Dead Computer Tower? Why Not Make A Tool Box?


[Michael Gohjs] acquired a bunch of old business computers — the Dell Optiplex GX400, to be precise — and after salvaging any of the useful components out of them he was left with the cases. Not wanting to toss them for recycling, he decided to try upcycling one into a portable tool box.

The cool thing with using a computer tower for a tool box is most of it is already setup for modular storage spaces. [Michael] removed the bracket that holds the power supply in place, and using some cardboard from a calendar stand formed a box attached to it — instant storage space. Even better? The 5.25″ drive bays have sliding rails for easy removal! Again, all [Michael] had to do was build a box in between the slot rails and he had a cleverly utilized drawer.

The rest of the case was built in a similar manner, making use of pre-existing features, and making new cubbies. If you wanted to get fancy, you could use sheet metal to do this to make an even more rugged toolbox.

While you’re at it, why don’t you make an electronics lab in the box to go with your tool box? Or one like this! Or this one…

30 thoughts on “Dead Computer Tower? Why Not Make A Tool Box?

  1. I like the thought but not the result.. I would hate using it. seems like it’s trying too hard but not practical enough. In comparison to a normal toolbox or organizer. sorry bud. Maybe lose the extra covers? after a day or two on the job you’d just throw them out.

    1. I think the poster does not use it much and mention its mainly to move his tools to uni and home. i assume he does not do that much and just wants it to store/organize his stuff when he actually uses it.
      But why cardboard…

    1. At a new job, I cut my finger to the bone after an exceedingly stubborn NEC case panel finally came loose. Walked into my supervisor’s office dripping blood, and asked where the first aid kit was. Discovered he had a phobia of blood when he promptly passed out.

      Fun times, but I’ve been more respectful of computer cases since. This is quite a clever conversion, though I agree it’s not something I’d want to use.

      1. One of the things I like about working in Fire/EMS is seeing how people react to blood and the like. Preteen girl with a broken femur — calm as can be, talked about dirtbikes all the way to the hospital, and she didn’t want any meds for pain. Grown man cut 2mm off the end of his finger — pale, cold sweat, freaking out, and made us put about 1.5″ thick of roller gauze around it so he couldn’t see any blood. The only constant is old farmers — they’re *all* tough as nails. Everyone else is hit or miss.

  2. This is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen on HaD. It’s impractical, it looks awful and the hack is literally “use an old box to store things in”/

  3. Why not? Because try loading it with 80+lbs worth of sockets, wrenches, breaker bars, torque wrenches, ratchets, etc in it and see if rivets in the case will hold up. This also ignores that there isnt a handle. The Craftsman toolboxes I have will do this:

    Also the design itself is horrible. You have to remove the faceplate which will eventually break because it snaps in/out. And having to depress tabs to remove the drive bay drawers is itself a hassle. And on top of that, the author states this took “20-30 hours over a few days”! How the hell could you spend that much time doing so little work?

    For fucks sakes HaD, develop some standards for articles. What are we going to see next, a article for someone who make a case for his Arduino out of cardboard?

  4. It’s as if an auto mechanic showed up with a tool box made out of a hollowed out engine case. For a plumber a toilet stool! In the future this case will be quite a novelty.

  5. I’ve seen a case like this before, i think its from a dell, they made novel use of hinges and i’m guessing he just wanted to show off what he thought was a novel design. I personally thought they were a pain in the ass to get back together. my pc tool box is a couple of tackle boxes where the back sides mate together, nice and compact mostly screws and ram, it can hold a video card if im lucky. if i need a power supply or a drive, i just grab a box from the pile and go.

    I also keep a separate box for LAN, and a separate box for capacitors, keep everything compartmentalized.

  6. I like it… I see this as a hipster tool box. This would be a step up for me as my around the house tools are just in a 5-gal bucket, and my on-the-go electronics kit is a one-compartment mess. I really need to work on organizing that mess.

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