First Order Toolcart #1: The inspiration and the plan

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Blog entry by CJC716 posted 01-17-2016 03:20 PM 1072 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of First Order Toolcart series Part 2: What do I really need? »

After working with pegboard walls for 6 months I have grown to despise the functionality of it. I often do most of my work on the assembly table or my small bench and find that my tools never quite make it up to the peg board and when they do they seem to immediately need to be used again.

As a fan of the TESTED – Adam Savage podcast I came across his concept of using tool carts to get tools out of drawers and into a state of first order retrievability. This is a method I often use at work but never thought about applying it to the shop as I have grown up seeing tools in drawers and slapped up on pegboard. Check out the video podcast if you haven’t seen it (

So the plan…..

1. Devise a list of all the items that I would need to be able to retrieve and replace without even thinking or searching
2. Remove pegboard except for those items which rarely are used (Large drywall T, Large Levels, Plumb Bob, etc.)
3. Have dimensions for the final cart that would compliment the standard height of the bench, assembly table and TS
4. Leave enough variance in the design to allow for future reconfigurations.

With the plan set I worked out a rough design. I originally sketched a triangle with 1” radiused corners but thought the shape would limit the flexiibility in holders and shelving moving forward. I settled on what I am referring to as a “waterfall” design to allow for the inclusion of deeper shelves if needed.

This is the final shape.

Next entry will be looking towards what tools and hardware I will want to store on the cart.

3 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18051 posts in 4351 days

#1 posted 01-17-2016 04:00 PM

Should be fun and work well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Matt's profile


163 posts in 2114 days

#2 posted 01-17-2016 05:58 PM

I like your design – very clean and appears to likely become very functional. I don’t listen to the podcast but after building my first few projects, the “tool cart” became a soon to be built item for me as well. I don’t know how far along you are in your designs, but my day dreaming about it’s construction has the following options: A “standard” area with the most commonly used tools, and then several removable “modules” to help with the task at hand i.e. a glue up module, a sanding module, a finishing module, etc. In my head it’ll have a non-mobile station away from my work area (other side of the stairs) to store the not in use modules. I don’t know how practical this design will be but in my head it seems to fit my needs. (I’m a small basement shop with a 48×48 assembly table that seems to hold EVERYTHING while trying to assemble, and I’m hoping this will make things a bit easier.) The pic is the clutter I’m very excited to get rid of.

I really like the shape you came up with, I’ll be following this blog to see how it ends up. Good luck!

-- My "projects" always look better when your glasses are broken.

View CJC716's profile


31 posts in 2462 days

#3 posted 01-17-2016 07:42 PM

@Ken – Is definitely fun to problem solve and the best part is if it doesn’t workout then everything can be stripped back to the base design and redone.

@Madpretzel – I am contemplating a module-ish approach as well along with creating a system of workflow based needs. It will be my second post in the blog as I try to flush out some of the details. Thanks for following along and any advice or critique is appreciated as I go.


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