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  1. #1
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    Default New tool box recommendations.

    I'm looking to get a tool box for myself. I'm looking for something I can use as both a standard tool box and a tooling cart for my machine. So I'll be holding a good amount of Lang vises, and fixturing, as well as a bunch of carbide.

    Every machinist buys a Kennedy box, but if I'm being honest I think the feel kind of cheap, plus brown is ugly, I'm not opposed to one if I'm wrong. The one I have access to is pretty old. I'm thinking of getting a lista mobile cabinet. What does everyone use, or what do people like? I don't need it to be too big, but I want it to be heavy duty.

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    I could see a lista with rollers for a bottom box. But I really like the 11 drawer kennedy top box for the smaller tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post
    I could see a lista with rollers for a bottom box. But I really like the 11 drawer kennedy top box for the smaller tools.
    I could see myself adding a more traditional tool box later. Assuming budget wasn't an issue would you still get a Kennedy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRIAN.T View Post
    I could see myself adding a more traditional tool box later. Assuming budget wasn't an issue would you still get a Kennedy?
    I wouldnt buy it new but yes. Its too easy to find them used in very nice shape.

    The tools inside the box are more important than the box its self.

    If I had to buy a new toolbox, like bottom roller box. I'd probably got Harbor Freight. These red toolboxes are really nice for the money.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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    I have 1 Lista, 2 Vidmar, 1 Equipto, 1 old Craftsman, 1 Husky and a 54 x 24 Matco tool box. For the weight you are looking at I would say the Lista or Vidmar would be the only choice that would hold up long term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRIAN.T View Post
    I could see myself adding a more traditional tool box later. Assuming budget wasn't an issue would you still get a Kennedy?
    If TIME budget had NEVER been an issue, nearly a dozen cabinets I have would all have been shop-fabbed.

    They only come in two sizes, after all. Poor fit to your s**t. WORSE fit to your s**t.

    The goods I have that are heavy enough to justify Lista/Vidmar tend to be TOO heavy:

    - A collection of lathe chucks, faceplates, collet closers, 4-Way TP, milling-machine arbours, 6" vises (7+) etc

    Or too tall or long - steel layout rules, height gages to 42", SE's to 48", etc. That stuff needs VERTICAl partitioning. Flat would just be too wide for the space. DAMHIKT I already have a pair of architect's flat "blueprint" cabinets.

    The seniour-citizen is my second Kennedy, brand-new 1960's era. First one wasn't brown. Green wrinkle, rather, leather handle, used. Believe it or not, "specialized" as their drawer layout is, those fit what I needed them for rather well.

    Then again? We adapt to the storage we have, rather than adapting storage to what we would RATHER have had.

    Best to sever your shop-cart and basic tool needs into two different boxes, two different styles, if not also two different strength grades.

    THEN try to optimize each for its different role. Keep assessing YOUR needs going forward. They won't be the same as the next guy. They probably won't be the same as your OWN self over five-year or so drifts in needs, either.

    What the industry needs is cheaper and better "modular" kits so we could DIY in increments, make periodic changes faster and more cheaply, keep the "good stuff" more useful, longer.

    2CW

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    Greetings,

    I've got one of those Lista rolling bottom units, with a large-ish Kennedy on top for small tools.
    It's not something that gets moved much (ever) but dear god is it useful. Too big to be really practical as a 'roll around' toolbox.
    The drawers will actually stand up to several hundred pounds of tooling each, and move easily like that. The box itself will roll more-or-less easily fully loaded. Stopping it once it gets moving is another issue, but it will roll with just one guy to push.
    I got mine used, so it was a brain-dead simple decision. They run about $3K new... If you've got the money for it, it will *not* disappoint you. (And will probably outlive you. Built like a tank.)
    I can't say enough good things about it.
    I have a bunch of Kennedys, and a couple of Snap-on's I inherited. The Lista's the nicest of the bunch. (But easily the heaviest of them when empty.)

