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Tool Chests, Storage and Messy Garages - Trying to find a tool chest!

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My garage is a mess!

 

Like many people I have too many tools, spare parts and other paraphernalia cluttering it up. I'll never have one of those surgically clean pristine places, but I want to at least be able to find stuff. I've split the garage up into two sections with a stud wall between - a storage at the front and a workshop area at the back. The idea being I can shut the middle door and keep warm at the back. I've been plodding away clearing up the front storage half but I've got to the point that I need to sort out the workshop end and sorting all my tools into some sort of order.

 

Currently my tools are all stashed in an assortment of broken, rusted and mismatched boxes and chests. This is currently the workshop end of my garage:

post-20071-0-57053600-1515014326_thumb.jpg

 

Some of it is to be moved out like the plane, buckets and old units. However its the work benches on the end that are the biggest muddled catastrophe. I have many tools of all different shapes and sizes just lumped on top and underneath those benches. Plus I have others hidden away in the storage area.

 

So to try and bring a bit of order to the chaos, I'm thinking of getting a proper tool chest. I want to get a tool chest that is decent quality and will last for my storage requirements for a long time. Basically buy once and that will keep and last for years. My budget is around £350 max.

 

Here is currently the contenders:

First up is Halfords and their current deals. There is their Professional red range of cabinets of which the red ones in the picture below is available as a package deal for £200. They also have their Industrial black range with the stack also in the below picture available for £350.

Red draw set: http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/storage/tool-chests-cabinets/halfords-professional-5-drawer-chest-7-drawer-chest

Black draw set (picture doesn't show but it does include all 3 bits): http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/storage/tool-chests-cabinets/halfords-industrial-6-drawer-ball-bearing-tool-cabinet-chest-bundle

post-20071-0-71015800-1515014332_thumb.jpg

 

Both feel pretty nice actions on the draws. The downside on the black one for me is that there is only all big draws - no smaller sub draws at the top. It also is incredibly tall! The red one I'm not sure will be big enough long term.

 

 

Next up is the Clarke range from Machine Mart. In my budget I'd be looking at their premium range. For £337.94 (exc vat - based on one of their VAT free days) I'd get pretty much the below but with a bigger 9 draw top cabinet. I.e. 7 draws on the bottom, 2 draw chest in the middle and a 9 draw chest at the top.

Link: https://www.machinemart.co.uk/c/clarke-premium-tool-chest-range/

post-20071-0-17893400-1515015536_thumb.jpg

 

Our local machine mart has all the cabinets packed haphazardly in store and I haven't really had a chance to properly look at them. But my usual experience with Machine Mart stuff is that its a bit overpriced for the quality.

 

 

The final ones on my list is the SGS Engineering set. In my budget would be this set for £343.

Link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SGS-Heavy-Duty-Tool-Boxes-Tool-Chests-Roller-Cabinets/192035217422?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=491752517627&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

post-20071-0-62010600-1515015888_thumb.jpg

 

These look reasonable to me and my SGS Engineering jack I've found to be excellent quality. They do look very similar design and layout to the Machine Mart Clarke range. Not having SGS anywhere near me, I don't have a chance to try them out or inspect them. However of all places, the barbers I go to have a set of SGS draws!

 

I'm really stuck on which ones to go for. My instinct says the Halfords set. Anyone got any experiences of the above or even others that I've missed and could recommend?

 

Or alternatively is there a better way of doing this than a tool chest?

 

I've started this as a separate thread as I know many people on here have mentioned that they suffer from the same problem as me. I can't see any threads that are dedicated to messy garages and trying to resolve it! :)

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I have the Halfords Professional set but also with a 5 drawer mid section (so the top box, mid section and roll cab) - yours for £200 delivered if you want it, it's in really good nick...

 

(the red equivalent size wise of the black one pictured, I guess)

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Aye, don't buy new, a nice older one will be a lot more sturdy. The guy who gave me my tool chest just because he wanted a new pristine one regretted the decision within days.

