DIY Van Tool Box

Written by rianne hill soriano Google
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DIY Van Tool Box
Use treated or thoroughly painted wood for your DIY van toolbox. (Family van image by Avesun from

Bringing a van tool box during travel is essential for easy access to maintenance and repair tools you may need for your van at any time.

Since most tool boxes for vans and trucks are quite expensive and bulky, a practical way to keep your van equipped with one is by making your own using easy to find materials at home and the hardware store. If you only need a small box to organise basic tools, you can also save ample space by making a customised, do-it-yourself van toolbox.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Handsaw
  • 2 hinges
  • 2 locking latches
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Damp cloth
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Variable-speed drill

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  1. 1

    Plan the tool positioning in your intended do-it-yourself toolbox. Your tool box's size also depends on where you want to store it in the van.

    For convenient access, the tool box is usually placed somewhere under the back seat or the floor space between the edge of the back seat and the inside of a hatch back. You may make an "under bed" storage box or two shoebox-size storage boxes. If the space is not large enough, make the appropriate adjustments on the measurements for the construction of a narrower, but preferably taller model to compensate on the box's storage size.

  2. 2

    Cut four pieces from the 2-by-4 lumber to your specified length and width for your tool box using a hand saw. Base the measurements on the tools you want to put in your toolbox. For your convenience, it is also ideal to buy pre-cut pieces. There should be three sets of boards with two identical pieces each to comprise the rectangular narrower and wider sides of the box and its base and top door.

  3. 3

    Form the box's side frames out of the four boards using two identical rectangles opposite each other for the length and two identical rectangles opposite each other for the box's width. This makes up a rectangular box with an open top and bottom. Assemble the boards using wood glue. After which, use screws or nails to secure the assembled parts together.

  4. 4

    Prepare the two pieces of wood boards each with identical size that can exactly fit lengthwise on the box. One will serve as the box's base, while the other will serve as the door.

  5. 5

    Use wood glue to attach the frame's base and secure with nails or screws.

  6. 6

    Lay the door on top of the box, then install the hinge using screws to be attached to the wood, depending on where you want to place the hinge. Ideally, hinges are placed at the back portion of the box. Place the latch at the middle of the free edge of the door. You may prefer to add another hinge and an extra latch, especially when cutting the door in half width-wise to make a dual-hatch toolbox.

  7. 7

    Clean up any excess glue using a damp cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • You may want to make removable or permanent bins or compartments inside the box using plywood or plastic for more organised storage of small, medium or large tools.
  • It is ideal to put corner guards on all the corners and edges of the box to prolong its life.
  • To avoid future rotting problems, never use untreated wood when making this DIY van toolbox, except if you are able to thoroughly paint the wood with exterior-grade paint.

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