Making More Room in Your Toolbox




***NOTE*** If there are spare image notes everywhere I will fix it when Instructables gets the glitch fixed : )

Many toolboxes use blow-molded plastic, which leaves lots of hollow nooks and crannies.  If you take care to not completely remove the structure of the box, you can add significant amounts of space and storage to your toolbox.

In my case, I wanted to be able to carry more tools that go with my cordless tool kit.  The toolbox that I started with is a cordless tool kit which originally meant to house 5 tools, two batteries and a charger.  My charger I almost never take with me (or didn't when I had four batteries), so that alone frees up quite a bit of space for extra goodies.

Step 1: Finding Space

The idea for adding space for the tool in question came about by accident, and during the course of using my tools and then having to pack them up and move them.  I happened to set down the tool on the toolbox in a place shaped like the tool, and I looked at how much space it appeared to have in the hollow cavity.  After I put the tool against the box and checked it in a few directions I felt sure enough that I would have room that I decided to go ahead and cut into the toolbox.

Again, you have to be careful and make a judgement call on how much material you can remove and not affect the structure of the box, as well as have unintended consequences as far as removing tool support profiles in the molding portions.  In this case, there were two tools in the area I wanted to remove, so I took a close look at how those tools would be supported and held in place if I cut out the area large enough to get a new tool in place.  The main concern in my toolbox was the reciprocating saw, but it was supported on several surfaces so removing what I needed to would not affect the support.


Step 2: Making the Cut

Now it is time to make the cut.  In my case I used a utility knife so that I could more easily take my time with it, and cut out less material than with another type of tool.  The spiral saw I was putting in the toolbox would have worked for most of my cutting.

If you want to keep the material that you want to cut out as a lid, you need to be more careful what shape you cut out.  I chose to start a bit smaller than I thought I would need to cut out, and then enlarge as necessary, even if it meant I didn’t get to reuse the removed piece.  It turns out I was close enough that I could use it, with a couple of gaps from some extra trimming.  One note of caution here: the blow molded material was not of a uniform thickness, and so the knife went very easily through some parts and not through others.  Be particularly careful of that as you may think you have control of your knife or tool and all of a sudden it moves through the material with much greater ease than it just had.

Now you should be ready to test the fit, and make adjustments as necessary. 

Step 3: Final Layout

So, now I have added an impact driver, a spiral saw, and 2 extra batteries and a spade bit set into the original case.  I plan to make storage boxes to fit some of the other empty spaces to add room for bits, blades, accessories, etc. since there are sorts of spaces to fill.  Of course, adding too much weight may make this already bulky box too difficult to make it portable any more...



    • Epilog X Contest

      Epilog X Contest
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Organization Contest

      Organization Contest

    11 Discussions

    I've done very simular with a plastic socket sett case I found on the side of the road. It was empty and I cut out the inner protion of the case on both sides. It then had plenty of room for the ICE (in case of emergency) tools that I keep in the car from getting scattered all over the trunk. Nice ible and keep thinking outside the box!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Actually, it looks like he was thinking "inside" the box. Sorry, I couldn't resist.. :)

    For me, I would simply buy a new one to store the rest of the balance tools. However, you are truly an inspiration to utilize what I already have and innovate to create much more space within the box itself. It gets you all creative and helps you to save some money too along the way. Great thinking there pal!

    1 reply

    Thank you. Another benefit is simply being able to put more tools in the trunk in the same space as the big box, which of course means you can maybe fit even more tool boxes : )


    4 years ago on Introduction

    dam it man, you are a guy who knows how to use tools. Make your perfect tool carrying case out of wood yourself to carry all your tools. he!he!he! nice work.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Well, I at least know how to collect them, so now I have to find a way to make room for them all : )

    It is convenient to be able to carry more of them in the space you already have for sure, though. If I was more productive, I would make bins that fit in other nooks and crannies of the box. The next step would have to be adding wheels since the box would be getting ridiculously heavy!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    A thought occurs to me. the blow molded cases are thermo plastic. I wonder how it would work to soften the plastic with a heat gun and re shape it instead of cutting sections out?

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That would work will for smaller spaces, but the main aim of this particular part of the project I was putting in a new tool. I'm not sure that it would have left much material intact by the time it would have accommodated the tool. That should work really well for bit storage and such, though. I'm thinking of making some fiberglass or other sort of bins custom fit for the box next.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    Congratulations! This is a good idea that everybody can fit into his own toolbox


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Clever re-work, well done. I have never put much thought into getting more into the box, but you inspire me, thanks!