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Shaddow Tool Box 1

Copyright 2005

Shadow Tool Box

This tool box hangs on the workshop wall. It swings open to show the tools hung up within easy reach. It is inexpensive and easy to build. It also locks up the tools when they are not in use.

It is simply made from plywood, 2-by-4's, and 2-by-3's and can be built in a couple hours. You can hang it on any type of wall but you must anchor it securely.

You can buy all the materials for this box at your local home store.

Shaddow Tool Box 1 Shaddow Tool Box 2

Pictures of this and most of our other projects can be seen in our Picture Gallery.

This free design includes four detailed sketches. You can get them by e-mail us with this little form.

Rockler order link to first page

You can make this box by:

  1. Downloading the drawings and this text.
  2. Studying this information and locating the materials.
  3. Purchasing all the materials locally.
  4. Having plywood cut at the store.
  5. Cut and drill the wood pieces.
  6. Assembling the box.
  7. Install Hardware
  8. Make wooden hangers for your tools.

After you download the sketches, these notes will help you understand them more completely.

  1. Shadow Tool Box

    The front view shows the tool box open with the two doors hinged out.

  2. Shadow Tool Box, Wide Boards, Sketch #2

    This sketch is shows a front view of the box closed and a side view of the box closed.

    The first box was built to be mounted on a brick wall with access to the top plate available. The top hanger rests on the wall's top plate. The bottom is secured with lang bolts set in anchors drilled in the brick mortar.

  3. Shadow Tool Box, Plywood Cut, Sketch #3

    This sketch shows the cuts in a piece of 1/2 inc B/C plywood. You can have these cuts made at the store.

    It also shows the corner gussets which can be cut from scrap 1/4 inch plywood.

  4. Shadow Tool Box; Bottom, Tray, and Secret , Sketch #4

    These are the pieces of wood needed to make the frame. The body is made from construction grade 2-by-4's and the doors are made from 3-by-3's.

This box uses construction grade lumber and plywood.

  1. Wood


    Dimensioned Lumber:

    Wood Subtotal: $34.00

  2. Hardware

    Hardware Subtotal: $ 23.00

  3. Finish:

    Finish Subtotal: $ 7.00

  4. Omissions and Contingencies (~10%) ( Tax, sand paper, etc.) $6.00
  5. Estimate Total Cost $70.00

This is only an estimate (made in the May 2000). The price may vary in your area.

This is your tool box and you can build it to suit your likes and needs.

  1. Customize the Box to Suit Your Needs

    1. Wall Mounting

      The tool box shown was mounted on a brick wall with open access to the wall's top plate. If this is not your situation you may need to mount it in a different way.

      If you wish to mount the box to the studs in a frame wall you may need to make a few adjustments. Usually the top plate can be lagged to at the very top of the wall. These mounts take most of the weight and must be solid.

      The bottom lags need to be set in studs. This means you need to make the box body 1.5 inches wider. You can do this by extending the horizontal members and half-lapping the plywood along the sides. The doors likewise need to be .75 inches wider. This should make the bottom lags centered on studs.

    2. Tool Hangers

      The hangers for the actual tools are made from scrap wood and screwed to the plywood. Avoid having the power tools switches rest on the hangers.

      The piece of scrap wood across the bottom is needed to keep the power tool cords inside the box.

    3. Finish

      A classic shadow box has a light finish and then shadow of each of each tool painted in its place. This can be done by cutting shapes out of poster board and using spray paint. This is a very useful feature if more than one person is using a shop.

  2. Cutting the Plywood

    Sketch #3 shows the cuts for the plywood. If you have these made at the store it will be much easier to get the material home.

  3. Frame Members

    The two main upright frame members need to be cut to accept the mounting hardware.

    The ends of the frame members are let into other members. The joints are nailed and glued.

  4. Plywood Gussets

    The eight door gussets are simple plywood 4 inch plywood squares with one corner cut off.

    The four gussets for the top hanger may need to be adjust to suit your hanging method but are also scrap plywood.

  5. Assembly

    Glue and nail the plywood to the frames. Glue and nail the gussets to the doors.

    Trial fit the back section to the wall before mounting the doors. Drill holes for the lag anchors.

    Surface mount the four hinges (no need to let them into the wood). Add the hasp.

  6. Hanging On the Wall

    You will need help to hang the box on the wall. Some wooden props may also help.

    Install the eye hooks to keep the doors open. You may need small anchors depending on the type of wall.

  7. Tool Hangers

    Make simple tool hangers from scraps of wood to hold your tools. Do not let the hangers for power tools press against the triggers as this may wear out the switches prematurely. Planes can sit on small shelves but should have a pieces of molding under them so that the plane blade does not rest on the shelf.

    Screw the hangers to the plywood without glue. You may need to move them from time to time.

Rockler order link to first page

You do not have to finish the box at all. Classically the inside would be painted a light color and shadows of the tools spray painted on using cardboard cutouts.

The outside is a good place to place old license plate or perhaps a girlie calender.

Rockler order link to first page


Thanks again for using a Woodware Computer Furniture Plans. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and would be happy to answer any questions by email.

If you send us a picture of your finished project, we would be happy to put it on our web page. We need pictures of boxes with real people standing beside them.

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