As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
This is a quick and easy one-day project.
I love spending time down here building things or fixing things, or just puttering around at my bench.
But none of these things are particularly portable. I can't begin to recal the number of times that I've been fixing or installing something up in a bedroom or elsewhere, and had to run back down to my shop because I was missing the right screwdriver or wrench or something.
Some time ago, I inherited a collection of handtools.
Since, I already had a pretty complete selection of these basic tools in my shop, I decided that some of them (pictured here) would form the core of my "jobsite" tools. Now, I'm not a contractor, but I still occasionally have a reason to bring tools to a friend's house, or somewhere else, and gathering up a the right set of tools from my shop was always a chore. As well, too often I would somehow forget something that I would later need.
When I would go to a friends house (or elsewhere) to work on something, I would grab an old milkcrate or this toolbag. They're big and strong, but there is no organization to them.
This is fine for big items like a jigsaw or drill, but smaller items would end up jumbled together, and lost in the bottom of the bag.
(And yes, it was a freebie from when I once bought some green tools...)
I started with a shallow tray to fit in the bottom of the tote. I have a lot of screwdrivers, so I next mocked up a cardboard insert down the middle, where I would drill holes to hold all those various screwdrivers as well as a few other tools. This would also serve as a divider, so I could keep the hammer and a few other large tools on the one side, and have the other side open for various other uses.
Here it is, inside the tote... It seemed to fit fairly well, and I liked how the centre divider was looking, so I moved on to working in wood from my scrap pile.
I considered using plywood for the sides, but I had some pine available which I discovered was actually lighter than plywood. Lightness is important! So I planed that down to 1/2" thickness, ripped it to 3-1/2" wide, and then milled box joints in the ends to make up a box.
I ripped a thin rabbet along the side of the divider, just thick enough for the plywood divider.
The bottom of the organizer is just a thin piece of 1/8" plywood. I found the thinnest stuff that I had in my stash. The tote bag is providing the strength, so I don't need anything stronger.
As mentioned above, the main thing to keep in mind is that the organizer box needs to be just a bit smaller than the tool bag, as it needs to be able to fit through the mouth of the tool bag, and then be fitted into the bottom of the bag.
Here is the organizer with all the tools that I was planning to permanently install in this "grab and go" toolbag.
As you can see, the divider is situated a bit off center. I did this on purpose. On the narrow side, I have enough room to fit in a roll of wrenches, an adjustable wrench, and a hammer. They fit there nicely and that side is mostly full.
The other side of the box, is still wide open. This is available for whatever extra tool or supplies you might want on this particular job. So on that side of the toolbag I'll drop in one of my drills or drivers, or maybe a box of screws.
As you can see, it nicely fits inside the fabric tote, and holds all my "jobsite" tools nicely organized and ready to go. Hopefully no longer will I be somewhere only to discover I don't have the right size/kind of screwdriver with me...
Thanks for reading!