Backpack & Satchel

A fun combination of functional design and lightweight construction, these carry-alls let you take your woodworking anywhere.

Like me, you may think that a wood backpack is an odd choice for a project — at first. Clunky, heavy, uncomfortable. But an examination of the details of this backpack (and the companion satchel) reveal a clever exploration of the wonder of woodworking design and thoughtful construction. There was a time when a lot of the functional objects that surround us were made from wood, from utensils to furniture to shipping crates. The backpack and satchel call to mind the travel trunks, valises, and campaign furniture of the 19th century. But this isn’t a strict steamship reproduction. Those pieces have an over-the-top grandeur. The look here is updated — clean, crisp, and better suited for bikes and cars. The shared DNA is that the construction has to be both light and rugged. For the material, we used straight grained walnut. It’s a mid-weight hardwood that is plenty strong. The pieces are assembled with box joints. This adds a graphic visual element to go along with large glue surfaces. In keeping with the pared-down look, the hinge hardware for the lid is minimal. Purchased shoulder straps and stretch cord can be added to suit your style. With just a little work, you’ll soon be ready to head out with a unique piece that’s sure to draw attention.

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What You Get:

  • 8 pages of step-by-step instructions
  • 42 full-color photos, illustrations, and exploded views
  • Materials List & Project Supplies Sources

Product Recommendations

We don't have any links to project supplies and hardware for this particular project yet, but here are some other products that might be of interest to you. (We may receive commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.)

Titebond Molding Glue

Tung Oil Varnish

1/8" Roundover Bit

Brad Point Bits