Introduction: Mobile Toolbox and Work Station
As most of the guys out there, we don't have the luxury of a stationary and dedicated work bench in the garage shop, but we do have to use quite a few tools when we are in a project, thus, organizing tools (and be able to find them as you needed) is a top priority task, it's equally important as the project itself.
Mobility is also a significant factor when it comes to tool set up. I would try everything I can to achieve "Multi-functional". Having this mobile toolbox / work station concept for a quite while, and I've been making a few pieces of it every now and then. Finally I got sometime to complete the prototype.
This toolbox can store almost all the hand tools and most of the power tools that I need if I have to go somewhere to work on a project, or just pull it out of the garage in a nice sunny day to work outside on the driveway. Meanwhile, it also could be set up as a multi-functional work station, and the pictures are showing some of the application I discovered so far.
Step 1: Toolbox Cart
I built this tool cart following the same concept of building the compressor cart, with a little modification.
The wheels are off set to the back about 6", because I am planning on attach another work surface to the back of the cart to increase the capability. The offset will provide more support.
Laying out the details on a piece of 2x12 about 38” long as in the pictures, and cut straight section on a table saw, and finish off the miter cut with jig saw. I draw some curve at the transition area using a circular object to make it better looking. Two boards should be somewhat identical.
Drill through holes at the same time to ensure they are at the same level. I am using 7” wheel, so the holes are 2” from the bottom edge and 2” from back edge, and that will leave 1.5” ground clearance when it assembled, and it's a very convenience number, because during the actual assembly, use a piece of 2x4 under the support will set the right height for the assembly. I also put a 2” radius circular around the corner.
Step 2: Toolboxes
Bottom box is 18”(W)x21”(L)x10”(H), ¾” plywood, glue and screw together. Not anything special.
Lid hinged at the back side, and locked in the front. I used the window lock that is available in any home center for $1, it’s a leftover from some project.
Locking casters are 125lb rating. Mount the casters first, then clamp two vertical supports plumb and square to the bottom box, drill two through holes on each side, and bolt them together with ¼”-20 hex bolts. The cart is now completed.
Step 3: Top Box
I have three hardware organizers from Harbor Freights that are full of screws, bolts and nuts, so I dimension the top box for these three organizers, 17.5”x13.5”x10.5”. I cut two groves on the table saw at side panels and back panel for ¼” divider boards. Use glue and air staples to assemble. Sand the edge of the dividers before insert into the box, that will help them slide in easier.
I attached two 1x2 to the side of the box for easy handling, it’s fairly heavy when the organizers are loaded.
Step 4: Adjustable Shelf
I have a bunch of wire shelves and brackets that I took down from my closet project. I used some for this adjustable shelf.
Cut two mounting rails to length, make sure to grind out burr and sand the edge smooth. Mount them on the cart, and cut the shelf to the size of your specification, mine is 20” wide.
Step 5: Work Station and After Thoughts
I bolted all my smaller tools onto a piece of plywood, and clamp it on the shelf at the right height.
Make sure the plywood is the right size so that it has enough clamping surface at both end and not oversized to have interference when move the shelf up and down.
Here I have to make a special note for the SAFETY. I am a fairly experienced DIYer, and some of the tool set up I created, such as up-side-down mounted circular saw and jig saw are for the situation where I am away from my shop, they are NOT SAFE. Even for me, I have to pay special attention as I use them. The circular saw kick back could be deadly if you don’t clamp it down solidly or if the fence is not parallel to the blade. These are my alternative jig when there’s no available table saw or band saw at jobsite. When I am at home, I always use table saw for ripping and band saw to cut curve.
I am happy with this toolbox, but continuously designing a better way to expend the capability of this set up. I am sure it will replace my compressor cart worktable at some point.
I would love to see your version of the mobile toolbox.