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Power Tools

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

You may have one kicking around in the garage, or you might need a quick trip to the ReStore, but an old toolbox makes a great charging station for all our modern tools.

First, the find:

This little red box caught my eye while wandering the aisles of the Habitat For Humanity Mesa County ReStore. I've seen lots of options in there over the years, so this should be a DIYNot you can make happen fairly easily because similar items are usually in stock. To be honest, I didn't have a plan in mind for this cutie when I scooped it up, but isn't that just the best part of shopping there? You never know what you're gonna find or what is going to speak to you.

Make it your own:


  • drill

  • drill bit that will make a hole big enough for the plug end of your cords

  • smaller drill bit to make holes for the zip ties to thread through

  • zip ties

  • Sharpie marker

  • safety glasses

  • Metal file (optional)


  • old metal tool box big enough to hold all your devices like phones, watches, earbuds, tablets, etc. (this example holds a Samsung tablet, but not an iPad)

  • surge protector with a cord long enough to reach the outlet where you'll be placing your charging station - if you're really cool you can get one with USB outlets on it, too.

Step One:

Clean up the tool box. We all know Mesa County ReStore finds are pretty spotless, but it'll be easier to clean it now before you attach the surge protector.

Step Two:

You have two options on where the surge protector can go. Depending on the size of your tool box you can mount the surge protector to the back of the box and thread all the cords for your devices through the hole you're going to drill, or you can mount the surge protector inside the box and just run the surge protector cord through the hole you're going to drill. I opted for the first option and my surge protector is mounted on the back of the box and all the cords feed through, but that's because this box was on the smaller side.

Locate where you want to attach the surge protector - inside or outside. Be sure to consider the turning radius of the power cord so you know where to drill the holes for the cord if you're mounting it on the interior. Also be sure to leave room on both sides of the surge protector for zip ties to wrap around it, thread through the metal, and snugly attach the surge protector to the tool box.

Step Three:

Using the Sharpie, mark on the tool box where you need to drill the hole for the power cord(s) to go through the box.

Next, mark where you need to drill holes for the zip ties to thread through the box.

Carefully drill the holes, being sure not to bend the thin metal of the tool box too much.

Step Four:

If you want, use the metal file to grind down the edges of the holes you just drilled so they aren't sharp and cut your cords. You could also use rubber grommets to fill the holes if you had those handy - anything is possible.

Step Five:

Attach the surge protector to the tool box by using the zip ties. Cut any tails short.

Step Six:

Plug in the surge protector, turn it on, and plug in all your devices. Sick of the clutter? Close the lid!

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