An insert for a Ridgid toolbox

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Project by Tony Ennis posted 09-24-2017 05:05 PM 1602 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I have a blog here that includes more words, but the gist is that I bought a new Ridgid toobox from Home Depot and was surprised when I realized that it was nothing more than a superb exterior containing a vast open space and an ineffective tool tray.

I didn’t want my tools bouncing off of each other, and I didn’t want to grab a chisel by the wrong end. I decided to build an insert that would house in trays the tools I needed the most while leaving space in the bottom of the toolbox for hammers and other large tools.

The insert is the width and length of the box, so about 11” x 20” overall, and has a total depth of 6”. This is deep enough for three layers of tools as it turns out. Selection and layout of the tools to be included was remarkably challenging. So many choices.

The dividers are all made from resawn 2×4 scraps, then hand-planed down to 1/4”. Thinner stock is made from a sheet of plywood that had started to delaminate. It was easy to salvage the veneer off of it. Just a pop with a chisel was all it took to get pieces the size I needed.

I made the handles so they’d disappear into the sides, saving space. Those slot screw? NOS from the 70s, I think, and still in the blister pack. I don’t know how I came to own them. I needed 12 and they all matched. What’s not to like? The metal plates are just home center mystery metal flat stock.

The outside box is made from 1/2” plywood. The tray bottoms are all 1/4” plywood. Tray ends are pine, again resawn from 2×4 scraps bandsawn to approximate thickness and hand-planed. The empty insert and trays weigh in at about 8 lbs, I guess. It’s better than seeing a chipped chisel. If weight is an issue, I can indulge myself and get a light-duty hand truck from Horror Fright. It’ll do and be generally useful.

What I learned is that planning such a project is harder than the project. If I didn’t want to use the Ridged shell, it wouldn’t have been a lot more work to build an outer shell exactly the way I wanted it.

Between the tool choice, design of the trays, layout of dividers, design and fabrication of the handles, construction, and painting, this project pushed me to my limit. Once the fun is sucked out of a project, it can sit for a while. But I finished this one, just as my patience was exceeded, lol.

I included a picture of the box inside the Ridgid, for context. What you need to know is that the three thicker edges on the box sit on supports built into the Ridgid, supporting the box and leaving room for the larger tools beneath it.

-- Tony

1 comment so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25198 posts in 3963 days

#1 posted 09-25-2017 02:32 AM

Great work on those inserts and pained the right color too!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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