How to Build a Tool Chest – The Definitive Guide

Do you work with a lot of tools often and face trouble to manage the tools or often don’t find them at the right place? A suitable tool chest can solve your problem. You can either buy or build one for your work.

Ready-made tool chests may raise costs for you. But you can save money and you may have a great experience by building a tool chest by own.

You can also design it in your own way according to your wants. So, why you will not try this?

I think this writing will help you a lot with this. Hope you may find a complete guideline about the tool chest and its building process.

So, let me know you what is a Tool Chest & how to build a tool chest?

What is a Tool Chest and What’re It’s Purposes?

A stitch in time saves nine. Using a good tool chest for your work is like a stitch in time. Because it can provide much comfort. Otherwise, you may face some problems for don't use any tool chest.

Craftsman 3-Drawer tool Chest: Portable tool Chest

The tool chests are necessary and useful things for your work. So, you can enjoy more advantages if you know how and where to use it properly.

If you are curious enough, you have to know these :-

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    It will make easy to find necessary tools.
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    A tool chest brings all tools in one place.
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    This type of things reduce the possibilities to get the tools damaged or lost.
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    You can save your valuable time.
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    You can store some dangerous or risky tools in it, you can increase your family’s safety as well as yours.
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    A self-made chest may become a money-saving deed for your work. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to buy it from the market also.
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    There are different types of tool chest for various kinds of work. Such as, you can use a big one for your gardening tools and can use a small one to gather small electrical parts in one place.
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    A well-designed tool chest will increase your store room’s beauty and helps to maintain neat and cleanness of your house.

For those purposes, you can use the tool chests. Hope those points will be beneficial for you.

What Kinds of Tool Chests are Good for You?

There are various types of the tool chest. For a particular reason, you will find wooden, metal and plastic-made tool chest.

The plastic-made chests are cheap but those are not environment-friendly and reliable for heavy works as well as they don’t last long.

So, it is an ideal move to choose wooden or metal tool chest.

1. Wooden tool chest

Wooden things are always classic. A wooden tool chest is comfortable for use and easy to build. It is also easy to carry-out for your works. Moreover, you will find this types of chests comparatively in cheap.

You can use this tool chest for those tools which are :-

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    Left no spots on chest
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    Small in size
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    Easy to carry etc.

If you are going to build wooden tool chest in your home by your own, you can do it easily. Moreover, the materials of this type of chest are also cheap.

2. Metal tool chest

These types of chests are stylish and good-looking. A metal tool chest is comparatively lightweight and more user-friendly.

The main benefit of the metal chest is long-lasting for any kind of works. It also can be designed differently for different types of uses, purposes, and spaces.

You can use this tool chest for those tools which are :-

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    Having chance to left spot on the chest
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    Big in size
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    Needed to be store in safely etc.

But building process of the metal one is comparatively complex than the wooden one.

Read the How to build" part attentively to clear your concept of how to build a metal tool chest or the wooden one.

How to build a tool chest?

If you want to build a tool chest, you have to follow some steps. Those steps help you to complete your building work properly.

I suggest you read these points and try to follow these in order.

1. Selecting design

Selecting a suitable design is the first and foremost duty if you want to build something good for you.

It will be a good move if you draw the design in a drawing paper before starting your tool chest building work.

When you are going to select or create one, always keep in mind about :-

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    Your needs
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    Space in the chest
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    What types of tools you want to store and
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    Budget issue.

Example: for the DIY rolling tool chest, the DIY metal tool chest and other types you have to choose different types of design.

Always give first priority to your suitableness. 11 drawer rolling chest, 6 drawer combo toolbox are some selective design for example.​​​​

2. Collecting materials

Materials of the chest depending on your selective type. For wooden tool chest, you need different materials in compare with metal tool chest.

A. For wooden tool chest, what do you need?

Wood Plank

It is the main material of the wooden tool chest. The main body.


It cut the plank to the right size. It also helps to maintain the required shape of the chest.


There are a lot of types of the hammer for different types of work. You normally need two types of the hammer for building a wooden tool chest. One for small nails to stuck in the wood and other for the big nails.


Those things stuck in the woods and give wanted shape.


It is used to join two or more wood pieces along. It also helps to reduce licks.

Woodlouse resistant oil

It helps to increase the chest life-time. It prevents the woodlouse attack on the wood.


Choose the color that suits your mind best. You have a lot of options in the market. However, you can change the chest’s color if you want.


It is a finishing equipment for the wooden chest. It is used to polish the body of the chest to get the gentle shape.

B. For metal tool chest you need, What do you need?

Metal sheets

Those are the main part of the chest structure. You can use different types of metal sheets if you want.


You have to cut and give a suitable shape of the chest. By using metal cutter you can do those easily.


For polishing, you need this. It helps to increase the beauty of the metal tool chest.

Welding Equipment

Those equipment are used to join or stuck the metal sheets together. Which is most important for maintaining a regular size and shape.


You can design your metal tool chest by using various types of colors. It will make your chest more attractive.

3. Making a plan of work

Planning can ensure your work success. So, when you are going to build a tool chest, you may make a plan of work.

Plan of work means planning your whole working process. Decide how you will start and continue your work.

By planning you can save your time, money and effort. So, it is ideal to give emphasis to this step.

4. Chest construction

This is the main part of the building process. For different types of the tool chest, you have to follow different working procedures.

Wooden ChestMetal Chest
Cut all the wooden sheet in the right shape and size. Resize all the metal sheets in right shape and size.
Join all the sheets in the right place using glue and nails. Join all the sheets by using welding tools.

After finish this step, you will find the main body of your chest.

5. Drawer construction

If you want to use the drawer in your tool chest, then give some space in the main body for the drawer.

Construct drawer in the right size of the hole of the tool chest. Cut the materials into the right shape and build using glue or nails. Rejoin the drawer in the tool chest after finishing of the construction.

6. Parts installation

After joining the main body of the chest, you have to install other small parts. Those are additional design components, lock system (if you want), belt, chain etc.

7. Finishing chest

After constructing the main body and joining other parts with it, the last work is finishing the chest. For this, you need burnish-paper, woodlouse resistant oil, colors and saw.

Cut the extra sides of the chest, polish the whole body with burnish-paper, color the body according to your choice and dry up.

8. Test the chest

At last, test the tool chest in a practical way. If you feel comfortable, then you can feel that your work is done.

Check out this video for more info.

Seven Tips that Will Help You to Get More Advantages

  • Use the right equipment for cutting or sizing. In this case, if the materials will not in right shape and size, you have to pay for this.
  • For a wooden tool chest, use woodlouse resistant oil. It will increase the lifetime of the chest.
  • Recolor your tool chest every year. It brings the freshness of the body.
  • Don’t put overload or oversize tools on it. It may hamper most.
  • Put a horizontal strip for easy carry-out.
  • Put the small tools closer to save more space.
  • Use cloth or foam partition for the dividers.


Now, you can easily understand that if you know how you can use a tool chest properly, it will be very beneficial for you.

Building a tool chest is not a difficult task. So, if you build your own tool chest, you can save a lot.

In this writing, I try to give you a complete guideline about a tool chest and how you can build one. Hope this will help you in your practical life.

Start creating! All the best.

John Bryan

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