At the heart of Hillenburg's rolling toolbox is the assortment of multipurpose totes stored on the sides of the van. Hillenburg designed each of these totes with four criteria in mind: First, each tote would have to organize and contain a certain logical grouping of tools or supplies. Second, the totes had to be easy to carry. Third, whenever possible, the totes needed to be multifunctional, serving as a tool stand, stepstool or a rolling seat when not being used as a toolbox. And finally, every tote would have to be sized and shaped to fit snugly into a specific compartment or shelf unit along the van's walls—when all the totes were set in their niches, they would hold each other tightly in place while consuming a minimum of room.
SANDING TOTE/ STEPSTOOL
The combination sanding tote/stepstool carries three power sanders: a '/•»- sheet palm sander, a half-sheet sander, and a 3-in. by 21-in. belt sander. Built in
Pneumatic nails -—
Jack hitch equipment
A spring-catch mechanism (above) holds the level in place against the roof of the van.
Sockets and wrenches
The sanding tote (left) holds three sanders and does double duty as a stepstool.
essentially the same way as the rolling miter-box stand, this tote also has pigeonholes to hold sandpaper. Blocks attached to the shelf edge with self-closing cabinet hinges and inscribed with the sandpaper's grit number hold precut sheets or sanding belts in place. To make sure that the tote would support a carpenter fully loaded with tools, Hillenburg doubled the angle braces supporting the top, just as he did on the miter-box stand. A hand hole provides a carry point. Finally, notice the leather strips wrapped over the tote's feet—they help keep the tote from slipping on or damaging finished floors.
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