About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 81 years young.

Cabinets for storage of tools and supplies is very costly unless you think outside the box and re-purpose other things to fit your needs. I have lived on 15 acres in central Oklahoma, USA for over 40 years. Keeping that mowed requires a lot of equipment and storage for the tools and supplies I use. This chest of drawers was a US Army map drawer cabinet. I bought for $50.00 several years ago. Since it was too deep, I had to cut off 12 inches of depth (front to rear) to match the other benches I made. The drawers are all very shallow, but that's great for tools like pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, chisels & punches. I have 2 shelves on the bottom stand for cases containing staplers, O ring assortments, Hole saws, etc.

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I made this out of 1 X 6 lumber and filled it with 1 quart oil containers that I sawed 1/4" of one side off with a radial arm saw. If you do this, make sure they are THOROUGHLY clean and dry before sawing them. I write the name of the contents on the front of each......such as 1/4" SAE, 1/4" Fine, 16 P nails...... and so on. May not look good, but it's really nice and handy.

Hanging on the right side of the cabinet is a pan I made to dump the contents into while I sort out what I want. I then dump the pan back into the oil container. Having and using the pan is a must.


This is a wooden cabinet with doors the local school set out by the dumpster. I put temporary shelves in it and store my sockets, air impacts, air drills, high speed grinders, polishers, torque wrenches, etc. Having the doors helps keep everything clean.


This shipping container is 8 foot x 8 foot x 40 foot and cost $2000.00. 320 square feet @ $6.25 per sq foot. The going rate for constructing a building that size costs10x that. It is totally mouse proof and rain proof. No more sticking stuff up in the attic.

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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Yo dog, when it comes to storage, we're from the same school. Flat file cabs for tools, filing cabs, etc. I too will probably go for a container since it's so practical and lockable, but I wonder: How much did it cost to have it brought to your land?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks buzzclick. You asked: "How much did it cost to have it brought to your land?"

    The dealer charged nothing extra for delivering it. It was just part of the deal. The dealer's location was just about 8 miles away. He had a new trailer with a hydraulic system that set it on my location by hand-held remote control, just like changing channels on your TV.


    3 years ago

    Great stuff here. I love the $50 map drawer. I would love to find one of those someday. Looks just like the pro brand tool chests. I just built a plywood version for storing wood working tools.

    I also really like the reuses of oil quart bottles for parts bins. I did something similar with large laundry soap jugs. I buy drywall screws in 50 pound boxes cheap off eBay for all manner of projects but the cardboard they come in doesn't hold up well.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I saw your post earlier. Good idea. I use plastic Mayo gallon jar for all my AAA, AA, C, and D alkaline batteries in a refrigerator in garage. That's supposed to make them last longer. Shortening the depth of the map drawer unit was really a lot of work, but I have more time than cash, so it was worth the effort. I love the huge width of the drawers, and if something is missing, I know it immediately. I made most of the holders for the wrenches in the drawers that are open in the 2 photos out of ABS plastic, but also made a couple out of thin aluminum and pop riveted the pieces together.


    3 years ago

    Why would you write something like Step #3 on the internet, You don't know who will see it and what will happen...

    Especially the last sentence


    3 years ago

    Like your use of recyclables and the car, is that not the back end of an MGB stuffed in your workshop?? Thinking also to get a container, but bury it and then build slab over with steps down, and workshop space above and a bit of ventilation too

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    5fingers5thumbs: The floor of my container is plywood on some heavy steel floor joists. I don't know if they are all made like mine, but all he had were. The steel sides and top are heavy steel (probably 3/16") and they have vertical bends to give them strength. I doubt they would last long underground unless the floor was replaced with steel or concrete making it airtight. You would also need to coat the outside with something like tar or asphalt, I would think. Maybe bury it on a hillside and install French drain lines. See:

    Cheese Queen5fingers5thumbs

    Reply 3 years ago

    Shipping containers aren't suitable for burying unless you reinforce the sides heavily- and what's the point? Build a shelter out of cement block or poured cement and don't worry about the walls collapsing inward when hydraulic pressure from wet backfill exceeds the very low lateral strength of the container.