Throw away your portable tool cases

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Blog entry by Marty Backe posted 01-07-2013 08:16 AM 8427 reads 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Many of the portable power tools that I purchase come in a tool case. The tool manufacturers presume that I’ll be taking the tools on the road. A reasonable assumption for many. But my tools are used near 100 percent in my workshop. Sometimes they venture into my house, but I don’t need the case for those instances.

In this video I offer a reason for throwing the tool cases away and creating custom workshop storage to better utilize the prize (i.e., limited) shop space. I show how I’ve converted two large drawers into organized storage space for some of my tools.

11 comments so far

View Sarit's profile


550 posts in 3345 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 08:33 AM

If you cut out the top portion of the back of the top drawer, I bet you could make the inner drawer slide back and forth. Sort of a drawer within a drawer. You’ll just need to add something along the top edge so that the inner drawer doesn’t tip into the cabinet.

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 08:45 AM

Interesting idea. Except to make that work I’d have to install some kind of drawer extensions on the inside of the main drawer, otherwise what would support the tray.

Since I don’t have to access these tools every other hour of the day, the tray solution works fine for my circumstances.

View Damien Pollet's profile

Damien Pollet

73 posts in 2815 days

#3 posted 01-07-2013 10:17 AM

Another set of drawer slides?

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3307 days

#4 posted 01-07-2013 11:02 AM

Your drawers now look like the rest of your shop.
You’ve really got that organization going on….................

-- mike...............

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3272 days

#5 posted 01-07-2013 03:08 PM

Good information, will definitely take a hard look at my cases and drawers to see how I can better utilize what space I have better.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3935 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 04:23 PM

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now.
Nice to see someone brave enough to throw it away.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Dabilene's profile


23 posts in 2896 days

#7 posted 01-07-2013 06:25 PM

Very nice. I felt bad throwing out my cases last year – I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

I also don’t understand the fascination with the Systainers.

View woodmaker's profile


321 posts in 2896 days

#8 posted 01-07-2013 11:03 PM

I threw all mine away to, these things are awkward, unwieldy, and a general nuisance, and if you have a bunch actually take up more storage room . All my router pieces I made a box for. I have a Triton and a Craftsmen set so two boxes, and so on.
I need to build another storage cabinet, but oh poor me have to make something else out of wood. :-)

-- Mike

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1232 posts in 4204 days

#9 posted 01-10-2013 04:33 AM

Marty, Nice video and spot on. I’m in the exact same mindset lately, too many tools and too little space. Been organizing, consolidating and pulling items out of the shop I don’t need on a regular basis. For instance, I really don’t need 6 sanders so I pulled 4 out and will give away or sell the ones I dont use. Agree the plastic boxes and milwaukee box can be tossed, no value. Those systainers sell on ebay for $30 to $50 so those are worth the time to sell. Since cleaning up last weekend, the shop feels lighter and more user friendly. Have fun making more projects and videos. I like your work. Bob

-- Bob A in NJ

View kajunkraft's profile


160 posts in 2415 days

#10 posted 01-10-2013 04:35 AM

You’ve done a very nice job with this. I TOTALLY agree that the OE boxes are for travelling, not for the shop. There are lots of ads for “bare” tools. There is obviously added expense to provide the boxes. If the manufacturers continue to take notice of this there may be some better deals available – without the box?

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3782 days

#11 posted 01-10-2013 05:39 AM

super job great storage.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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