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Old 12-25-2011, 09:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My toolbox work bench build

I've got a Snap-on KRSC46PCM tool cart. It has a flip up top with drawers and general coolness. I bought it using my 50% discount that I get from being enrolled in a technical school type of program. For the record, I'm in A&P school in Middle Tennessee.

I like the box a lot. Its quality is there for my price and it works very well. The main problem I have had is the flip up top. It leaves little to no room to work with it open and limited accessibility when working on top. I should have considered this before purchase but that is far too logical. Instead, I came up with a solution. I have built a work station that mounts to the side and "subframe" of the box and provides an excellent durable work surface that seems to be more sturdy than a regular box with a flat top.

Keep in mind that this is my first major fab project taken on without external help from someone who knows more than I do. My main tools were a Makita 4.5" angle grinder and a Lincoln Electric 140 Mig (too small for the job), 2 vice grips, a hammer, a crappy combination square and a tape measure. I am not expert welder but I got some great practice on this project. Here is my story.

The first thing I did was buy a 22 foot stick of 11ga (about 1/8") wall 1 inch square tubing. I figured the best place to start was at the bottom. I drilled and mounted my lower pieces at two spots on each side, each extends roughly 14 inches underneath the box.




I then cut out a cross piece to achieve the width that I wanted for my main vertical supports.



I went with this width so I could tie into the existing threaded holes for a handle. I later learned that those threaded holes wouldn't be enough to even support the weight of the work bench so a solution is in progress. Either way, here's a pic of the vertical pieces mounted in the handle holes.



So now it's time to go vertical. The factory sheet metal isn't near sturdy enough for my standards. Seen here



So I went with some 3/16 inch plate to plate up the inside for strength. This was a long and slow process but it's very sturdy. I went through about 9 cutoff wheels just on this plate. I reinforced by every drawer except the top because it has the handle holes. I will likely go back and plate behind that drawer. Here is a pic of all of the plating.



BEEFFFFF



Here we are all bolted up. I spent hours getting all of these holes drilled and aligned . Probably worth it.





So now that all of that is mounted, it's time to start moving in an outward direction. I decided on 2 feet out from the vertical supports, making it 2' 1" from the box. I just like the even number and I had enough leftover 3/16" plate for the top. Here is part of the structure.


Last edited by DirtRoads; 12-25-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pic for the weld junkies. Don't be too harsh, they don't all look this good. Or this bad.



Skip ahead a bit because I was in the zone and forgot about pictures. Add a cute little shelf on the bottom. Note: Put your expanded on before adding diagonal pieces. That would have made it much easier to get it together







And just like that, here's the finished product. I considered going with a UHMW top since I have some lying around from a "recycled" bathroom stall but decided I could easily add it later if I wanted.



I just realized that I don't have any excellent finished pictures. I am currently undecided on paint. I'd like to maintain the bare metal for durability and simplicity. Either that or a brushed steel and clear coat would be sweet. Right now I'm just going to use it and see how it holds up.

The table itself is stronger than I anticipated. I had a friend sit on one side of the box while I sat on the bench. There was no noticeable deflection and the drawers functioned as they should. I have pounded and weighed down the table enough to realize that I am happy with the result. I will likely go back and plate up that top drawer since it is closest to the work surface itself and will see the most stress. Overall, I am surprised at the result. The holes did not line up well at all after removing the table for finish welding but I made it work. Best guess, counting consumables, steel, and hardware, I'm probably in it about 100-125$ or so.

Now, I just need a vise and I'll be set.

Last edited by DirtRoads; 12-25-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks cool man.



Shoulda made it so it will fold down
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks. When I was mid-build, everyone was saying that. I don't know how I could make it so sturdy with it being foldable. Right now I can straight beat on it with no problem. I don't think adding my ghetto designed foldness would be the same

I am also thinking about adding a flip down support leg with pins and a screw leg for adjustment on the outer edge to support weight if I throw something up that's really heavy. This will be my work toolbox though and I don't know how often I will be doing that being in avaition.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You could make an edge at the top to hook the top plate to, and then a edge at the bottom to set the support on, and pin the bottom leg/support in. Should be about as strong as it is now, and not much fab work and very easy to take down and up.
You could also remove it easily, and have different size tables.

