How to Build a Tool Dolly

Build this mobile tool chest and take all your tools to the job in just one trip!

tool dolly

You’ll need:

  • (4) 37-1/2-in. long 1×10 pine boards (actually 3/4 in. x 9-1/4 in.) for the doors and sides
  • (2) 18-1/2 in. long 1×10 pine boards for the cabinet top and floor
  • (1) 18-1/2 in. x 36 in. piece of 1/2-in. thick plywood for the back
  • Scrap boards for a base
  • Assorted fasteners

Build this mobile tool chest and take all your tools to the job in just one trip. A new dolly costs about $30 and the boards for the cabinet about $20. If you use 1×10 pine boards, you won’t need to cut any boards to width.

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Screw the cabinet together with 1-5/8 in. drywall screws after drilling pilot holes. Clamp on the plywood back, check for square, then screw it to the sides, top and floor with 1-in. drywall screws. Attach the doors with 2-1/2 in. butt hinges. Pine boards tend to warp, so keep the doors flat, screw several 2-in. wide cleats across the inside. The cleats can be drilled double as great drill and driver bit holders.

To raise the cabinet to a more comfortable height, screw four scrap boards into a frame and attach this base to the dolly’s base with lag screws. Next drill holes in the base, then rest the cabinet on the base and attach it with 1-5/8 in. drywall screws through the floor into the base. To attach the upper part of the cabinet to the dolly, we drove two 5/16-dia. bolts through a board positioned behind the dolly’s frame and into two 5/16-in. tee nuts set in the cabinet back. If this won’t work for your dolly or design, use metal strapping or drill a couple of bolt holes through the dolly.

The cabinet’s 9-1/4 in. depth provides plenty of space for power and hand tools plus full sheets of sandpaper. Have fun engineering convenient holders for your tools using pegboard, magnets, hooks and shop-fashioned holsters. Be sure to securely store tools so they won’t fall or roll around as you cruise to and from the job.

tool dolly closed

tool dolly pulled