Stuff We Use: Toolboxes & Worktables
On our never-ending quest to improve this place by listening to feedback from the B&B, we are taking a new tack with these product posts, choosing instead to focus on items we use and have purchased with our own meager income. After all, if we’re giving you the truth about cars, we ought to give you the truth about car accessories.
We’ve been publishing these Stuff We Use installments for a spell now, trying to make sure items covered are generally found in a gearhead’s garage. But it’s unhelpful to have a raft of tools without anywhere to store them – which is why this post will talk about the types of toolboxes and worktables we find helpful.
Situated along one wall of my own space is a unit from the Husky brand, one of the same layout and similar size to the one shown here. Mine is about half as wide with one column of drawers instead of two. It is advertised as being built to provide a functional workspace and large storage capacity; on both fronts, this thing delivers. That wooden surface atop the drawers is held in place by a lip on the leading edge, meaning it won’t accidentally slide around on ya whilst futzing with a car part. However, it is not suitable for installing a vice, in my opinion.
This particular one on Amazon measures about 5 feet wide by a couple of feet deep. Made to be moved around if required, it has a decent set of casters that are lockable so the works of it don’t roll away at the worst possible time. This one has a stout-looking handle which will make movement a helluva lot easier than mine. Each drawer is equipped with ball bearing slides rated to 100 pounds, which is a great spec for those two deep bottom drawers.
Husky says the 21-gauge steel can support 1,200 pounds though I have no desire to test that limit. As with most things of this type in life, the lowest drawer has become a storage spot for heavy items like an angle grinder, wrecking bars, and the like. The base of that drawer has yet to bend nor have the slides warped into oblivion. The other spaces on my cabinet house things such as socket sets and lightweight gear like timing lights, meaning the capacity is not being tested to even a fraction of the weight it can possibly bear.
One feature this thing has over mine is a power console built into the side wall, bearing six electrical outlets and a couple of USB ports. This would be handy. Husky says this five-foot workbench weighs a skiff over 200 pounds, which seems about right given the mass of the slightly smaller one that’s out in my garage. Of course, that’s an unladen figure; loading it up could increase the sum by multiples. In car parlance, we call that curb weight versus GVWR. I’ll also note the price of the one I bought was nowhere near this one on Amazon, so shop around. Still, don’t cheap out too much – this is one garage item in which the quality (metal, drawer action, and so forth) tends to correspond to the overall price.
Sitting in another part of my garage is a Craftsman toolbox markedly similar to this thing but a lot bigger. Still, for the purposes of illustration and comparison, this is a good example. Mine has a trio of small drawers on the top row, perfect for precision tools and the like, with four more full-width drawers below them. Like this example linked here, it can top its top for more storage though it has a keyed lock instead of the dual hasps shown here. The bottom drawer is slightly taller than the others, but not by much.
This would be about my only complaint with this toolbox since the OCD-addled amongst us tends to use organizers in these drawers for tools like box end or open-end wrenches. So stored, the largest of these wrenches – say, anything approaching seven-eighths or one-inch – won’t permit the drawer to close when situated neatly in a foam or plastic holder. Other than that gripe, which is tied entirely to my own bizarre personality, this box has endured abuse for the better part of two decades without complaint. Wish my parade of cars – most of which have been wrenched on with tools from this box – could say the same.
As planned, this series of posts will continue to focus on items we actually use and have bought with our own money. We hope you found this one helpful.
[Images: The Author]
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Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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