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When your toolbox needs a toolbox

Can open the drawer? Can use the tools.
Can open the drawer? Can use the tools.
Tom Batchelor

Every now and again, your doctor needs a doctor. Or, your accountant needs an accounting expert for their own stuff. Even your mechanic sometimes needs another wrench from time to time. Sure, we all need help then and again and so does your toolbox. Wait too long and you're next repair job will be the toolbox itself.

Case in point: a toolbox with problematic sliders on several drawers. They're noticed, yes, but sorta, kinda just put in the "Ho Hum, we just go about our daily biz" category and expect this thing to work forever. Then, one day, a slider on the socket drawer which weighs about as much as a 50's Buick decides to commit ball-bearing suicide and your stuck with a heavy, open drawer dangling from questionable fasteners.

If you're in the middle of a hot job when that occurs, forget it. You're stuck.

Yea, even us resto mongers and shop tool freaks like certain motorcycle examiners (ahem....) has this kinda stuff happen to them.

Proactive maintenance on machines is something many of us tout daily but we cannot forget our friend the toolbox. It all goes back to quality. Sure, a $12,000 Snap-On or Matco box isn't probably going to poop the proverbial bed anytime soon. Ancient models are still out there, serving their wrench-bender's offspring's offspring. But we all can't afford that kind of hardware. Middle of the road boxes are just fine, but when a drawer slider goes 'kapowie' all over the floor with ball bearings rolling into the same zone that socks disappear into (the dryer zombie zone), it's time to perform a reactive repair instead of preventing the darned incident in the first place.

But alas, now you find that the toolbox manufacturer has gone bye-bye or perhaps has been swallowed up by another company who's employees all get a deep belly laugh out of your email query for replacement drawer sliders.

Point here is this, folks: there's two ways of going, buy expensive now and don't worry so much about it 30 years hence, or... go chasing ball bearings across the floor.

Pro mechanics know this and have, pretty much forever. Their tools ARE their livelihood, period. Can't open the box, can't use the tools. So these guys and gals don't screw around with tool boxes. They almost universally buy the best -- and pay top dollar for them, because they HAVE to.

Now, in regards to a particular example referenced above, this certain examiner fool (ahem...) got lucky and found some new sliders at the local tool guy's shop from where the box was obtained. Seems some other knock-off brand box owner ordered a few in the last century and never came and got'em. So their loss is my gain.. for the moment.

Eventually, the box will need replacement. It could have lasted a lot longer though before scrambling about town with a nervous rush through nasty traffic to score a couple of drawer sliders before the place closed. Felt kinda like what I bet a script drug junkie experiences, rushing to the pill-mill before the Po-Po moves in for the kill on the place.

The best move is to spend the coin for the best box and then maintain it as per the manufactures recommendation. And, big companies like the aforementioned marques have been in business a l-o-n-g time. They build boxes for other brands, albeit not the same quality as the genuine article. Although seemingly a huge overpriced name, the big brands out there with their logo's riveted into the metal are indeed, better than the crap they build for, say, Husky or some other garden-variety toolbox namesake. But, when you can't, or if you're just an weekend warrior, make sure you maintain your box. Just sayin'.

It's quite possible a Shakespearean-Esq type silly sentence is in order here: "maintain thy box-o-tools, oh wrencher, and thy won't be done whence thine tools art needed most."

Maintain the box, check. So we can maintain the bikes -- or cars -- or ATV's -- or trucks -- or whatever. Lesson learned and clearly understood.

Think maybe a few drawers full of tools are calling for grease out in the garage.

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