NIce first project
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, that's not a bad idea. But realistically, I'm not hurting for space since I'm starting with a single bay box. I think, now, it's just about as wide as a factory double bay but I'm not 100%.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You did a good job and all, but I would NEVER drill holes in my Snappy box like that. Two each his own I guess. I would just have built a table on wheels and roll it with the box if you needed a table to work at.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well I thought about that but in my mind its an improvement. I don't really care about resale since I plan to have it forever. It's a toolbox (to me), not an Aston Martin
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thats very nice and looks very sturdy. All those bolts in your vertical bars is definately overkill but when in doubt build it stout.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DirtRoads View Post
Well I thought about that but in my mind its an improvement. I don't really care about resale since I plan to have it forever. It's a toolbox (to me), not an Aston Martin


If you're happy with it, rock it, props to you, does not matter what anyone else thinks anyways right.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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those bolts in your vertical bars is definately overkill but when in doubt build it stout.
My main fear was damaging that sheetmetal bad enough that it couldn't be fixed by not spreading the loads out over enough bolts. I figured that if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. Thanks for the compliments.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is that some Fat Tire beer?
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yep
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Looks VERY cool! Great idea
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Good Idea but as stated I also would never really modify a Snap On box like that but it is yours!

I have made so many roll around carts because mine always get filled with things

Nice job!!

The thing with a vise as long as you don`t need to pull on the handle to hard the cart just rolls around the same with trying to break bolts loose on something clamped to the bench part.

Something to think about
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The thing with a vise as long as you don`t need to pull on the handle to hard the cart just rolls around the same with trying to break bolts loose on something clamped to the bench part.

I've already experienced that with a borrowed vise mounted with vise-grips. I still think it would be handy even if it wasn't perfect. I'm just looking for a smaller one (4-5" wide jaws) so I don't eat up all of my real estate. If anyone has any leads on a good American made vise about that size, I'm all ears .
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I got a cute wilton machinest vice that would look great on your toolcart. Bullet style made in USA!
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I got a cute wilton machinest vice that would look great on your toolcart. Bullet style made in USA!
Well what are you waiting for? Put up some pictures! Or shoot me a PM. Doesn't matter to me.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thought I'd add in a quick how-to on some cheap ghetto functional drawer organizers. I took two pieces of scrap aluminum, cut them to the height of the drawer, bent them in a little bit of an "L" shape and riveted them together with opposing angles as shown.



This way they are movable so drawer layouts can change until I figure out what works. If I decide I want to make them more permanent I can either rivet them to the drawer (doubt it) or throw on some double sided tape or something. Either way, they're pretty sturdy for what they are.



Cost? Let's go with real cheap.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You should have listened to your friends and made it foldable as it doesn't need to be very strong. The weak link are the wheels of the snap on box and if you start beating on stuff those casters will go, then the caster mounts will go. If you wanted to use the snap on box for a basis for a bench to be rough with you should have make a square tube or angle iron frame under the entire snap on box and affixed the wheels to that. Having 1000 bolts holding the frame to the snap on box was a big waste of time and materials. Your in A&P school you should have looked at the bigger overall picture.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #21 (permalink)
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You should have listened to your friends and made it foldable as it doesn't need to be very strong. The weak link are the wheels of the snap on box and if you start beating on stuff those casters will go, then the caster mounts will go. If you wanted to use the snap on box for a basis for a bench to be rough with you should have make a square tube or angle iron frame under the entire snap on box and affixed the wheels to that. Having 1000 bolts holding the frame to the snap on box was a big waste of time and materials. Your in A&P school you should have looked at the bigger overall picture.
1000 bolts? Try 16. I only "wasted" that many to distribute the load over the whole structure so the drawers would still function and the table would be solid. Space isn't really ever going to be a problem, hence the non-foldabe table. How would building a subframe to hold the casters possibly help prolong caster life? If the caster mounts start showing problems, I'll worry about it then but I don't see it being a problem. Even then, there will always be a weak link.
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