Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Improving a Simple (Inexpensive) Tool Cart

So here is a short blog entry to help out anyone who might have a metal tool cabinet.  Below is a picture of a "Hyper Tough" tool cabinet I bought at Walmart recently on clearance for $50.

Despite it's price, this is actually a pretty decent little cart.  On the top of it is a MDF board which I mounted my pocket hole jig to.

On the side is a spot for me to stow a corded drill - which I use exclusively for drilling pocket holes.

Underneath the MDF board on the top are spaces which I filled with mostly pocket hole screws, drill bits, plugs and a few other things.

The 3 drawers holds a lot of stuff, but the metal bottoms of each drawer are smooth and all my tools move around when opening and closing.  Of course they do make drawer liners, but I found a cheaper alternative.

So I went to Harbor Freight and bought a pack of foam floor tiles.  They sell a pack of 4 for $9.99 and I used a 20% off coupon.

I then cut the mats to fit inside each drawer using a straight edge and a utility knife.

Then I popped each new liner into each drawer.

And that's it!  The foam keeps everything in place.  The bottom drawer holds my Plate Joiner, Reciprocating saw, blades, biscuits, and a few other things.

The middle drawer holds my multipurpose tool, angle grinder and their accessories.

And the top drawer holds all my wrenches, ratcheting tools and sharpening stones.

So, Foam Mats are easy and inexpensive drawer liners.  One day (once I have a more organized workshop) I plan on buying more foam mats and cutting out spaces for specific tools - much like people do with Kaizen Foam.  But Foam floor mats are much, much less expensive.

Next I want to switch out those cheap plastic casters.  

Only 2 of them swivel 360 degrees, which makes it a bit difficult to move around.

I removed them and then cut a piece of MDF I had to fit the bottom of the cart. Then I screwed the MDF to the cart from the inside.   In addition to having a surface that I can easily mount casters to, the MDF adds more rigidity to the thin metal bottom of the cart.

Next I added 4 casters I had that I knew were of good quality.  All 4 rotate 360 degrees.

Then I put the drawers back in and moved it around easily.  The front 2 casters lock in case I need it to be stationary.

It's a dirty little tool cabinet, but it works great and I love it.  So for those of you who do not have the money to buy one of those very expensive tool cabinets from the big box stores, something like this is a great alternative.

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