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Well another week came and went. A few great classes and an exciting new commission that will re-visit an old design.

And just like that it’s Friday.

I started to rough out some cherry for the commission yesterday and will fill you in on the details next week.

It’s for a gentleman in the USA and he wanted a portable toolchest- sound familiar?

I know I have a plan for a toolchest around here somewhere~; )

stay tuned…

As for today, I figured I’d share the next installment of ‘Definitely Not Furniture’.

This week is another wood and leather combination in the form of a 13-in. MacBook Pro tote.

An urban mix of anigre, mahogany and leather with brass hardware and panic snap closures.

I’ve seen a few examples of wooden laptop cases and all of them were made to carry the laptop with little room for anything else.

This one is fitted with a removable leather lined panel that while installed, creates an area for the laptop and a front area big enough for a good size book and the power cords and accessories you need to take with you. Chargers and external drives etc…

You can remove the mid-panel for a full width open area if you need to carry something larger.

On the backside of the case you’ll find a pocket for notebook and smart phone.

With that, here’s the 13-in. MacBook Pro tote.


Anigre, Mahogany and leather 13-in. MacBook Pro Case











Panic snap hardware











Rear notebook pocket detail











Interior view















  1. Posted by Brad Chittim on Jan 11th, 2013

    Now that is some serious kind of cool. Mixed media (wood, leather and metal) have always had an artistic appeal. And your client will have something that is oh, so unique. It’s a wardrobe accessory statement piece.

    And then it’s functional too.

    Well done Tom

  2. Posted by tom on Jan 11th, 2013

    Thanks for the comments Brad-

    and all with hand tools! (on my ‘handtool journey’ you know-;)

  3. Posted by Stephen P on Jan 12th, 2013

    Very nice piece. Really like it.

  4. Posted by Thomas J. Hamernik on Jan 12th, 2013

    That is very nice! And, like all your projects, inspiring to me!

  5. Posted by tom on Jan 12th, 2013

    Stephen and Thomas- thanks for the comments. Pieces like this are a fantastic way to use up the offcut pile. A secret New Year’s resolution to my shop….get rid of the offcuts and make something useful out of them! I’m trying…

  6. Posted by Stephen P on Jan 12th, 2013

    That’s a good idea for the cut offs. I’ve been making shop storage our of my left over plywood and scraps. Its not pretty but its functional.

  7. Posted by Thomas J. Hamernik on Jan 12th, 2013

    Can you give us any hints about the (wood) joinery, please? Simply the large tacks?

  8. Posted by tom on Jan 12th, 2013

    Thomas- absolutely!
    no secrets here…
    the solid bottom and sides are glued rabbet joints. the leather in some of the designs, wraps around the corners much like stringing or banding in wood applications. other times it may be used like veneer in a lamination with thin solid core substrates. it covers the joint so there’s forgiveness aesthetically, but it also reinforces the joinery. the leather is also glued ( hot hide glue used throughout ) and then the rivets, ring nails, furniture tacks, buttons, Chicago screws, etc…(hardware specific to the design) is attached to the bag or box.
    I now have over a dozen designs I’m working out with new ones almost daily.
    so much inspiration around the city for this application! Sourcing out materials always leads to new ideas, new neighborhoods, other artists, the list goes on.
    When it comes to this style of craft, the journey is truly the destination.

  9. Posted by Vic Hubbard on Feb 18th, 2013

    Very cool, Tom! My wife is getting an upholstery machine tomorrow. I’m looking forward to adding compatible materials to my palette. Very nice attache!

  10. Posted by tom on Feb 19th, 2013

    Thanks Vic! Post a bit once you get it set-up. I’d be interested in seeing it.
    all the best and thanks for the comments.

  11. Posted by Campbell on Sep 2nd, 2013

    Great stuff Tom; the boat builder in me is looking at those brass furniture tacks and going “Now what about 16g Copper Boat Nails and Roves” be an hat tip to your past. Keep it up mate, the work is brilliant, watching the Autodidact build has help me resolve an issue with a chair design that I’ve been working on.

  12. Posted by tom on Sep 2nd, 2013


    thanks for the comments. You hit the ( bronze ) nail on the head !
    keep in touch.

  13. Posted by jimmy t on Feb 17th, 2014

    I LOVE THIS. how can i order one please.

  14. Posted by tom on Feb 17th, 2014

    jimmy t-
    thanks for the interest.

    send me an email if you’re interested.
    they’re custom made to order.
    I’ll send details and prices via email.

  15. Posted by Kieran W on Apr 9th, 2014

    This is really great!

    I was wondering if you might be able to share where you sourced the hardware?

    Keep up the good work!

  16. Posted by Mars on Jun 14th, 2015

    Hi . It’s really amazing design .
    I would like to know where can i order it ?
    I want to own it .
    Thank you

  17. Posted by tom on Jun 15th, 2015

    Thanks for the interest. Watch the UW website in the coming months for ordering details.
    all the best~

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