Introduction: Radio Base Station Box From Old Discarded Tool Cases

About: See some of my work here and as always accepting orders for custom design and fabrication as featured on Discovery Channel, Wired Magazine, Gizmodo, Engadget, Geekologie, PCWorld, CNet and many more - Pinteres…

This is a very simple Instructable.  It doesn't have the same drama that my previous instructables have, but it makes up for it in simplicity.  Using the KISS rule, keep it simple stupid.  This mod merely consists of taking an old drill case for a now non-existent drill and reusing to act as a case for an unmanned radio.  Now this mod does sound specific, but it can be applied to all sorts of things.  Garden supplies on the back of shed, quick grab box for hand tools, even mount it on the back of a pickup.  Most preformed tool boxes have snap-locks of some kind with the added feature of being able to install a padlock.  Use your imagination, this is a great way to reuse what alot of people would throw out, and in our case potentially save a lot of time, money an grief.  Not to mention, one less thing chucked in the land fill.

This started as a discussion at work that was nearly blown out of proportion.  I as a level 3 first aid attendant am occasionally taken away from our base station on a medical call.  One of my other duties is to man the gate connected to our first aid station.  It was decided to put a radio outside the gate, which is locked in my absence.  Now who is going to order the radio station?  This is where the chaos began, meetings were planned, committees were rounded up, studies ordered.  Typical corporate response to a simple problem.

I raised my hand, and said leave it to me, we all ready have everything we need.  20 minutes later it was being used, not minutes after being hung on the gate.  read on for supplies, tools needed and a few simple steps.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

  • Drill & drill bit sized to allow a cable tie to slip through it easily
  • Sharp box cutter

  • Old plastic power tool box, mine was for a Makita drill
  • 4-5 cable ties
  • clamping type paper clip
  • A radio of course

Step 2: A Little Planning, a Little Cutting...

Open your donated plastic power tool box.
  1. Lay down inside what you want secured inside, my case a radio and hand transmitter.
  2. Trace out where you need to make cuts for clearance and a good fit
  3. Get out your box cutter, and carefully cut away the inside molded tray.  Try not to cut through both layers.
  4. In my case I also drilled a hole for the top of the antennae to go through.  This helps keep the radio in place, yet also allow simple removal to change the battery.
  5. I also drilled a couple holes near the upper arc of the radio cable, Later i will attach the paper clamp here with cable ties to it from dangling down and interfering with the door shutting.
  6. Test fit your item, and your almost done!

Step 3: Mounting

As long as everything went well in the previous step, prepare to mount.
  1. I drilled 4 sets of 2 hole roughly in each corner.
  2. Feed 1 cable tie through the holes drilled for the radio cable.  Slide on a paper clamp and secure the cable tie nice n' tight!
  3. I then fed cable ties through the holes and around the chain link fence I wanted it attached to.
  4. Tighten up the ties, and trim off the offending ends
  5. If this was going on a wood structure, skip the cable ties and just screw straight through the plastic into the wood.  Usually with the type of plastic the case are made out of, you don't even have to pre-drill.

Step 4: Add a Label, If You Like

We used industrial grade adhesive vinyl and a sharpie, this went well with the keep it simple stupid method behind this build.  Not to mention we have tons of this stuff lying around.  But you cut easily engrave it, burn it in with a soldering iron, draw with an indelible marker right on it, or spray paint.  Though if you choose the latter, may I recommend an automotive product.  Vinyl dye spray paint, its great on this type of plastic as it actually penetrates the plastic, as opposed to most spray paints which rest on the surface, asking to be scratched off!

Well that's it, simple, quick and effective.

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