You’ve invested a lot of money in a cabinet-style tool box complete with heavy-duty casters. It is a great box, but you discovered it doesn’t quite meet your needs. After all, there’s only so much you can do with four drawers and the space under the lid. Well, we have some good news. Tool boxes can be hacked just like anything else.
How easy is it to hack a tool box? That depends. How handy are the tools in your box? If you can use a hand drill and a screwdriver, you can make any of the five hacks listed below work like a charm. You will have a more useful tool box when you’re all done.
1. Lid-Mounted Wrenches
You motorheads out there know just how many different wrenches you need to do what you do. You also know that losing wrenches in a seemingly endless debris pile of tools can make the work you do absolutely miserable. Our first tool storage hack is just for you: mount your wrenches on the underside of the lid.
There are lots of ways to do this. One of the easiest is to attach heavy-duty magnets to the lid. Your wrenches can be hung on the magnets for easy retrieval and storage. If you don’t like the magnets solution, you can actually buy brackets made specifically for mounting wrenches of different sizes.
2. Install a Computer Shelf
The lid of your multi-drawer tool chest ends up becoming wasted space when it’s open. You can reclaim some of that space by creating a collapsible computer shelf. Just cut a piece of plywood to the appropriate size, mount it to the underside of the lid with hinges, and then support it either with chains attached to the upper corners of the lid or collapsible legs that swing away from the bottom. Now you have a perfect shelf to put your laptop on while you’re working.
3. Install a Towel Dispenser
This next hack is so obvious were surprised more people don’t do it: a mounted paper towel dispenser on the side of your box. You only need the dispenser, a couple of small nuts and bolts, and a hand drill. With only about two minutes of your time, you have a paper towel within hands reach whenever you need it.
4. Divide the Drawers with Foam
A disorganized toolbox is your enemy. If things are not organized, you can’t find what you’re looking for. But no worries. While a disorganized toolbox may be your enemy, foam is your friend. Foam is inexpensive, it’s durable, and it’s easy to work with. You can custom make your own drawer dividers by cutting foam pieces to fit. Indeed, you can even make custom shaped holders for the tools and accessories that don’t seem to play well with others.
5. Install a Power Outlet
Even in the era of battery-powered tools, you sometimes need an outlet to get the job done. Here’s what you do: install an outlet in your tool box with a retractable cord. Heavy-duty extension cord works well for this. Cut off the female end, hardwire it to the outlet and then wrap the rest of it around a spring-loaded hose reel. Then plug the male end into a wall outlet. You’ll be able to move your tool box around the shop and always have an available electric outlet.
Tool boxes are great tools that can be modified for even greater functionality. If you’re not afraid to hack your tool box, there are very few limits to what you can do.