General Purpose Utility Box

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Project by mochasatin posted 06-26-2016 08:21 PM 885 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over the years, wrench sets and screw driver sets tend to break apart and pile up in the bottom of my toolbox. The original plastic packaging does not seem to last very long before breaking apart so I decided to come up with my own solution to the problem. What I needed was a general purpose solution that efficiently stored sets of slender tooling. I wanted to be able to store my tools in a small, custom box by tool size. Finally, the tools needed to be stored tightly and not rattle around. I ultimately came up with the solution of using small squares of anti-fatigue mat foam.

I tested a many different dimensions of the foam sizes, but settled on a simple 2×2 inch square piece. To start, I determine the rough dimensions of the box needed to contain the tool set. Since it is just a utility box, I use scrap wood and some old hinges. I then glued a stack of the 2×2 inch square pieces to the bottom of the box from one end to another like a loaf of bread (see pictures). The stack must be supported on both ends to maintain compression. After the glue is dry, press your tools into the slits and you are ready to go. You can adjust the compression by adding and extra square or two. With tight compression, you can hold a box full of wrenches upside down and shake it and nothing will move. Initially I tried making kerf cuts in long pieces of foam, but that did not work well because I could not control the compression and the tools did not seat as tightly as I liked.

I was very happy with the way the first utility box turned out for my wrench set. I am going to build several others for a screw driver set and a bunch of router bits. I thought I would share this project with others in case they found it useful too. You can easily scale the foam size to match your specific needs.

-- Scott

6 comments so far

View JPJ's profile


792 posts in 2043 days

#1 posted 06-26-2016 09:23 PM

Good solution

View Boxguy's profile


2122 posts in 1691 days

#2 posted 06-27-2016 08:59 AM

Scott, I like your solution to a problem many of us face. So you just stack these squares in place and then press the tools between the pads? Looks like you took time to make a pretty good box while you were at it. Thanks for sharing your idea.

What kind of glue did you use to glue rubber to wood?

-- Big Al in IN

View mochasatin's profile


82 posts in 2386 days

#3 posted 06-27-2016 11:33 AM

Yes that is exactly how it works. I glued the pads to the bottom of the box using an ample amount of Titebond II. If you look closely, you will see two small strips of wood bordering the foam pieces. The strips keep the foam pieces in a straight line and make a small reservoir to contain the glue.

-- Scott

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16820 posts in 2529 days

#4 posted 06-27-2016 12:48 PM

Way to go!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CincyRW's profile


156 posts in 1074 days

#5 posted 06-27-2016 02:34 PM

... what a great idea. I can see myself making one.. or several of these. Thanks for sharing!

View helluvawreck's profile


22707 posts in 2290 days

#6 posted 06-27-2016 03:28 PM

That looks like it will do the trick. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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