The editor of Popular Mechanics magazine once asked if we’d be interested in writing about building a traditional-style carpenter’s toolbox.

We said, sure, but suggested that rather than building it entirely out of wood, we’d use a more unusual, cooler-looking material.

So, we went online and found a company in Decatur, Tennessee, called Storm Copper Components that sells precut sheets of polished aluminum diamond plate.

This stuff quickly became our new favorite building material! The surface of the aluminum is embossed with a traditional diamond-plate pattern, the kind you might see on a bulldozer or dump truck; only it’s highly polished to a mirror-like sheen.

We ordered a 24-by-24 piece of .080″-thick diamond plate for about $42, and then bought an inexpensive sheet metal brake so we could bend the aluminum. We made the ends of the toolbox out of red oak and use a brushed-nickel pipe for the handle.

To see the final product and find out how to build it, go to How to Build a Tough Toolbox on the Popular Mechanics website.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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