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Craftsman 26″ GripLatch Tool chest

In January, we acquired a Craftsman stainless steel GripLatch tool chest for our workshop. We had some reservations about fitting it into the shop as the chest was 41″ wide. However, it was so nice and shiny that we thought we would give it a go. Try as we might, we just could not find a good location for it. In the end, we decided to replace it with something more appropriately sized for the space we had available.

Fortunately for us, an auto mechanic was looking to offload a Craftsman tool chest combo he no longer needed. After a bit of online negotiation we were able to come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement. After all was said and done–selling the stainless steel unit and buying these two pieces–we actually came out a couple of hundred dollars ahead. Who knew there was profit in the buying and selling of used tool chests!

Like the stainless steel unit, these pieces were from Craftman’s heavy-duty GripLatch series. These units have seen some use (repairdent), but were structurally and functionally sound. More importantly, they were perfectly sized for the space we had available.

We gave both units a good wipe down and removed as many stickers as we could. Fortunately, most of the grime was on the outside. All of the drawers were surprisingly clean, but missing liners. Good thing we have plenty of Zerust liners on hand. We prefer Zerust liners over normal liners because they protect tools from rust and corrosion, as well as cushioning the drawers.

The width of the Zerust liner was just a little too wide for the drawer, so we had to make two cuts for each liner. The perforations acted as a “dotted line” guide, so making a long straight cut across the width of the liners was easy. Using the first piece as a template, we were able to make quick work of cutting out the rest. As the width of the liner was about 3/4″ too wide, we had to trim all of the pieces to fit. The scissors we had were stout enough to trim  five pieces at a time. Depending on what kind of scissors you have, the number of pieces you will be able to cut at once may vary.

At this point, we could have loaded up the drawers. However, we thought we might attend to some cosmetic issues before we organized the tools. The last owner had some trouble changing out the lock. The job left a pretty unsightly scar.

We could have left it as it was, but decided to give the scar a quick cover up with some Sugru. Granted, this wasn’t our most elegant Sugru hack, but at least it looked better than before. We tried giving it a smooth finish, but the patch looked rather boring, so we worked in a bit of texture. The blue color is obviously off. If we had some black Sugru on hand, we would have tried mixing it in to better match the the finish. We may come back to this at a later time, but it will do for now.

Finally, we have a tool chest which has plenty of storage and is rugged enough for our workshop. It will be nice to have easy access to our frequently used tools again. With our CNC machine in place, the next project in the workshop is to get a dust-management system installed and operational.

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