I wanted to create toolbox that was strong, easy to build, cheap to produce and also had some style. But more than that, I wanted to use recycled materials and for the design to be different enough in a simple and functional way.
I feel like I succeeded.
There are quite a few tool boxes/totes which look similar to mine, but none that have the same versatility. Because of the two extended, parallel handles, I can easily clamp other items/cases to the toolbox--without it tipping to one side--and hold much more in one hand. The metal handles and a vice-grip pliers can also be used in a number of different ways.
The parallel handles also enable tools to be hung between the gap in creates, which allows it to hold more tools with easier access.
The two top cross-braces are spaced far away enough from the handles so a 2x4 or even a 4x4 can be rested on top and used to cut items if no other flat surface is available. The braces are skinny enough to be used for clamping. And if repeated clamping and cutting damage or dent the braces, they're the only pieces which use screws to hold in place and are easily replaceable if needed.
Most everything (except the previously mentioned four screws and polyurethane) was made using salvaged materials, making this project environmentally friendly and very cheap.
It's strong and probably took me two hours to build, over the course of two days.
Step 1: Tool and Materials
Although I used a bunch of different tools, this toolbox could be made using only a jig saw and drill.
The material list is adaptable as well. I used 3/4'' plywood scraps because it fulfilled my design needs and that's what was available at the time. 1x6 pallet planks were my original wood of choice when I first envisioned this project.
The handle was made out of old, rusty rebar. I thought about using electrical conduit, but I liked the strong thinness and industrial/construction look of the rebar too much to change. The fact that the rebar was laying in the yard for the last ten years and was never going to be used was an added bonus. Wooden dowels, PVC piping or even threaded rods could be used as suitable alternatives.
Power tools I used:
-metal cutting disc
-thin bit for pilot holes
-paddle bit for handle holes
Materials I used:
Goggles (for cutting)
Work gloves (for rebar work)