A proper craftsman needs a proper tool chest and what would make a better tool chest than something that was designed to withstand anything and everything - an ammo box!
A few years ago I made myself a nifty little tool bag from leather that proved itself useful on many occasions. Though it had one flaw - it was too small. As my army of weapons grew larger and larger it simply could not hold all the tools I needed. Thus an idea emerged to find me another tool carrying device. As buying mass produced stuff rarely is an option for me I wanted to come up with something that is unique, very sturdy, easily transportable and has the possibility to organize tools.
The opportunity arose when I got my hands on this large British Army ammo box. Follow me along as I show you how I turned it into easily transportable, highly organizable tool chest.
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Step 1: Stuff I Used
I do realize that you most likely can´t find this exact ammo box that I used but do not let it get you down! After all, I just attached wheels to a metal box and added a wooden organization drawer. This concept could be adapted to a variety of boxes meant for holding tools or whatever you can imagine.
But If you are interested in this exact box, then here are a few listings I found:
Other materials include
- 2 plastic/rubber wheels
- 2 small castors
- 2 bolts (size depends on wheels)
- 6 washers ( size depends on bolts)
- 2 locknuts (size depends on bolts)
- Small screws ( length depends on plywood thickness)
- Plywood for the drawer and its support. ( I used 6mm plywood for the drawer and 12mm plywood for supports)
- Wood glue
- Cordless drill with metal drill bits
- Something to cut plywood with (table saw)
- Hammer and nails or nailgun
- Two wrenches for tightening the bolt
Step 2: The Support
Just a simple wooden rail all around the inside of the box.
12mm thick plywood cut to the width of 1,5 cm, long enough to cover all four sides. After that holes were marked and drilled in the box. I used a little piece of wood cut to the exact length ( 10 cm) to help me get the rails equal distance from the top edge all the way around.
After that, it was just simply a matter of screwing the rails in place. Nothing fancy - I did not even pre-drill the wood. If you wanted to make it extra strong you could add some construction adhesive.
Step 3: The Drawer
This is the only part that requires actual woodworking. I started by cutting the bottom of the drawer to size making sure it would fit in the tool chest. After that, I measured and cut the sides and attached them together with glue and nails.
The plywood I used was definitely way too thin - only 6 mm. This meant that a lot of the nails did not hit the spot they were supposed to and I had to cut them off with wire snippers. Luckily as long as the drawer is strong enough the looks do not really matter as it will get banged up eventually anyway.
After the sides were glued and nailed together it was time to make the actual organization compartments. I designed a simple layout that I thought would work with my set of tools - nothing too precise. After that, I glued and nailed it to the sides and attached the bottom.
Finally, I drilled a finger-sized hole on each end for easily lifting the drawer and gave the sharp edges a quick sanding.
Step 4: The Wheels
At this point, the tool chest was starting to take its shape but was still missing something- wheels!
I decided to add two larger rubber/plastic wheels for better support and two smaller casters for maneuverability.
Attaching the wheels was just a locknut - washer - side of the box - washer - wheel - washer all bolted together. My box had really conveniently the right sized ventilation ( I think) holes in the perfect location for attaching the wheels so I did not have to drill anything. But I imagine if your box does not have these it would not be a backbreaking task when you are already this far.
Adding the casters could be done in several ways. Simply with rivets, bolts and nuts or simply adding a wooden block on the inside and screwing the casters in place. I decided to go with the last one as I was not quite sure how strong the rivets would be and I did not have bolts that when attached would not impede the movement of the casters.
Step 5: The End
And that is about it! Nothing special but this custom made tool chest will hopefully take me a long way!
I hope that this 'ible has been useful to you in some way. And kudos to you if you actually read this nonsense I wrote here ;)
If you appreciate my work and would like to see some more feel free to subscribe here on Instructables or YouTube and follow me on Instagram ! And if you find this ´ible worthy be sure to give it a vote in a contest ("vote now" button at the end of this page)!
And as always have a wonderful day and stay creative!
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