How to Build a Rolling Tool Box

Written by andrew rothmund
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How to Build a Rolling Tool Box
Having a portable, custom-made toolbox will keep your tools safe and organised. (outils image by Nath Photos from

Rolling tool boxes and chests are a must for anybody who has a large amount of tools. They're customisable, portable, and most importantly, lockable. Purchasing a prefabricated tool box can be expensive and unnecessary, considering that you probably already have the tools to do the job -- the very same tools you'll be storing in your new toolbox. A simple set of steps can be followed, and any customisations you want to make can be self-designed, or taken from a large resource of ready-made plans available online (see Resources below).

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plywood
  • Electric drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Caster wheels and included hardware
  • Table saw, or other electric saw
  • Wood to wood screws
  • Wood drill bit, 1/8 inch thinner than screws
  • Wood drill bit, 1/8 inch thinner than caster bolts
  • Hinges
  • Adjustable wrench or wrench set

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  1. 1

    Craft your design, either by yourself or with the aid of a ready-made plan. This will allow you to determine the amount of plywood, screws, and other materials that you'll need. A simple four-sided box design is easiest.

  2. 2

    Cut your plywood with the saw to match the dimensions of your design, making sure to make careful measurements with your measuring tape and pencil. If you're making a simple box, you will have six separate plywood pieces.

  3. 3

    Attach the walls of the tool box to the base using the wood screws and electric drill. First fit the piece, then drill the holes through the flat face of the wall into the edge of the base, and then drive the screws. Attach the front and rear pieces before attaching the sides. Use one screw every eight to 10 inches.

  4. 4

    Arrange your hinges on the back wall of your newly-formed box so that they swing in the proper direction, and then screw them on.

  5. 5

    Fit your lid to the other side of the hinges, and then screw it on. Make sure to test the alignment of the hinges and the size of the lid so that there are no overlapping or short edges.

  6. 6

    Drill holes in the bottom four corners of your box for your casters. Make sure to use the proper-sized drill bit for the bolts that come with the casters.

  7. 7

    Attach the caster's bolts through the holes, and fasten the nut with a wrench on the other side.

  8. 8

    Add on a lock, side handles, a simple rope for a lid handle or any other accessories that you desire.

Tips and warnings

  • Building a basic square box with a lid will provide you with adequate space, but not so much in the way of organisation. Build shelves or removable trays into the interior of your box for added versatility. Take hints from professionals, or from ready-made plans, in order to further customise your design.
  • Make sure to use plywood thick enough that the screws don't strip out or "blow out" the edges. Tools can be heavy, so make sure your casters and any accessories are able to withstand the weight.

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