    FWIW,
    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic View Post
    I got mine used, so it was a brain-dead simple decision. They run about $3K new... If you've got the money for it, it will *not* disappoint you.
    Thing is, once you get over even ONE thousand, new (used are not easy to find OR ship w/o damage..),

    ...it starts looking attractive to DIY.

    Not for HF, Lowes, HD, other lightweights. NFW you can DIY as cheaply.

    But for Lista or Vidmar? Yah - it can be economical to DIY. And you can have the size and configuration your specific needs dictate.

    Components are not hard to source. Square tube, channel, angle, extrusions, casters, ball-bearing slides, steel or aluminium plate, sheet steel plus some hired box brake work, bolts, rivets, TiG..even plywood here and there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRIAN.T View Post
    I'm looking to get a tool box for myself. I'm looking for something I can use as both a standard tool box and a tooling cart for my machine. So I'll be holding a good amount of Lang vises, and fixturing, as well as a bunch of carbide.

    Every machinist buys a Kennedy box, but if I'm being honest I think the feel kind of cheap, plus brown is ugly, I'm not opposed to one if I'm wrong. The one I have access to is pretty old. I'm thinking of getting a lista mobile cabinet. What does everyone use, or what do people like? I don't need it to be too big, but I want it to be heavy duty.
    But the brown helps cover up the coffee stains!

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazygoat View Post
    But the brown helps cover up the coffee stains!
    Don't think we want to KNOW why so many of the cheap ones are arterial-blood RED, then...


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    Good boxes are available from Proto and Waterloo.

    Personally, I have a Mac toolbox. I love it. I'll probably by another. Mechanic's boxes are built to last. But, you will pay a premium.

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    Having been a truck mechanic during my career I have to say a Snap-On or Mac tool box would do you good. Some of their "hotdog wagon" style boxes have spring loaded wheels so the contents of the box won't get rearranged every time you move it. They also incorporate two priceless features on their modern boxes, full extension ball bearing drawer slides and detents that hold the drawers closed without having to lock it. Seen many a box tip and get destroyed when the drawers open while moving. Once they start to tip ain't no stopping it. Mac also makes a quality box. Can't say anything about Matco. Bought one back in the early 90's after three months the welds on the bottom started popping. They replaced it without a problem. It wasn't the boxes problem, the shop floor was about as smooth as a Baja road course. Mechanics boxes are made to hold a lot of heavy tools and the drawers are designed to be opened and closed constantly. I currently use an MBC top and bottom box to roll around the shop and a Snap-On box on my bench. MBC was in Franklin Park Illinois and made boxes for Mac, Snap-on and several tool companies. Good luck with your search.

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    The H.F. ones are pretty darn good.
    As for one next to the machine ?
    The $200 one, you could have one next to each machine:
    3 in. 5 Drawer Red Mechanic's Cart

    Or less yet:
    3 in. 4 Drawer Black Tech Cart
    Or with more room for a vise, and other heavy tooling:
    3 in. Bulk Storage Black Tech Cart

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    Have a look at the blue Craftsman chest currently offered on the tooling FS forum of this site.

    -Marty-

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    Stor-Loc. Made in USA. Cheaper than Lista. 55 year warranty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhearons View Post
    Stor-Loc. Made in USA. Cheaper than Lista. 55 year warranty.
    Ryan Metal Products. Privately held:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/profiles/c...l-products-inc

    AND MODULAR! Did they say MODULAR? Yes!.. they are MODULAR!

    Stor-Loc Cabinet Examples

    Stor-Loc Cabinet Drawers

    Stor-Frame System

    Stor-Loc Drawer Configuration Planner

    Those longer metrology goods and milling-machine arbours? Mix 'em in with the "shop security" goods!

    http://www.storloc.com/gun-loc-gun-storage-cabinet.html

    And get this:

    "STOR-LOC® will make any cabinet model on a 20 point (20mm) increment at no additional charge.
    Bookmarked these folk. "DIY"? Yup. "DIY" finding of the MONEY .. in "increments".. so I need NOT!

