whipped together one Sunday afternoon. This is the same model we’ll be using for the make-your-own project.

A toolbox that you can make too!

We haven’t finalized all the details yet, but will be coming in the next few weeks; check back here for updates.

Make: Simple Wooden Toolbox

Looking around the shop we saw just too much obtanium for the available space. So, in order to clear out a bit of room and also to kick-start a new project, we made a little wooden toolbox. 


re-using wood to make a toolbox
Obtanium becomes Usefulonium
This model is very straight-forward using 1/2″ sides and bottom, with 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ pine rails. The bottom and sides are flush against the sides. This allows the fastener screws to also act as strength reinforcements for the bottom. This does run the risk of splitting the 1/2″ bottom if the pilot holes aren’t carefully aligned, but there should still be enough material to work with.


clamping up square corners
Clamps are Awesome!
It’s possible to add another rail on top of the 3 and a half inch height in this one, but this model does make it easier to put tools in and pull them out without knocking against them.

finished toolbox
Handy Dandy Toolbox Made From Obtanium