Lets Build A Simple Sheet Metal Tool Tray

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A simple one piece tool tray is shown being fabricated from scrap metal. The process highlights the way dimensions of the box come to life by cutting the appropriate notches and forming the metal into angles that result in a rectangular tool tray with interlocking corners. The typical way to secure the corners is by use of pop rivets as shown near the end of the video. This technique can easily be utilized to change all kinds of scrap material on the shop floor into unique and functional boxes or trays of any size for innumerable uses. With little more than basic knowledge, a few standard shop tools and the ability to operate tin snips, just about anyone can fabricate a similar project totally by hand. For a ‘makeshift’ brake, two pieces of angle iron clamped into a bench vice will work for smaller projects. Soft taps with a mallet can make the bends. A totally handmade tray will not have the crisp bends as this one displayed but it will nonetheless be a functional storage component for your tool box or shelf. Of course a small investment would be very beneficial as well such as: https://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch-bending-brake-39103.html A second suggestion would be: https://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-jaw-straight-sheet-metal-seamer-98728.html Yes, I know for the same amount of money you can buy all sorts of storage containers…but what you cannot buy is the satisfaction of knowing you have developed the capability for making functional things from scrap. You will find that after creating the first item, you will begin to find all kinds of things to make. Soon your skill level will elevate and you’ll learn to see all sorts of potential in what is normally tossed into a landfill. So…the question is….was this really just a simple box or is it potentially the impetus to get you to start something new in your own workshop. Let me know in a comment on a future video….


William Santiago says:

Great video sir. That plier type tool that you used to make the hole for the rivets, what's the name of it and where can I get one? I work with sheet metal making roof ventilators and I would love to add that tool to my war chest of tools.🙂 Wheel use air drills to make our holes but every now and then my friends will ask me to make a box like yours and I don't feel like turning on the shop compressors just to run the air drill just to make a couple of holes so that's why I would like to know the name of your hole maker. Thumbs up on your video and take care buddy. 👍👍👍👍



MAFarm Town says:

Those were well made and always useful. Enjoyed watching.

mikes back yard garage says:

Don't show this video to your wife !!!! She will have you making loaf pans bread making !!! LOL !!

DIY My Way says:

Good morning Wendell! You are an impeccable craftsman! The tool trays look store-bought! Thanks for sharing!

John Minckler says:

Very nice work sir. Your a talented man.

Vitor Simões says:

Very creative… Kudos to you dude!!!

From Steel To Wood says:

That is what I like most about metalworking: only limited by your creativity. Unlike plastic trays, those metal trays will stand straight and be stacked next to the other without wasting space. Thanks!

bubba gump says:

…… very nice TM44 , you do good work !

Gator's World says:

Now I can go to the garage and build myself one out of aluminium tray cover…..thanks for the idea of how to make myself a small carry tool box…..very well done….CHEERS

flatlinesup says:

Great vid. Thank you.

Reg Sparkes says:

Boy oh boy, I could think a few uses for trays and boxes like these, for my stuff!
I'd guess that you could have another facet of your work for sale, in making trays and boxes to order, I know I'd be a customer of yours, Wendell 🙂

Jan Kotze says:

Fantastic work 44, I can look for hours how you work with tinplate, I have a tin beaker or jug with a handle that I made as an apprentice in 1982, it is round with a handle, may be I must look at it again to see what we did at the time, I forgot the techniques long gone, we made a toolbox as well, my brother have it now👍

RCAFpolarexpress says:


marcus matthews says:

I think I’m gonna just start looking at press / breaks now. Great video

Chuck Stark says:

In our first metal shop in school, our instructor had us start out with cardboard for simple concepts. It taught us the basics of measuring without destroying any sheet metal.

1lilfarm says:

You always give me more ideas for around the shop. Sometimes too many! 😂😂😂

Jeff Mc says:

You certainly have some real talent! Jack of all trades and master of most I've seen in the videos!

Terry K says:

Nice work! Looks like you may have done this once or twice before. Learned a new word today: "thinkability".

David de Silva says:

Great tutorial on the tool trays, Tractorman44. A carry all would be interesting in a future video. Thanks for the vids!

rick burris says:

Beautiful sheet metal work. I'm an retired A&P mechanic and can do sheet metal if forced to but we used to build all kinds of tool trays and parts trays, galvanized metal has to be easier to work with than aluminum which will spring back and crack on you.

Matt The Scrap Whisperer says:

Great video Wendell. These boxes are very useful and will far outlast the plastic trays. I have PDF plans for building a box and pan brake once I catch up on everything else around here! I like your hand punch. I have an old Roper Whitney; what brand is yours?

Steve Hasebroock says:

Well that was fun! Took me back to my tin 101 work in school just a few years ago! Mine didnt come out quite that square, but remember making a tool box with a tray! May have to get me a little brake!

Chris and Max says:

I still make my emergency pans like this with a reverse cross break,lead soldier the corners.i hate these new plastic pans.
I hope some people watch this and go out and make some of these.take care

DaveyJO Weaver says:

Nothing like 44 Ware to store all kinds of stuff! This was my breakfast entertainment before my pill dessert. So it was a pleasure my 44 Friendand I Thank You! So a Great Weekend to y’all at 44 Headquarters and I’ll be tipping your way! Squeezes for the Missus please! DaveyJO

My Cluttered Garage says:

Beautiful work Wendell. Imagination – yes. Tools – yes. Skills – YES!

Tony Jones says:

Hello from Alaska. Great job and thank you for the videos. 👍🇺🇸

Geof HAM says:

Hi, many thanks for the tips. From Nr Liverpool UK.

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