Wheeled Site Boxes

.Almost all the framing and finish carpenters I've known over the years started out with some version of an open shoulder tote to get their tools from home or shop to the job site. As they accumulated more tools, they would build additional boxes to house them. Some took the time and effort to make a more intricate lidded toolbox.

While these assorted toolboxes met the needs of most of my acquaintences, I do remember a few who went considerably further, building a large, enclosed box on wheels to contain nearly every tool and fastener that might be required over the course of a typical workday. On more than one occasion, I learned that the inspiration for this challenging project was a "last straw" day, the day that it was necessary to trudge back out to the truck for the umpteenth time to get a tool or piece of hardware that was in that infamous "other" box.

Cabinetmaker Rodger Reid's wheeled toolbox (shown here with Jim Tolpin) is easily maneuvered into the apartments of his New York City clientele. For more, see p. 178. Photo by Vincent Laurence.

The central partition, which extends through the floor, holds Reid's box upright in the open position. The boxed doors swing out. holding tools close at hand and exposing the interior of the box. which includes a bank of drawers. Photo by Vincent Laurence.

A large, rolling site box can be a daunting project. The design calls for a balancing act between function and size. For while the box must contain a day's worth of tools and supplies, it must also fit through doorways and nestle with the other items you carry in your vehicle. The sheer size of this type of toolbox invites you to load it up with heavy items so you must build for extra strength, yet you must keep the overall weight down to promote maneuverability. Finally, if the box will be exposed to the elements, either on site or in the back of a truck, you must build with weather resistance and water tightness in mind.

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