How To Build A DIY Tool Chest in 11 Easy Steps!

Table of Content

Let’s Build a DIY Tool Chest

DIY Tool Chest
If you don’t have you’re own shop to store your tools in but you still need somewhere with a lot of room and that saves some space, this DIY Tool Chest is for you! With tons of compartments as well as the option to fold it all together this makes a great place to keep your tools without taking up too much space.

Materials I Used for this Build

Step 1: Cutting out the Pieces for the DIY Tool Chest

I spent the first few hours just cutting my material. I developed a full set of plans that include a cut list of every part needed to save you some time. I wheeled my armor workbench over to my miter saw and started chopping. Maybe I should’ve labeled the parts as I went but oh well. Learn from my mistake and makes sure to label your parts as you cut them.

After my lumber wsa cut I moved on to my sheet pieces, once again utilizing my armor work bench for transportation help here. I used a triton track saw to cut down the sheet pieces. I’ll be using plywood for the base and smart side for the walls.

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Step 2: Assembling the Deck

Since this will be close to the ground all of these parts are made with pressure treated wood. I started by laying out my boards then screwing things together. to make placing the studs quick but accurate i cut a spacer to the needed length and moved that along as I was assembling. After attaching the top and bottom blade I grabbed the sheet of plywood for the decking and put it in place. I went around the edges with some screws to secure the pieces together. With that I moved the deck off the bench then started on building what will be the back wall.

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Step 3: Building the Back Wall of the DIY Tool Chest

On this wall I switched over to using the nail gun and this really helped speed things up. You can again see that I am using a space here to make locating the position of horizontal short two by fours easier. I place it on one side, then after securing it moved over to the other side. on the next two by four i no longer have the availability to face nail so I threw in a few toe nails.

Next I brough in the siding and attached it. with this wall being so wide it requires two pieces to make it up. the overlap is placed in the center and each was cut so that one side has the tongue and the other side has the groove. You’ll also notice that I am switching to a coil nailer here when attaching the siding. This is for no reason other than because I didn’t have a shorter nails for my other gun.

Before moving on there is one more component to this wall which is a ripped two by four piece that goes along the top and will eventually have hinges that attach the roof to the body. I did this by setting the depth of the bit to the depth of my hinges the routered the location. Next I attached it to the top of the back wall. I used a brad nailer to stick it temporarily in place so I wouldn’t have to hold it in while driving the screws.

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Step 4: Creating the Side Walls

An important thing to note here is these part should be mirrored and not identical. To prevent mistakes I always lay out my pieces first to check how everything lines up. It helps me check for length and direction of angles. Once it looks good I took a nail gun to attach it all together. Once I got the frame correct I dropped the siding in place to be attached. Attaching the siding before assembling can be tricky because there is always overhang on certain sides so I’m always paying attention to the orientation of the walls and which sides need to be flush vs overhanging.

With the walls built I mortised out the location of the hinges where the doors will later be attached, they screwed the hinges in pace.

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Step 5: Piecing Together the DIY Tool Chest Doors

These are very simple construction of an outer frame that is screwed together then siding attached to one side. I recommend attaching the siding flush to one side first, then pulling or pushing the siding Oslo that its flush to the other. This will square up the walls without you having to pull diagonal measurements.

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Step 6: Leveling the Ground That The DIY Tool Chest Will Be On

As you can see, I set pavers down on the ground first, making sure they were level and square. So that the deck can be placed directly on top and flush up to the front end of all three pavers. Now we can add the back wall. This wall is directional, not only by the upper 2×4 blockings but also the bottom has the siding overhanging so that when its placed on the deck the siding extends past it. It should fit perfectly. If it does, attach it to the deck with nails. Next thing to add is the workbench/top shelf piece.

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Step 7: DIY Tool Chest Internal Assembly

I first made a kick stand to assist in holding it up. This is just made from some scrap cuts. I needed it in the center then flipped it into place. After attaching this to the back wall I started adding the side walls. Again these have the overhanging siding that creates a catch at the bottom.

Catchy Side Walls!

The back stud of the side wall slips into the work bench piece. You could make it easier on yourself and cut an extra 1/8 of an inch or you can cut it exactly 1 and 1/2 inches and body slam and spartan kick it into place.

Once they are both in place, the bottom can be put into place with nails but switched to screws when attaching them to the back wall so the hardware would squeeze it together while securing. I also drove in a few from the outside.

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Step 8: Squaring Up the Side Walls

In the design that can be found in the plans there is a diagonal wall that goes from each wall to the back wall. i would use a framing square on the front opening to get the wall square then drive in screws to secure the wall in position. I recommend pre-drilling here because it does take both hands to get it done. After knocking out one side I repeat it on the other. Next I added in another piece to connect the two diagonal pieces then screwed down the DIY Tool Chest.

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Step 9: Attaching the Roof of the DIY Tool Chest

Since the roof is huge and heavy I wanted to make attaching it easier. I grabbed the board from the lid that attaches to the hinges and attached it by the hinges first. Next was to set the roof in place. It should overhang on the three front sides. And the back 2x that I just attached the hinges, slips right into the back framing on the lid. Now the lid can be attached to the 2x and everything will be connected.

I used my Triton Jigsaw to cut out a quick notch on the side so that when the lid is lifted it will pop into place and hold itself up. You could leave yours as is, but I bought some struts for mine to assist in the lifting and holding up part. They pop right into place when attached to the silver hardware i added when building the wall.

For roofing material you can go with anything of your choice, of course, but I went with metal panels. the trick is to use a panel to make a straight line on the panel you need to cut. I used some crescent shears to cut through the metal to create pieces needed to cover the whole area. Before laying down the roofing, I added drip edge. I used some nails to attach it in place on the front, right, and left sides. Next, the panels can be added directly on top. I used roofing screws to attach the panels and overlap them by one corrugation until the entire thing was covered.

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Step 10: Attaching the DIY Tool Chest Doors to the Side Walls

This step is super simple. The doors get attached to the hinges on each side wall. Easy! Take a second to stop and check out how it all works!

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Step 11: Placing Add On’s to Maximize the DIY Tool Chest

First up is a way to lock it up. if this thing is going to be outside and holding valuables then adding a hask will give you a way to throw a lock on it.

Next is adding a peg board for easy hanging of your tools. I used my triton track saw to cut two pieces the same size as the door, then screwed them into the inside framing of the doors. I also added some tough built wall organizers so that I can quickly and easily hang my tools.

Now, I’m only adding one shelf but I recommend planning out what you want to house in here so that you can deck it out to meet your needs. As you can see there is plenty of room still in here to add shelving.

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And you’re done! You’ve built your own DIY Tool Chest. If you’ve got the itch for another project I have tons of plans on my website ready to help you tackle any project. Thank for following along!

Work Chest Example 1
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Things I Used in this DIY Tool Chest Project:

ISOtunes Ear Protection
ToughBuilt Tool Belt
ToughBuilt Saw Horses
ToughBuilt Wall Organizer
Crescent Utility Sheers
Triton TrackSaw
Triton Jigsaw
Armor Workbench
Wilker Do’s DIY Miter Saw Stand
Wilker Do’s DIY Ultimate Workbench
StealthMask Respirator
Framing Nailer
Trim Router

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