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Foamed-out Tool Box on the cheap cheap

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by BeLance89, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Jan 31, 2018 at 9:43 PM
    #1
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Backstory:

    If you're like me, you have mild OCD and like to keep things clean and organized. I've been wanting to shadow foam my tool box for quite a while now but the Kaizen foam that is typically used is honestly just too expensive for me. The cheaper version of the Kaizen foam (all black layers) runs for about $15 for a 2'x4' sheet on Amazon and the nice stuff (white center layers) is about $40 for the same size. There are also alternatives for shadow foam organization solutions on Amazon that come with two different color foam sheets and those are about $25 for a 2'x4' sheet. The problem with a 2'x4' sheet thought is, for the price, I felt there could be a lot of waste after cutting out just one drawer depending on your style of tool box.

    I've also seen a youtube video of someone shadowing a tool box using foam from a craft store (Michaels or Hobby Lobby) for around $3 but the foam wasnt very thick. After searching all the known options, I figured i'd just go to a few stores and try some different materials I came across.

    The first material I tried was a 4'x8' sheet of blue foam insulation at Lowes for $15. It had the thickness I wanted at 1/2" and was fairly sturdy. The problem though was that it was fairly sturdy lol. Because of its rigidity, it was hard to cut to the shape of the tools. I ended up just taking the sheet to work for use on other projects.

    Meat and Potatoes:

    I then went to Wal-Mart and wandered around their crafts section but couldn't find anything that would work. In the camping section, however, I hit the jackpot... a blue Ozark Trail camping pad. It's 1/2" thick which is what I wanted and it is 20" W x 6' L. I knew I wasn't going to be able to "peel layers" like the Kaizen foam so I still had to find a thinner foam for the bottom shadow layer. In the fitness equipment section I found a thin 3mm grey yoga mat that is 24" W x 68" L. Not quite the same dimensions as the camping pad but close enough :rolleyes:.
    I've only done one small drawer as a test so far but it came out great so I will be moving on to the wrenches and other drawers this weekend.

    Price:

    Camping Pad - $7
    Yoga Mat - $5


    IMG_7938.jpg IMG_7939.jpg

    Here's how it turned out

    IMG_7940.jpg
    IMG_7941.jpg

    And here's how much material I have left!

    IMG_7943.jpg

    The tool I used to cut the foam

    IMG_7942.jpg

    Other cutting options are available for cutting foam, like Hot Wire foam cutters and they can be picked up for about $20... but my goal was to get what I wanted as cheap as possible and the Snap-Off knife did the trick. I think I got it for about $3. Here's a link to a hot wire cutter if you'd like to go that route...

    https://www.amazon.com/Styrofoam-Cu...7459988&sr=8-10&keywords=foam+cutter+electric

    NOTICE: I am NOT responsible for the extra nagging received from wives for the amount of time you will spend in the garage foaming out your tool box. Just tell her you're looking for the 10mm.
     
  2. Jan 31, 2018 at 9:46 PM
    #2
    Superman

    Superman Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! I've been looking for an affordable solution for my toolbox at work
     
    BeLance89 [OP] likes this.
  3. Jan 31, 2018 at 9:47 PM
    #3
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I work for the government so all of our tool boxes are Snap-On and shadow foamed with the super nice Kaizen foam. It's nice having it at work but just made me hate how unorganized my box was lol.
     
    09 Redneck likes this.
  4. Jan 31, 2018 at 9:56 PM
    #4
    Empty_Lord

    Empty_Lord Wallet abuser

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    I've wanted to do this for a while... But when you have as many tool boxes as me.. well it'd just take to long for me want to do. lol Looks good though.
     
  5. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:02 PM
    #5
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well that's why you just space it out over time! One drawer per weekend or something, starting with your most often used drawer. Rome wasn't built in a day! :wink:
     
  6. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:26 PM
    #6
    05Taco4x4

    05Taco4x4 ToyotaHubs

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    Yes!
    Exactly what I did 6 months within checking into my first command, $5/roll 8 years ago :thumbsup:

    5B4C2D79-E77F-477D-9EB3-A0175CAA5F8C.jpg
    F0A53090-5C99-4614-ABCC-FBA04088F3B8.jpg
    AAE5A800-0779-4DFF-87C7-CCA1A0BF0721.jpg
    87E46755-D35C-4383-BD17-E760D7864DD8.jpg
    4D1B7EE8-BFB1-435C-BC08-00A69AFF0AD7.jpg
     
  7. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:28 PM
    #7
    Superman

    Superman Well-Known Member

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    Haha yeah, while I was in school I got to use a full snap-on setup. I got a job about 6 months ago and had to buy my own box and tools. Looking to upgrade my box now though
     
  8. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:30 PM
    #8
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    That is a lot of wasted space. I'd end up with a dozen tool boxes to do all my tools like that.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:40 PM
    #9
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That looks amazing! Glad you posted your pics, gives me ideas for different layouts!
     
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  10. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:45 PM
    #10
    Superman

    Superman Well-Known Member

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    I'd take a little "wasted space" over the wasted time and effort finding the right size. I'm not patient enough to double check the size of everything I pickup when working on stuff
     
  11. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:46 PM
    #11
    05Taco4x4

    05Taco4x4 ToyotaHubs

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    Notice the wrench and plier finger cutouts
     
  12. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:47 PM
    #12
    05Taco4x4

    05Taco4x4 ToyotaHubs

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    And don't cutout the shafts on screwdrivers, only the handles :thumbsup:
     
  13. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:47 PM
    #13
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I agree that there is definitely some unused space so it won’t be for everyone. For me though, and others like me, we HAVE to have an organization system. It’s defintely a give and take though so deciding what’s more important, useable space or organization, is key before committing to foaming out boxes. Luckily for me I have another cheap-o box that currently holds a lot of nothing where I plan on keeping spares and oversized tools after foaming my main box.
     
  14. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:52 PM
    #14
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Great tips! I’m gonna upgrade my screwdriver and plier sets before making those drawers but will be doing the wrenches this weekend. Definitely going to be adding fingertip cutouts for grabbing them. I’ll post updated pics as I get more drawers done. :fistbump:
     
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  15. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:56 PM
    #15
    Superman

    Superman Well-Known Member

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    You should check out Knipex pliers. They'e about $30 each, but me and everyone I work with loves em. They're at Menards too, so no snap-on guy :thumbsup:
     
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  16. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:59 PM
    #16
    BeLance89

    BeLance89 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Will do! At $30 each though, I may try to find some second hand ones. Lol. I was budgeting more closely to the $50 range for a set. I’m just a poor enlisted man.
     
  17. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:24 PM
    #17
    Superman

    Superman Well-Known Member

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    I don't blame you, I got myself a Harbor Freight set for at home :D
     
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  18. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:36 PM
    #18
    DANGERMONEY

    DANGERMONEY Well-Known Member

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    Great job....I am type a as well.
     
    BeLance89 [OP] likes this.
  19. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:45 PM
    #19
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    Neat idea, be cool to do if I had agency provided tools or something but I've got more tools than box space at any given time. Too much dead space in between tools even with my three boxes I don't think I'd have enough space if it was laid out like this. Looks really nice though, my boxes are very organized but also super close quarters.
     
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  20. Jan 31, 2018 at 11:49 PM
    #20
    NMTrailRider

    NMTrailRider Well-Known Member

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    Electric carving knives are great for cutting foam. Just any old cheapo black and decker type electric knife.
     
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