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My shed and garage basically looks like that, full of things that might be useful one day and tools - some of which are used practically daily and some which I'm not entirely sure if I have ever actually used, but might, one day.

 

Could wall-mounted tool racks help at all? I notice the walls are pretty much bare and someone else on here put up a pic of some tool racks with white outlines of what goes where which looked pretty nifty. Good for flat tools like spanners, hammers, saws, screwdrivers, clamps - that sort of thing? Then this could free up some more drawers for things like planes and drills and stuff which are more '3D' ?

 

I got a great (and massive, and flipping heavy!) tool chest from Ruffgeezer back at the end of the summer for a very good price and its helped tidy up my shed no end. Its still a shit-tip but there is some semblance of order now, and I'm rarely in the situation that whatever I need is in the toolbox-at-the-bottom-of-the-pile any more. I still have the toolboxes, but they have the much less often used tools in them now.

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Halfords trade card gives mega discounts on their tool boxes. Not that I was looking at them at all :-)

 

From £300 down to £130. Makes them a no brainer.

 

The last time I looked it was still cheaper to pay the punter price for a bundle than to buy on trade if you wanted a stack of them rather than just a single bit.

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I acquired a load of 3 and 4 drawer filing cabinets when the company went tits up , I could get 4 at a time in old 240 , and sell them for £20 a time , as u can see my man cave is a lot more tidy for them ...  you can put them side by side but leave a gap , cover the top with a wood shelf and you can stuff bits between them and put stuff on top

 

post-21637-0-64319900-1515018347_thumb.jpg

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I’ve got the black Halfords 3 piece stack and also a machine mart red one very similar to your picture above. Personally I think the Halfords one is better quality and feels more robust. The Clarke box is ok but if I wouldn’t buy it over the Halfords ones.

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I've made do for many years with old 4 drawer filing cabinets - often cheap or even free, they hold a lot of shit. Which is great, as that is what I have a lot of. You'll still need shadow boards or maybe the posh tool cases for the flat stuff (my socket and spanner set is in its own case, as is the cordless drilldriver and big drill as they need to go mobile a lot) but I still have all my individual hand tools in one drawer and all my fasteners in another. Rifling through THOSE drawers is annoying and hazardous as they're both completely full now, but that aside, they maintain a lot of order that I wouldn't have otherwise - all care care stuff, including polisher, in one drawer, all electrical in another, another holds all plumbing bits. One drawer holds a substantial proportion of an MR2. A decent steel cabinet takes a surprising amount of abuse. AND when I've moved house (twice since getting them) - I've just pulled the drawers out and moved them and the frame individually.

 

Sent from my BV6000 using Tapatalk

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.... My instinct says the Halfords set. Anyone got any experiences of the above or even others that I've missed and could recommend?

 

 

I have the red Halfords one in your picture, good quality and stable when dragged about, if I needed another I wouldn't hesitate but I am not a professional.

 

I have the Halfords Professional set but also with a 5 drawer mid section (so the top box, mid section and roll cab) - yours for £200 delivered if you want it, it's in really good nick...

 

(the red equivalent size wise of the black one pictured, I guess)

 

Just do this and you are sorted with the extra drawers for free.

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Over the years I’ve tried various boxes, last year I but the bullet and bought a proper quality set. Nearly a year on im pleased with the Halfords industrial (which are cheaper as a punter than trade card). I only use the top and bottom ones, the middle is rawl bolted to the wall in my workshop. It was too tall to use otherwise as you need to open the hinged lid to gain access to the draws (unless you butcher the interlocking). The internal hinges on any top box eat into the space too.

 

My greatest achievement however was throwing out tools..... yup. I had a proper laundry moment and binned all that “useful someday crap” It did take 20 years to build up to this pivotal point. Obviously I still kept all that crap but it’s rammed in a sealed box, never to be used again, which I’m sure will be skipped on my death.

