Travel Tool Chest Retrospective

The final coat of paint went onto the travel tool chests over the weekend.  Net net: I am very pleased.


The color is still a little blue for my taste.

For the first time in a long time, I have nothing bad to say about a completed project.  At least nothing bad to say about the design or the concept.  There is always something bad to say about my execution of the aforesaid (the lid is not on straight, yet again).  So rather than do my usual pros and cons, I will talk about what I’ve learned on this project.

  • Geometry is a thing.  The dimensional difference between this tool chest and the original traveling tool tote is ostensibly minimal.  Compared to its predecessor, it’s 4″ shorter in length, barely 2″ less in width and essentially the same height.  But when we’re talking inches cubed, that adds up to a lot.  This thing is truly portable.  Filled to the gills, it’s not even a chore to carry around.  I’ve finally made a replacement for my nylon tool box.

Doesn’t look like much, but do the math and you’ll see.

  • A wide skirt is a better skirt.  On my original traveling tool tote, the skirt was only 1.5″ wide.  With the 45″ chamfer, it’s basically all corners and has gotten beat to hell. In version 2.0, the skirt is over 3″ wide: quite a bit of surface area for deflecting blows.  Unlike its forebear, the skirt is a bit out of proportion to the lid.  But this is because I had meant to do a full dust deal (of approximately equal width to the skirt) and just got lazy in the end.

Durability > all.

  • No casters for small tool chests.  The casters have worked out really well on version 1.0 and I meant to add casters to this project.  But I didn’t.  For two reasons, really.  The first is the spacing on the die-forged, headed nails holding on the floor boards precludes the caster feet from seating properly at the corners.  The second reason doesn’t really matter, does it?  At least it won’t roll around the trunk of car in use.

These will have to do.

  • Grey is not for tool chests.  Or is it gray?  I don’t know anymore.  At least it’s easily distinguishable from my other tool chests.

That’s the “sliding” tray to the bottom right.  It has about 1″ of travel.

I plan to immediately make another one of these (and this time, paint it black).  More on that later, though.



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