Shop Organization: Idea for a Cheap Tool Cabinet

Updated: May 24, 2017

Chances are you'll be able to find what you need for free.

Shop Organization: Tool cabinet from used file cabinets

I’m an inveterate scrounger, so when I saw two used file cabinets put out for recycling; I decided to recycle them myself. I needed a larger tool cabinet for my garage shop, and I thought I could make them work.

  • Step 1: Remove all the file hardware from the drawers, and take the drawers out.
  • Step 2: Bolt the cabinets together. My cabinets had holes for just this purpose, but it would be easy to drill them, too.
  • Step 3: Screw four heavy-duty casters (also scavenged) underneath

Bingo! A super-strong tool cabinet for almost nothing, complete with nifty little label holders, in less than an hour. Granted, the drawers are too big for hand tools, but they’re perfect for larger and awkward tools. I use them for a big angle grinder and a buffer, a welding helmet and face mask, a reciprocating saw and a couple of winches (plus miscellaneous weird stuff you don’t want to know about.) Even if you have to buy used file cabinets, you’d still get a super-cheap tool cabinet. The going rate seems to be about $10 per drawer.

— Ken Collier, Editor in Chief