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"unorthodox" tool storage options

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Forum topic by Justin M Schmidt posted 03-15-2013 04:44 PM 2125 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 623 days


03-15-2013 04:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question storage

I’m working on upgrading my tiny attic workshop, first with a new bench, then with some sort of counter-type setup for storage and benchtop power tools. So I’ve been thinking about tool storage. I dream of buying a bunch of Gerstner chests, but that’s a dream, not a reality. I thought of building something from scratch, but I want to get on to more fun projects.

I was thinking… instead of buying Husky or Horror Fright metal drawer units, are there any household storage options I could re-purpose for the workshop? I might pick up one of these ALEX Drawer Units from Ikea. The drawers are wide and deep, the top three are not too tall -good for storing hand tools, sandpaper- and some bulkier items can go in the taller bottom drawers.

Have you found any creative tool storage solutions? Salvaged kitchen cabinets? Recycled dressers? Let’s hear it!

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com


12 replies so far

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15161 posts in 1911 days


#1 posted 03-15-2013 05:14 PM

I would stay away from this, as I just dont think it would last. But to be fai,r I would have to go look at it. I have used some heavy duty cabinets form work and converted them. The tool chest at harbor freight are pretty good deals when on sale. Shop smith had some plans on making your own tool roll aways that looked neat. there have been a cpl people on that made them.. Let us know what you decide.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View crank49's profile

crank49

3481 posts in 1694 days


#2 posted 03-15-2013 05:15 PM

My understanding of the HF tool carts, the metal ones, is they are an excellent value.
I don’t have one, but have checked them out at the store and they seem very well made.
I plan to get one some day.

Another tip I might offer is to get a wooden two drawer file cabinet. I use one as a base for my Rikon 10” bandsaw and another one for a base for my 12” bench top drill press. These work great, are mobile if you put moving dollies under them, and provide a couple big drawers for accessories or other tools.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View mdawson2's profile

mdawson2

35 posts in 695 days


#3 posted 03-15-2013 05:53 PM

I have some reclaimed kitchen cabinets. I picked up 13 oak cabinets from the local Habitat Restore for $350. I had to do some repair on a couple and ended up not using one of them, a second corner unit. I then built the counter tops based on Norm’s miter station build. I have about $550 in total. I need to build two new drawers for the old sink base still.

View rockom's profile

rockom

134 posts in 2594 days


#4 posted 03-15-2013 06:08 PM

I just got this in the mail a few days ago. You may want to check it out.

http://tomclarkbooks.com/Practical_Shop_Cabinets.html

-- -> Malta, IL -<

View Justin M Schmidt's profile

Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 623 days


#5 posted 03-15-2013 07:18 PM

@mdawson2 that’s great! I love how the tool chest takes the place of the oven. ;)

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

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Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 623 days


#6 posted 03-15-2013 07:19 PM

@rockom that looks like a great read, but I’ll probably just get sad that I don’t have more money/space/tools to do it up right! maybe some day.

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

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rockom

134 posts in 2594 days


#7 posted 03-15-2013 07:24 PM

Justin, if you change your mind, the author points out he did not own a table saw when he built his first set of cabinets. (I think this was the 10-drawer unit with red & blue buckets on top) All are made of box store plywood, even the face frames. He used a circular saw, band saw, and a drill.

Good luck.

-Rocko

-- -> Malta, IL -<

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

976 posts in 658 days


#8 posted 03-15-2013 11:52 PM

Justin,

I am in a similar position as you. I need some good storage space, and was hoping to score some underneath my outfeed table (once I build one). I think you can agree with me that accruing storage space is more of a “get it done and move on” job as opposed to a project. For this reason, I agree with you that buying is a better option than making. I have thought about using a regular old chest of drawers off of cragslist, but the depth of the drawers is kind of a buzzkill, as you end up digging through piles of tools and wasting a lot of space.

Then, I had an epiphany. When I was in college, I remember going into a huge 10000 SF map room that had tons of topographical maps stacked in flat file cabinets. These flat file cabinets are pretty much mechanic’s tool chests (like snap-on or something similar), except they are built to hold tons of papers instead of tools. They are heavy duty, with shallow drawers, and aren’t too expensive used. I am looking into getting one for my shop right now and I think I might pull the trigger soon. They seem too functionally perfect to pass up in my situation. They might be too big for your application, but it might be worth looking into. You can find some good deals on used ones for about $150 or $200. Here is a link to one I was looking at today. It is down here in Texas, but it should give you an idea.

“http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/fuo/3676634767.html”

For the record, I am totally into “unorthodox” options. If you can make it work for cheaper, do it. It will put more money in your pocket for tools and wood that you actually need for projects. Good luck and keep thinking outside of the prism.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4876 posts in 798 days


#9 posted 03-15-2013 11:57 PM

Hi,
I actually own one of those Alex drawer units from Ikea in white. It is perfect for my craft papers and supplies. I’m thrilled with it actually, but I would echo the concern about durability. When I look at mine, I don’t think of it as good for the shop.

Just my 2 cents worth.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1304 posts in 1132 days


#10 posted 03-16-2013 02:59 AM

These are nuts and bolts bins from a auto shop that closed. The cabinet was thrown away by someone and was modified to fit custom drawers specifically to store screws nuts bolts washers etc etc. I know you said you wanted to get onto projects but this is a project and keeps costs down while making the best use of space you do have, not space someone else designed. Look through my projects here I have posted several gimmicks I used to max out what little space I have to store just about anything.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Justin M Schmidt's profile

Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 623 days


#11 posted 03-16-2013 03:46 AM

Awesome stuff! I love the old auto shop parts bins. I haven’t got the knack for scoring good dumpster finds around here. I don’t know if it’s just a regional thing and there’s not much to be had or if I’m not looking in the right spots. (Granted I’m also not looking very hard.)

The ALEX thingy totally reminded me of cartography drawers like the ones you linked to. i haven’t looked for those specifically but that’s pretty brilliant.

I stopped by Sears after work just to browse the Craftsman tool chests. Just so happens they had a “limited edition” 5 drawer unit for $100. I couldn’t pass that up!

I see why it’s discounted down from $269, it’s not the prettiest limited edition scheme they’ve come out with. For full price I’d rather get the classic red or black. This should hold me over for hand tool storage for a good while. I wanted to come up with something more interesting to fit my goofy little shop but I couldn’t beat this deal.

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1304 posts in 1132 days


#12 posted 03-16-2013 09:11 PM

I used my scrollsaw and made my friends name then painted red, he used this to replace the Craftsman emblem thus making his own toolbox line. (laughing) Myself I bought a Snap-On emblem for 9 USD and did the same…

Good find on the toolbox. As far as finding things the best advice I can offer is to pay attention to what you pass everyday, tell friends you are looking for old cabinets and stuff and take it in. Look it over and trash the stuff you cannot use, or take it apart and keep what is useful then get rid of it. Most people overlook stuff laying around or are afraid to ask can I have that? A customer today asked me where he could get rid of a 18” wide 72” long countertop with curves edges both sides. In the back of my truck! Guess I will be doing some modification and making my shelf wider in the shop. With all the stuff Bearpaw brings I need it.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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