Stanley Work Box Hack





Introduction: Stanley Work Box Hack

About: Alan Walker a.k.a. "The Toolman" has been creative and worked with his hands all of his life. He has been employed in a wide variety of industries including a museum, a major power tool manufacturer, a natio...

In the quest for the perfect tool box (I have a tool fetish), I needed a box to store my tools for an on-site job and had 2 criteria.
1. The box needed to be light enough to move myself and
2. Maximize the interior space to hold enough tools.

The big commercial boxes are secure enough but way too heavy. I liked the Stanley large roller box and even if it was plastic, knew it had potential. I studied it for a while and I planned to nest self contained trays that could be lifted out.

Step 1: Add 2x4's to the Top

This is important if you want to use a miter saw or cut some wood. It's a good sturdy platform to work from. I attached the 2 bys from inside the top lid with recessed crown bolts so nothing would stick through. Then I can screw a piece of plywood for a work top.

Step 2: 3 Levels of Storage - Bottom

Start with the bottom compartment. The photo doesn't show it very well but I used 3/4"x 8" pine to create a box. This area is for power tools and cords. The edge of the compartment holds the upper trays.

Step 3: Middle Tray

This tray holds tool belt, safety gear and other stuff. It's made from 3/4"x5" pine with 1/4" peg board for the bottom. I like using drywall screws for all of the fasteners.

Step 4: Top Tray

Here's the top tray. It holds all of the hand tools and is the heaviest. Since this post, I've devided it into 2 trays making it easier to remove. It's about 4" deep.

Step 5: Parts Box

Eevery good tool box has a place for small parts. I found this one at HD and it just fits this area. It holds line, drill bits, etc.

Step 6: Use the Built in Handle

Slid out the built in handle to rest the trays on when the box is open.

Step 7: All Opened Up

Here she is in all her glory. I used the slide out handle to hold the top tray and it doesn't tilt over at all. I have access to all the tools and I was able to get most of my tools in the box. I made some ramps for my pickup so I could roll her on.

All in all, I'm very happy but I'm sure I can futher this hack to include power outlets, sun shade, radio and refreshments. Let me know what you think.



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    18 Discussions

    Great instructable. I will take your build and run with it. It is so nice not to have to reinvent the wheel. Do you think it would make the trays too unstable if I put 8" legs on the bottom of the 2nd row boxes and omitted the 1st row box? What I will put in the bottom does not need a box of its own. It will be so nice not loading 3 or 4 individual tool boxes in my truck. Thanks!

    Late to the party, but I too,have this same box. Time to get sawing.

    Hey, here's a tip for later. I have those same blue and grey clamps but mine are in black and red. The pin that holds the ratcheting mechanism together will eventually break free from the plastic housing. Don't throw them away, cut the rubber from where the hole comes out, as it's already drilled and thread a bolt through to replace the pin using the plastic from the handle to reinforce the ratcheting mechanism. I've given two of mine a second life so far and will be ready for my other two when I inevitably clamp too hard and they break.

    1 reply

    You forgot to include the lounge chair! lol

    Looks sweet. I got a similar job box that I might do a hack to now that you've inspired me.

    yeah, I love that catalog and actually wanted to do a toolbox like that. Thanks for sharing.

    Wow, I've seen this somewhere before and lost track of it. Thanks for sharing. Another new project?

    I thought of the same thing. I believe "Make" did an article about it once before.

    I've got an army surplus crate that used to hold a portable arc welder kit. This is exactly what I should do with it. Right now, it's holding my circular saw, belt sander, orbital sander and dremel kit (with plenty of room to spare). Now I just need to find some heavy duty casters (the box already weighs a ton w/o the tools in it).

    1 reply

    how much does it weigh? one big reason i've never gone with a rolling tool box is that the wheels seem to fail on non-road case style, and those are not able to go up stairs.

    1 reply

    Well, as expected, it's pretty heavy, I'd say well over 100lbs. The wheels that came on in are pretty good and haven't failed yet but I'm only moving it from the shop to the truck and around the site a little. If they do fail, I'll replace them with balloon tires of some sort. The box itself is a tank which is why I chose it in the first place. God luck.

    This is very nice. I've been contemplating a similar setup for my tools at home since they're now dispersed across multiple toolboxes and I can never find anything. Thanks for the post, a lot of good ideas in this one!

    1 reply

    That's what I was doing. Too many boxes to manage. Good luck. Let me know how it works out. Vote for my instuctable.