 

Below is the spare middle chest bolted under the worktop in my workshop - I keep a better drill and useful household tools in here - adjustable, screwdrivers etc that 99% of the time are all you need day to day. There is £300 of wickes contract kitchen, £80 of IKEA wooden worktop and £30 of new “paddled” taps you can operate without fingers! The sink was already there. The tiles were bin ends for buttons.

post-3266-0-29538400-1515021248_thumb.png

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If it helps and he still has it, Ruffgeezer was trying to pass on a nice metal tool trolley with drawer set  and wooden top a few days ago. See the "Official Wanted/Offered/Shitecycle thread         "for details:

 

Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:40 AM

Big sturdy tool trolley, a firm £85.

Has drawers and spanner rack in the end cupboard and a thick wooden top.

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Wow loads more responses than I expected! I was busy drawing a schematic and I thought I'd only come back to one or two responses. I'll try and reply ...

 

I have the Halfords Professional set but also with a 5 drawer mid section (so the top box, mid section and roll cab) - yours for £200 delivered if you want it, it's in really good nick...

 

(the red equivalent size wise of the black one pictured, I guess)

Got any pics? I have to say that I was tempted a bit more with the Black Industrial Halfords range than their red ones, as it felt a tad better quality on the draws.

 

 

Not tempted to buy something second hand off the bay and paint it up yourself? Nice little custom piece?

Aye, don't buy new, a nice older one will be a lot more sturdy. The guy who gave me my tool chest just because he wanted a new pristine one regretted the decision within days.

 

I did look at second hand stuff on eBay and Gumtree but when I looked most of them were expensive (compared to the above) and looked pretty knackerd. I'd also prefer something that was ready to go, as I find clearing up stressful enough, let alone painting the toolbox first! I think I'd be procrastinate so much by painting it, I'd not get the garage sorted...

 

 

Could wall-mounted tool racks help at all? I notice the walls are pretty much bare and someone else on here put up a pic of some tool racks with white outlines of what goes where which looked pretty nifty. Good for flat tools like spanners, hammers, saws, screwdrivers, clamps - that sort of thing? Then this could free up some more drawers for things like planes and drills and stuff which are more '3D' ?

Yeah I've seen that before. Professional workshops seem to do it often enough. I'd rather have it all in the chest though, as I like the idea of having all my tools in the workshop at the back. Then if I'm working on a car, I can drag the whole cart to the front of the garage and use it there. I do like the idea of tools having a set place to go back to. For that reason I'll probably keep my 200-piece Halfords socket+spanner set in its box. What I might do though is get a white pen and draw on the draw inserts and attach pegs to give all the tools a place.

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Beats those huge Snap-On tool chests I’ve seen - they ran a series of bright green chests and my friend has one (is £4k) snap on guy came round - he pays it off weekly

Lol at your picture. It looks like its got those neon under car lights that used to be all the rage...

I imagine the snap-on chests are great if you use and abuse them daily, but for me they'll be wasted. Also no doubt that even though they're good quality, they're still way over price.

 

Because Snap-On.

 

I acquired a load of 3 and 4 drawer filing cabinets when the company went tits up , I could get 4 at a time in old 240 , and sell them for £20 a time , as u can see my man cave is a lot more tidy for them ...  you can put them side by side but leave a gap , cover the top with a wood shelf and you can stuff bits between them and put stuff on top

 

attachicon.gif20171111_185758.jpg

 

 

I’ve got the black Halfords 3 piece stack and also a machine mart red one very similar to your picture above. Personally I think the Halfords one is better quality and feels more robust. The Clarke box is ok but if I wouldn’t buy it over the Halfords ones.

Over the years I’ve tried various boxes, last year I but the bullet and bought a proper quality set. Nearly a year on im pleased with the Halfords industrial (which are cheaper as a punter than trade card). I only use the top and bottom ones, the middle is rawl bolted to the wall in my workshop. It was too tall to use otherwise as you need to open the hinged lid to gain access to the draws (unless you butcher the interlocking). The internal hinges on any top box eat into the space too.

