Introduction: DIY Chest of Tools (Drawers)

About: I love coming up with cool ways of using wood! Furniture is my specialty. Getting ideas from all my fellow wood lovers out there. Wood is Good!

Have an old set of drawers? Need a tool chest? Well here's an easy way to turn an old set of drawers into your next tool chest! Minimal effort and is very inexpensive since most old sets of drawers can be found on the side of the road! Let's organize your workshop with some help from this! Enjoy!

Step 1: Prepare Chest of Drawers

Find a set of drawers/chest of drawers. Shouldn't be too difficult. I recommend something simple and somewhat sturdy so you have minimal work to make it strong enough for tools. A simple square shape is best!

  • Find Drawers
  • Measure where you want to put it
  • Measure the chest of drawers to make sure it will fit
  • Remove legs (this helps get it closer to the ground to fit under stuff and makes it a little more robust)
  • Make sure the bottom of drawers is nice and square
  • Square off bottom using circular saw

Step 2: Reinforce Drawers

This set of drawers will have a new lease on life but it will need to be nice and sturdy to hold your tools/accessories! My set of drawers was fairly easy to reinforce due to its solid wood construction. All I did was secure it with more screws throughout its frame. No need to add any wood if you think it's strong enough!

  • Predrill throughout the chest's frame
  • Use screws that will be long enough to tighten everything together
  • If you think it needs wood to reinforce then, by all means, do it!
  • Trim off excess wood/anything that isn't necessary to keep it streamlined and simple

Step 3: Reinforce Drawers

Your drawers are the most important part since they will be holding the brunt of the weight. You might need corner bracing, you might need a new piece of plywood in the bottom. I used a simple technique to split the weight of the drawer in two and really stiffen up the entire unit. Check it out.

  • Grab your drawers
  • Measure out the distance of the inside of the drawer from front to back
  • Cut scrap 2x2 or 2x4 to the measurement (scrap wood just needs to be thick enough to add some muscle)
  • Cut enough for all the drawers that need it
  • You can even add more than one divider for extra strength and organization!
  • Drill, glue, and screw in place
  • Screw from the front, back, and bottom
  • Repeat steps to all drawers that need it

Step 4: Paint Drawers

You don't need to paint them at all. Eventually, I want my shop to be nice and bright so I went with a white finish and then distressed it. Looks awesome.

  • Remove existing hardware from drawers
  • Spray paint white (or whatever you'd like to do to them)
  • Let dry
  • Distress with hand sander to your liking

Step 5: Make Pulls/Handles

These are rugged and cool looking drawer pulls. They are made entirely out of scrap wood. Find yourself an old pallet if you don't have any wood lying around.

  • Cut 12"x2" strips (It can be whatever length you want. This is the length of the pulls)
  • Cut 12"3.5" boards (Mine were made from pallet boards)
  • Center the boards on the strips so there's enough wood for you to grab on bottom or top
  • Drill, glue, and screw together
  • Sand and smoothen

Step 6: Mount Drawer Pulls

  • Center the pulls on your drawers
  • Drill/screw from the inside of drawer

Step 7: Upcycled Chest of Tools

  • Place the chest where you want it
  • Secure it to something to ensure it's not going to move
  • Put all your cool looking drawers back into it
  • Load it up with tools/gear
  • Enjoy!
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