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Shops and Storage Talk about your shops and how you organize them

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Old 05-21-2018, 06:29 AM
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Default Tool storage

I am getting desperate for more tool storage. I have an old dresser which I store marking and layout tools, lathe tools, and planes. It works well but is to small and does not roll around.


Thinking of what I have to store much of it is small items that would lend themselves to to many shallow drawers. Even hand planes stored on the side would go into a fairly short drawer. I would also like to be able to store table saw tools in the chest with blades in drawers laid flat.


While I am sure I could build something from plywood, shop project do not excite me much. I am thinking of buying some sort of metal chest, I would not want it to wide and it would be nice if it would swivel on all corners. something maybe 26-30 inches. Tall is fine but floor space is tight.


Looks like Grizzly has some chest that might work, it is kind of hard to tell from the catalog.


Anyone been down this road?? Suggestions??


Mark
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Tool storage

I've been using Craftsman tool cabinets and chests for years. I like the upgraded ones that have really smooth ball bearing slides for the drawers. If you're in and out of them much, you'll appreciate them opening smoothly. I've started replacing the casters with the 4" poly casters from Home Depot which all swivel and lock. It makes them easier to maneuver when you're trying to push them into a small space. For instance I have one that fits under my floor standing drill press and holds all of the drill bits etc.

For my measuring and marking stuff I wound up treating myself to a Gerstner chest. I fell in love with them years ago but could never pull the trigger. When my father passed and I finally realized nothing was forever I took advantage of one of their sales and placed an order. Old memories and pride of ownership makes me happy every time I reach for a small item in it.


BTW, I saw that Lowe's is now stocking Craftsman tool chests and cabinets. They also have their own brand of Kobalt that you might want to check out as well. Happy hunting.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

Hmmm....
Just took a quick look online and found that Black and Decker bought Craftsman. Don't know what this means but I did a quick search and didn't see any of the stainless cabinets I mentioned with the good ball bearing drawers. I think I'd want to physically see what they're like now before buying.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

If you're thinking of tool chests and need to keep costs down check out the stuff at harbor freight. I know much of the stuff in that store is low lifespan junk but those tool chests were pretty decent for what they are. It's no snap-on but might be worth a look.

I'd been looking around for US made options a while back and came across rhino metals, kennedy manufacturing, waterloo, snap on, mac and matco, all with much higher price points. There may be others, not sure. But as always, unless it explicitly says made in usa it may not be. IIRC Rhino was strictly a US maker. Of those my only experience through previous jobs is with snap on. Those were tanks, made to last in a auto shop, but some serious $$$.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

Yea, Snap on is really nice but out of what I want to spend.


I will stop by the local sears store and see what things look like.





Mark
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

+! on Harbor Freight for their tool chests. I bought the 44" version which they have recently updated to be 22" deep. It's a nice chest for maybe $469 with ball bearing glides and good room in it. I've had one for about 2 years on my farm and been really happy with the storage and durability.

Latest version is here - https://www.harborfreight.com/44-in-...net-64133.html

You can find them for maybe $399 from time to time when they have coupons or their sale. The earlier version of this one has been a favorite on garage journal by a lot of users. That's how I first heard of it.

Costco has a few tool chests as well on pretty good deals. They had a 44" in Stainless last fall with a wood top. Not sure if there is one in your area or if you are a member or not.

Both HD and Lowes have a pretty good selection ranging from Dewalt to Milwaukee, Craftsman and even house brands at various sizes and price points. I saw a Craftsman chest in Lowes this past week. Personally, I think the Harbor Freight is a better built chest than what I saw with a Craftsman brand.

I personally have a 35 year old Snap-on base and upper cabinet for my metalworking and mechanics tools and wall cabinets and Systainer storage for my woodworking tools in my home shop and have been happy with dividing the tools based on use and storage features.

If you decide to build something, check out Ron Paulk's youtube channel on building his 'rolling toolbox' for his trailer. Lots of great tips on tool storage and how to mass produce drawers with minimal effort.

Last edited by neilc; 05-21-2018 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

Thanks I will check Ron's you tube.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Tool storage

I think a tool chest will work well to store the items you mention. I have two rollaway chests in my shop. One is a Craftsman that my dad gave me 45 years ago, and the other is a Craftsman machinist's chest he purchased several years later. Each has a drawer with a problematic slide, but otherwise they're in nice shape. I like the shallow drawers of the machinist's chest for many of my marking and measuring tools.

I've seen the wooden chests at the Grizzly showroom, and if I were getting something today, I'd consider one of those. They look like a reasonable value.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

I have a couple of stainless steel ones that I bought at Home Depot & Lowes that work well for the small stuff. I did build a rolling "Tool Tower" from MDF & birch plywood several years ago that can be adapted with drawers or shelves in this thread:

Tool Tower

I put some Grizzley heavy-duty 6" casters under it to make it mobile. It has clamp racks on the side and I store Festool MFS and parallel guides on the back.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Tool storage

I had not thought about hanging Calmps from one, Maybe I should think making one.
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