Good to hear that the Halfords Industrial ones are holding up well. How did you find the lack of smaller draws on the top unit? Also I share the same concerns about the height of the unit too!

 

My greatest achievement however was throwing out tools..... yup. I had a proper laundry moment and binned all that “useful someday crap” It did take 20 years to build up to this pivotal point. Obviously I still kept all that crap but it’s rammed in a sealed box, never to be used again, which I’m sure will be skipped on my death.

 

Below is the spare middle chest bolted under the worktop in my workshop - I keep a better drill and useful household tools in here - adjustable, screwdrivers etc that 99% of the time are all you need day to day. There is £300 of wickes contract kitchen, £80 of IKEA wooden worktop and £30 of new “paddled” taps you can operate without fingers! The sink was already there. The tiles were bin ends for buttons.

Luckily I'm still building my tool collection up and haven't got too many repetitions of the same thing. The tools I have got the same of, generally some are monkey metal shit and could be thrown out after the next time I use them. One thing I am doing now is only buying decent tools if I plan to use it more than twice.

 

Your work area though I am very envious of! Its huge!

 

Costco has a great tool chest and roll cab. Good thick steel and nice action drawers.

Good idea! I completely forgot about Costco. My card has expired, but tempting to have a quick look. I did look at some in Homebase. The cheap ones were rubbish but they had a very nice set at just under £1000. Quite a bit more than I would like to pay though.

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If it helps and he still has it, Ruffgeezer was trying to pass on a nice metal tool trolley with drawer set  and wooden top a few days ago. See the "Official Wanted/Offered/Shitecycle thread         "for details:

 

Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:40 AM

Big sturdy tool trolley, a firm £85.

 

Has drawers and spanner rack in the end cupboard and a thick wooden top.

Just had a quick look. I possibly want something a bit bigger unfortantly. I don't have a lot of floor space, so I need stuff to stack up vertically!

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Clas Ohlson were doing clearance on theirs a while back, but i'm guessing those are long gone i don't think they went triple height either...

They still have these:

https://www.clasohlson.com/uk/Cocraft-Pro-Edition-Tool-Cabinet/Pr407818001

https://www.clasohlson.com/uk/Cocraft-PRO-Edition-Tool-Chest/Pr407819001

 

Look to be a bit on the expensive side for what they are compared to the others above. Also out of stock too. However the gas strut action on the top lid does extrude quality.

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The Professional drawers are perfectly good - remember I used mine more in a week than you will in a month :)

 

Don’t have any pics, it’s at the back of my storage unit in Cheltenham - needs a wipe down but is pretty much as new

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I'm planning on peg boards for sockets and spanners, so I can quickly grab the size I need rather than rumaging in trays or boxes. I waste so much time looking for tools! I'm a new man. I need order in my garage.

I have a set of screwdrivers on a peg board on my workbench. As I couldn't find any of my existing ones, I bought fresh to fill the back. These are incredibly handy here and as each one has a home, I have not lost one yet! The only annoying thing with the pegs in that pegboard is that they keep falling off and down the back. I need to find a better way of securing them.

 

post-20071-0-83202700-1515024728_thumb.jpg

 

Those workbenches are a set of standard Machine Mart ones (I've seen the same in stock in Homebase too). The work surface is only MDF but its incredibly handy to work at. Especially when you're working on stuff that has springs, bolts and washers to fall off and loose. The draws are very handy too for having a set of useful tools in. On mine, the draws house spare knife blades/files/sandpaper+block/etc.

 

The top shelf is great for having quick access to consumables like paper towels, goggles, ear defenders and gloves. As they are always there and accessible (and I remember to put them back), I am far more likely to use them too.

 

I've used those workbenches loads and could recommend them. Pretty sturdy things - far more than I expected.

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