I travel a lot. Between trips to see my family a few hours away or taking a boat out in whichever lake is calling my name, I don’t spend many weekends at home. That’s OK with me, but all of the travel brings inevitable roadside breakdowns.
My father did his best – and still does his best – to teach me everything he can to avoid roadside disasters. Mike Russelburg is known for being over-prepared and passed that on to me (I once changed an idler pulley on the side of an interstate…yes, I had a spare belt and idler pulley).
With this knowledge comes a rather large mechanics tool kit that rests, along with other large items that I keep in the back of my Jeep. At the moment I have numerous bags, cardboard boxes and a five gallon bucket full of tools. It’s a mess.
Having just finished my Dutch tool chest build (which I will paint soon if I ever decide on a color), finally giving me one place to store all of my woodworking hand tools, the mess of my mechanic tool collection is starting to drive me crazy.
So I decided to build another tool chest. There are whispers in the office that building tool chests can be a sickness and you just want to keep building more, but I really need this one…I swear.
I measured the space I have available, and the size of my bigger items (yes, I keep a set of jack stands with me at all times). Then I started sketching. I am not a skilled artist, but I like to sketch things out to give myself an idea of what my needs are and how I can tend to all of those needs. My final product may look nothing like this, but it’s a good place to start.
My original design was a simple chest with box joints (shown above). The top of the chest will have two sliding trays similar to the English tool chest while the bottom will be left open for bigger items: jack stands, jumper box, winter coat, etc. I may end up dovetailing the whole thing to practice hand-cutting dovetails some more, but I’m aware that may be overkill.
Now my question: have any of our readers out there built a tool chest specifically for their mechanics tools? If so, let me know how you built it in the comments below.