Small tool storage

How might we...
1. Make better use of storage near the workbench?
2. More easily find hand tools when we need them?

This message is to gather input on a preferred method.

1. Use small boxes dedicated to holding families of tools such one for wrenches, one for router bits and accessories, etc.

2. Get a larger roll around tool box that could have drawers dedicated to different families of tools. This could also allow more of the powered hand tools to be moved from under the bench to on the shelves



Vote for drawers.
Lots of volume in a compact space. Able to access each item independently from drawers. (Stuff in small boxes is tough to access.)
Can't find stuff without opening each drawer.
Solutions - label with words and pictures of drawer content.
These are tough to find used. Even small shelves are rare.
Consider Harbor Freight. 44 inch base cabinet $349.

We have a cnc router, we can make our own Drawers

Is this being submitted as a vote yet, or are we still in discussion? Not seeing a clear proposal.

My 2 cents:

For largish small tools, like wrench sets, pipe wrenches, files, etc, a metal mechanic's chest makes most sense. A CNC'd plywood solution would not hold up, be really heavy, etc.

For small hand tools like carving tools, glue sticks, punches, etc, making some drawers would be ideal. I designed some to be made on the CNC for this purpose years ago -- sort of a simplified machinist chest with labeled pulls, etc. Folks seemed to lose interest at that time, so I moved on...


I think you are better off buying a chest of drawers rather than making them. At some point it’s a cost vs time analysis.

I saw some cool workshop storage ideas on the Wood magazine website.

One was a “gun rack” for cordless tools. It was pretty simple plywood construction with holders for all the drills/drivers with a spot above for the batteries/chargers.

They also had a neat organizer for table saw blades:


I’m just throwing out (up) ideas that don’t seem too complicated.
As an area warden you pretty much can organize as you see fit. (sometimes better to just do it rather than ask for approval, you will always get someone to throw rocks at it).

If you want a group project, then its just a matter of getting people together.

If you want to spend some additional money (beyond the area warden budget) then just do a vote. Sometimes its better to ask for “general storage improvements” instead of an exact item.

Good times,


The drawers idea strikes me as much easier to use so I like that, although I promise not to throw rocks if you go a different direction :slight_smile:



The gun rack looks pretty awesome. The only problem is where would we put it? There has to be a flat section of wall area to put it and it needs to be within reach. I already have trouble reaching anything on the pegboard over the tool bench.
We’re going to have to chain a milk crate to the leg of the bench so short people can reach the tools! :wink:



I think that’s part of the problem. All of our storage shelves and tables are deep. Stuff gets pushed to the back and disappears. I have to use a milk crate and crawl into those shelves to get things and I’m 6’3".

This proposition would make wall space available by eliminating at least one of those awful shelves the tools are on now.

We’ve invested in better tools over the past years. We need better storage so they don’t get ruined, lost, piled, mangled.

All of the solutions listed would work. If folks have time, why not chip in and do the DIY options? We have plywood and MDF already that could be used.

And, for what we can’t make or don’t have time for, we can consider another metal tool cart.

Also, used tool chests are heck of a better deal if you get the right price. The HF drawers stick, fall out, etc. I’ve gotten genuine Kennedy toolboxes for $50-$200. At this point, my 50 year old kennedy tool box ($50) looks brand new, works perfectly (trays pop out smoothly, etc), and my import chest is bent, bashed, has bearing balls missing from drawer pulls, etc. I really think it’s worth the effort to find a used, quality chest. Maybe someone would even donate or cut us a deal.




Old Kennedy boxes are fantastic. Made in OH, and affordable cost / quality wise.



I made one of the drill holders for my house and it works great. I used the cnc to cut up a piece of plywood and then glued and nailed it together. It is an option for the hive but definitely need to get rid of the shelves in that back corner if you want to do soemthing like that.



Thanks for all the input. I think there is a place for both the application specific storage like the saw blades and cordless tools, and for the general roll around tool box . I’ve got many reference magazines and books for the application specific.

For the general, I will start a separate thread to start a vote. I won’t be at the Hive tonight, as I am getting ready to travel the rest of the week.