I’ve tried a variety of toolboxes over the years. They all seemed to have a variety of glaring deficiencies. I was tired on constantly rummaging around to find the right tool. I stumbled across a video of Adam Savage talking about how he struggled with similar issues. His solution was to build a custom tool storage stand based around a principle of reachability. I found this an ingenious idea so I set out to build my own custom mobile tool cart.
For those of you that are curious, here is Adam Savage's original post on Tested.com
Adam Savage’s Custom Tool Storage Stands – Tested
As discussed on a previous episode of Still Untitled, Adam’s stand on storage drawers is that they’re where tools go to get lost. To keep his essential workshop tools easily accessible, he built these custom stands as a solution for organizing all of his hand tools. Adam explains the design of these stands and shows off some of the more esoteric tools they keep within reach.
Ideas and Sketches
My first step for this project was to inventory of my tools and begin sketching what I wanted my cart to look like. Adam’s ideas regarding reachability was a key influence for my design. Additionally, I move frequently due to my daytime profession so I wanted the cart to be short enough to fit inside a small U-Haul without sacrificing reachability. Easily moving the cart with little effort was a definite must. However, I also wanted the ability to take a small portion of frequently used tools throughout the house without having to relocate the entire cart. My solution to this problem was to include a removable tool caddy on the top of the cart.
Once my preliminary sketches and measurements were complete, I began procuring materials. The body is made from 1/2″ plywood, 1/4″ pine board, 1/2″ dowel (for the tool caddy handle), and 1/4″ dowel (for the hanging tools section). For mobility, I chose to use four large casters with builtin brake mechanisms.
Over a period of about two weeks I tweaked and refined my design until eventually the cart slowly came together.