Ryoba (nokogiri) storage boxes

When you buy a (real) good saw - or just about any handmade item of quality - in Japan, it comes in a wooden box. The better of these boxes are made of kiri (paulownia - see left) due to its light weight and stability. Typical saw boxes contain the saw blade and either no handle or the handle is not installed. Makes sense, you can make a shorter box and saws in active use are not usually stored in their original boxes. But hey, I do not have a lot of space and I did not want these particular saws banging around in tight quarters. I am not the original owner and the boxes are long gone, but the saws deserve some respect.

My first effort was of old-growth redwood (right) from a former water tank. The box had to fit the 280mm ryoba saw with the handle installed so it ended up 72cm long x 13cm wide x 3cm high. All parts are about 6mm thick. The sides are glued to the top and bottom and are rabbeted so that the top fits over the bottom. The bottom is deeper than the lid. The corners are mitered, but I opted for half-laps on the kiri version I made later (above). 

Since I made the box so high I had to come up with a way to keep the saw in place so it would not flop around if the box got turned over. The head of the blade fits into a slotted block at one end of the bottom and the far end of the handle is held in place by a removable sliding dovetail "latch" of sorts. A block on the lid limits upward handle movement. Kind of dorky but it works OK. So would a shallower box... 

While the redwood box was resawn (with a ryoba) out of thicker stock, the kiri was already surface planed to about 7mm and I just flattened and planed it. I did not rabbet the sides on this one, but rather glued a thin frame to the inside of the lid. This frame has mitered corners but the box sides are half-lapped. Assembly was much easier than with the mitered corners of the redwood box and half laps are what I have seen on commercial saw boxes.

The boxes are important to minimize damage to the blade by moisture, impact, abrasion, etc. These blades are flexible but very hard and they are easily ruined by rust or carelessness. Be sure to use very dry, low-sap wood for tool storage like this. 

One note on the redwood's origin: If the wood comes from an old water tank, there is a real good chance that minerals will have accumulated in the wood as the water slowly soaked through it to evaporate. The dark stained section visible in the top picture of the redwood box is such an accumulation. It was very hard and rough on tools.