There are several different ways to place a lid on a tool tote. You can make the lid drop down to one side. Or you can install it so it opens upward to rest on the top of the box. You can even design a version featuring two drop-down lids that open to either side of the tote. However you decide to orient the lid (or lids), remember that the inside of the lid provides excellent storage for tools, especially saws (secured with a combination of slotted dividers and a turnbutton through the handle hole) and sets of chisels (held in place with some sort of strap).
When opened, the single dropdown lid reveals a bank of shallow drawers (see the drawing above). In a typical design, at least one of these drawers contains chisels, which are separated and held secure by dividers. The drawer runners, which protrude beyond the face of the drawers, support the drawers when they are pulled out to nearly their full depth. Without these long runners-or a full-extension slide mechanism (see pp. 48-49)—you would have to remove the drawers from the tote to get full access. Below the drawers is a large open well designed to carry a wide assortment of tools.
Lids that lift up may also carry saws, though they are generally too small to hold a framing square. The tote shown in the photo on p. 161, which was designed and built by Tom Law, of Smithsburg, Maryland, has a lift-up lid. In the open position the lid rests on top of the box and reveals a large, shallow tool well and the back wall of the tote. While the well contains the usual motley assortment of tools, the back wall holds layout tools where they are safe, yet immediately
Slits for saws
Fold-down chest handle
accessible. Resting just under the well is a bank of divided drawers—the larger, lower ones generally contain the heaviest tools. The nice thing about this design is that you don't have to open the lid to open the drawers. In addition, because the drawers are located at the widest part of the box, they can be deeper and hold more items.You carry this type of tote by handles mounted at both ends of the box. If you like to keep one hand free to carry other gear, this design may not suit you. In that case, you can make a recessable handle in the top of the box-like the one on Rcinhold Faeth's tool cabinet (see pp. 98-99).
A double lid provides a good deal more visible, accessible storage space than a single lid. You have another place to stow tools, and you also gain a second vertical surface (the center partition in the interior of the box) on which to hang tools. And because the two lids allow access to the well from either side of the box, tools carried there can be reached more quickly and easily than in a single-lidded tote.
A double-lidded tote often contains drawers, either substituted for the open well along the bottom of the box (which means, however, that you must close a lid to access them) or installed near the top of the box. Though drawers at the top of the box are necessarily narrow and not very deep, they usually open to either side, allowing full and easy access to their contents.
Was this article helpful?
There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.