A big stacking tool box…

…Finally made it into my working life!

Following on from my post about needing a new tool box, I finally bought one.  I looked at quite a few from various big tool brands and decided, on both price and usefulness, to go with a Magnusson branded stacking trolley box from B&Q.  There was an offer to buy a set of three stacking components for £92.00 keeping it all below my £100 budget.

The thing with a new tool box is that it is never ‘perfect’ for the job.  There are always little things that need to change, or be adjusted.  The first was the stack of boxes. With the locks to the front in conventional style raising the trolley handle at the back meant rasping my knuckles on the hinges of the tool box lids.  The simple solution was to turn the boxes to face the rear.

That works fine now, with the exception that the stack locking bar now doesn’t fit, and has been discarded.

I was then able to look at how best to place my tools in the stack.

The trolley box at the bottom, being just a big empty box, is currently used to just hold my drill box, battery charger, and any other random stuff that needs to be taken on site.  I will reconsider this use later, but for now it is useful in that format.  Maybe, ideally, this section would be the main tool box as it is the heaviest and most in need of being trolleyed around.

The next section is the smallest and has removable compartments inside.  I suppose it was intended to carry screws and fixings but given there are no other compartments in the stack the screws and fixings will have to travel in another box!

I loaded it up with all the bits and pieces I could fit in the removable tubs, and the space in the centre, and then a stroke of luck.  I had an unused compartment box knocking around in the workshop and I found it nestled in nicely.  That then held the rest of the small parts I like to carry around.

Now to the main tool box.  This one sits on the top as it supposedly has most frequent access, though to be honest I access the compartment box just as much.

The main issue with the main tool box is the small size of the tote tray, and that it doesn’t fill the internal area of the box.  However, I managed to make this an advantage.  I found a second, red, tote tray from another tool box that fitted in underneath.  That allowed me to fit a plywood divider between the trays and the front of the tool box.  I used this space to insert a cross bar to hang my pliers and cutters, and next to it a removable rack for screw driver storage.  The screwdriver rack can be lifted out to provide access for the larger adjustable spanners and pipe wrenches stored underneath.  The red tote tray the sits on a couple of wooden brackets and the larger loose tools go underneath. The black tote tray happily sits on its original hangers leaving space between the two for tools not to be too neatly stacked.

Given that all tool boxes will be stood on, the lids are heavily reinforced with lots of deep ribs.  Of course this can not just be wasted space so I drilled some small holes and threaded in elastic cord, and stuck on velcro, to make use of the little compartments.  I will add more stuff as I have time and ideas.

Those with ‘eagle eyes’ will have spotted something else going on in the compartment box lid.

I, like many people, like to have some music while I work.  I found that the handle recess in the lid was a good spot for the phone to use as a passive amplifier.  However, that meant removing it each time I open the box.

I found other places where I could put the phone for music but in the end I decided I wanted to keep my phone available, and use an MP3 player for music.

I dug out an old PC speaker system and dismantled it to see what voltage it ran on.  Fortunately a nice and easy 9V. I removed the transformer from the circuit board, and the speakers from the casings, marking and cutting off the wires as I went.

The lid of the compartment tool box has a removable panel that forms a lid on the compartment boxes. This pops out with a little leverage with a large screwdriver.  I found a space for the amplifier circuit board, with the on/off switch, volume knob, headphone socket, and green LED poked through holes drilled into the lid panel.  The speakers were then located, and sound holes drilled through. Everything was then hot glued in place and wired up.  The connector for the 9V battery was a clip removed from a dead 9V battery, and the battery was then stuck in place with double sided tape.  I will eventually buy a panel mount battery box and use rechargeable 9V batteries.  The 3.5mm jack plug appears from another hole, and the wire can be threaded back inside the lid for storage.

So there we are, a useful tool box trolley stack, with room for more modifications and additions.

I am tempted to get a second compartment box, empty it out, and use it for drill storage so that it stacks and clips in place. But that the makes the big bottom box, with the trolley wheel and handle a little redundant. We’ll see how it goes over time, and remember that it all weighs in at over 50kg already, and much more will stress the trolley handle on rough ground.

So how could I improve it further?

I am considering removing the wheels and axle, and replacing it all with a tubular 12mm bore axle and wheels with quick release wheelchair pins.  I can then have a set of triple wheels for stair climbing that I can quick fit as needed.  I have the triple wheel set already, so watch this space.