Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Tool Box Transformation

 I was thinking about what the next phase of my work toolbox might involve and that got me thinking about where it started.
 The following two pics are of "the train" as it was called by coworkers. The two stacks are each 42" wide along with a 16" locker making it 100" long total. These are 18" deep series one boxes and as you already know the hutch with roll up door is something I built myself. Including an electronic locking mechanism solved the problem of having to carry keys for unlocking the treasures within. The second pic shows the computer drawer I also made.

 The size of the box was borderline and what I really wanted was deeper drawers. When coworkers offered to purchase the individual boxes of the train, I decided it was time to upgrade to a 72" roll cab.

 I didn't sell the hutch and that was quickly set on top of the 72. At this point I was worse off from a cubic inch standpoint than before the new box purchase. Not a problem, I had a plan. When the 72 incher went on sale a week or two after my purchase of it, I went in to Harbor Freight with my receipt and the amount they refunded me was the same price as the 26" top chest. 

 Of course I needed a locker. Yes I sold one off the train but that one was not the same 22" depth as these series two boxes.

 I didn't like the way the tops of the boxes lined up in the above pic so put a lift kit on the 26 in the form of a slide out work surface. BTW, that slide out surface is working out great and I use it every day.

 I converted the deep drawer of the 72 into a "power drawer"in an effort to keep from cluttering up the hutch with more wires and chargers. It too is working out great.

 I wanted to incorporate a mini fridge into the new rig and decided bolting it on top of the locker would make me happy. 

 It didn't make me happy. At the time of the fridge addition I thought it just wouldn't matter if it looked a bit unsymmetrical but it really looked like ass sitting up there. I had some other storage issues including clothing taking up a big drawer and a printer in the hutch that was taking up valuable space. The obvious answer to me was an upper cabinet. This was a really fun build for me and in this pic its still not complete.

 Reaching all the way to the top of the upper cabinet was a challenge so I added a permanent step in the form of a truck running board. At first glance it looks a bit odd or out of place but this step is wonderful. Because I use this "work center" kinda like an office, I sit in front of the slide out table, put my feet on the running board and work on the computer. It works well for me. Oh, because I know some are thinking it, that running board will hold two grown ass men without issue.

 A fun detail was making this coat rack from some old Craftsman nut drivers.

 The five pieces stand 88" high and are the same length. I obviously have much more storage area than I did with "the train" even though I have a 12" shorter foot print. That 100" length fit ok in this space so I made a plan to stretch this box that extra foot, which ended up being 20".

 At first my plan was to use this locker as a side locker to the 72" box. While working on the design I came up with the idea to add a slide out panel along side this locker. The "gearhead on a budget" inside me really wanted to make this work but eventually I realized that what I really wanted were multiple panels and no locker at all. Enter the triple rack.

 The triple rack is 3 two sided panels and one solo panel on the back of a pocket door. The hutch was fun to build and challenged me with its roll up door and electronic lock. The upper cabinet was pretty straight forward and went fast. This side locker with pull out panels and pocket door wasn't difficult to build but required a lot of planning. By far it was more involved with all its slides, wood working, and that pocket door. The payoff is getting rid of layers of stacked tools in the main box and also having a place to hang some odd shaped tools. Its nice to secure tools that would normally hang on a wall for everyone to "borrow".

 Whats next? This tool box will not get any longer. There is space on top of the triple rack for another project but there isn't a plan in place for it yet. I do have a bunch of micro project improvements I still want to make and honestly I never finished the upper cabinet. Stay tuned for updates.



  1. VERY impressive Scott!! I've been around a lot of boxes in a lot of shops and never seen anything like yours. The pinnacle of tool (and most all other!!) storage...well done.

  2. Thank you. Its been working out quite well for me.