Occasionally i do jobsite work and it was always a hassle to figure out which tools i might need, and since i didn’t really have a dedicated toolbox i would take one of my tool systainers, remove the insert and throw in the tools i thought i would need. This was not a satisfying solution to me.

Festool makes an insert for their systainers but it’s quite expensive and i was everything but certain that i would find the tools that fitted in it, and if i actually needed those tools. So i decided to make my own insert based on the tools i need, started by gathering mostly new tools and trying to pick the shorter models available. And also ordering a systainer no4, on which i placed a storage lid from another systainer.

Once i had these tools gathered i measured them one by one and also measured the inside of the systainer and made a template that would fit inside, using sketchup. On this template i layed out the openings required for the tools in order to optimise the limited space.

You can find the sketchup model in the sketchup library under “systainer toolbox insert”

systainer sketchup

Once i was happy with the layout i printed out the layout on paper in real size which took about 6 A4 sheets, i cut them out and glued them to a piece of 12mm mdf which i previously cut to the dimensions of the insert

toolbox layout

Using the bandsaw i cut out the rounded edges and sanded them clean with an ETS125

I then drilled out all the center points with a 4mm drill on the drill press, and then using different types of drills to drill out the circles. After that i carefully cennected the holes using a jigsaw and filed/sanded everything clean.

toolbox drill press

The result is a template that i could use to copy the different parts.

I could have just straight away used the top of the final insert as a template, but since i would be using 5mm plywood i would not have enough thickness for the ball bearing of the copying bit to safely travel on.

toolbox routing template

Here i am copying the template, i simply screw the plywood on the template, drill out a hole for the router bit to pass in each opening and then just rout away!

The 3 horizontal levels of the insert have the same outer shape, but not the same holes, by example for the screwdrivers to be steady you need a smaller hole in the center plate.

next step is to rout the slots for the vertical reinforcements to slide through, for this i made a quick jig for the router and a copy
ring, these slots get less wide on the top plate so that it rests on the shoulders of the vertical parts.

routing systainer template

Then i cut out the vertical parts, and also cut out some 18mm mdf rectangles that fit right in between the parts at the center, these will hold everything solidly together

systainer toolbox parts


Below you can see the finished model with a beechwood handle, supports at the rear for the hammer and a small circle right below to hold tape.
All is finished with 2 coats of clear satin varnish.

systainer toolbox

Here you can see the tools it holds, it is not an impressive collection and if i were to just throw them in the systainer like that, it would hardly fill half of it, but i know that it will then eventually get filled with stuff that i don’t need and when a neccesary tool is missing you will only find out when you need it on the job.

systainer tools

At the rear there is a square opening designed to hold the small boxes that come in the box systainer, it can either hold the large green box, 3 yellow boxes or 6 red boxes because you always need a place to put different things depending on the work.

toolbox rear

The big round openings can hold glue bottles, but also paint, drinking water or a roll of towels.

In the lid i also made a plate that holds a saw and a level for which i couldn’t find room on the insert, they are simply held by auto adhesive strips of “stick fix” tape. I made slots in the plate for the strips to go through, using my domino.

And finally here is a link a youtube video showing the toolbox.

Should you ever build your own then i would be happy to add a picture to my site.