How to Build an Aluminum Diamond-Plate Toolbox

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.


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