    "Increments". One set a year, yard-sale the old tin? Why not?
    You only get laid one go at a time, and THAT works OK, yah?



    2-page "Farm Show" brochure downloaded as a "teaser" and dream-book:

    http://nebula.wsimg.com/527d60a80eed...&alloworigin=1

    THANKS FOR THAT!

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    I posted this a couple weeks ago. It's a '70s Snap on box with a (not yet complete) homebuilt top. It was the general shop handtool storage box and got way too small so I replaced it with a HF box and did this to serve a VMC. I bought it used in the late 70s but you can find these on Craigslist for $300 or so. Something that isn't generally noticed until you use your box is that the depth of the drawers is critical for utility. Most boxes have drawers that are way too deep and you wind up piling the tools in the drawers and rummaging through them every time you look for a tool. One of the great things about Snap on boxes is the upper drawers are very shallow and you can lay all your tools side by side without wasting vertical cubic space. The top drawer in this box is now an inspection drawer, currently used mics and such are laid in it and it's pulled open to access them then pushed shut to keep them free of chips and dirt. The second drawer has mostly prints notebooks markers etc. Notice that Gerstner boxes also have shallow drawers for machinist tools. The best box in the shop is a Costco Stainless steel box, the first generation that they sold 12-15 years ago. It has some shallow drawers and a full size letter size file drawer in the top box, I haven't found a similar box since or I'd have a second one.

    The HF box gets a solid B for construction but we miss the shallow drawers even for general tool storage.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20180705_192624-1024.jpg  

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    I bought a Kennedy "hand carry" toolbox a few years back and it was made in China. Called them up and found out which ones are/were still made in the US. They may all be made overseas now, not sure, although their website says "all Kennedy tool cabinets (not boxes) made in the US".

    Returned the POS China unit and bought a US box.

    Be careful out there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Keeley View Post
    I bought a Kennedy "hand carry" toolbox a few years back and it was made in China. Called them up and found out which ones are/were still made in the US.

    Returned the POS China unit and bought a US box.

    Be careful out there...
    Kennedy never made anything to Roll-Royce spec to begin with. Only a more prestigious lightweight line than Sears-Sawbuck was branding as "Craftsman", same-era. Many among us just bought the Sears one. Metal gauge used for either line was pitiful-thin compared to Lista, Vidmar, or even mass-market food-service industry goods, pulls and catches cheap-arse stampings, drawer guides marginal.

    Those bitchin' NICE "Costco" units were made in China, too, though.

    The Director of Engineering I did NOT hire (#2 choice, globally though, great guy) went-off to run CTM Macau instead. I had a client putting Telco gear into racks in Denmark, using a fantastic high-grade light-alloy TEN THOUSAND US$ Swiss-made custom-built rack cabinet. Finest work of art I'd ever seen around any telco facility on four continents, 50+ years.

    John... was having his own design of rack cabinets CNC-fabbed in Zuhai, PRC. For $200 per-unit, delivered to adjacent Macau, two or three day lead-time.

    His "plain Jane" Chinese cabinets... ignorant powder-coated STEEL, but plenty of it...actually fit the NEED better than the Swiss artwork did!

    With Chinese-made goods? It is ALL about WTF they are ASKED to make, and to how good the design. And the level of QC enforced. Of course.

    Sounds much the same as RIGHT HERE, yah?

    Been disappointed more than once without having to go offshore for the privilege..

    And the reverse.. delighted as well..

    "Caveat Emptor", ANY source.

    2CW

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    Seriously consider the HF boxes

    They did a point by point of their good stuff vs Snap on
    steel thickness, full bearing drawer slides, and so on...They were equal or better.


    For instance.
    26 in. x 22 In. Single Bank Red Roller Cabinet

    You could have thirty of these vs a $10,000 snap on box


    I don't like the colour, but you could do or have them painted and drawers lined and still be thousands of dollars ahead.


    Make the best use of floor space and go higher
    26 in. Single Bank Red Top Chest

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