Big-Time Boxes: Mahogany cabinet personalizes the box


Don Sutton

Municipal Garage

Austin, TX


When it comes to toolboxes, Don Sutton is particular. A lifelong technician, he long ago learned that a toolbox has to be strong to carry the large number of tools that he needs. Today, he is the lead tech at a municipal garage for the city of Austin, TX, and the proud owner of a 72” by 30” by 48” Mountain toolbox on wheels with a custom-designed, mahogany cabinet. He estimates he has $65,000 worth of tools in the big blue box.

When he went to work for the city, Sutton was using what he describes as a “medium-size” box. He placed some smaller boxes on the sides and on the top of the box to accommodate his growing tool arsenal. But after about seven years, that box was no longer large enough for all of his tools.

One day, Sutton noticed the Mountain toolbox on a tool truck. “I liked it because it was real wide,” Sutton says of the Mountain toolbox. After installing the toolbox in his work station, Sutton designed a cabinet to go on top of the toolbox to give additional storage space. He hired a friend who is a carpenter to build the cabinet from mahogany. His friend advised him that mahogany is one of the more expensive woods to use, but it is stronger than other types of wood.

The drawers in the toolbox house 3/4” drive sets up to 3” wrenches. One drawer is for 3/8” sockets. He places taps, dies, calipers, dial indicators, diamond head drill bits and diamond heads in the wood cabinet drawers.

He built a pair of stereo speakers into the wood cabinet, which houses a radio.

On top of the main toolbox, below the wood cabinet, is an open area with a pegboard display. Sutton placed a mini Homak toolbox in the open space to add even more storage space. The Homak mini toolbox has the same shade of blue as the main Mountain box.

Decorating the front of the cabinet is a black and white photo of Sutton’s 1965 Volkswagen, along with some iron-on character illustrations that he removed from T-shirts, mounted on paper and enlarged with a printer.


(Edtior’s Note: Mountain has upgraded the toolbox model shown in this article. The part number for the new series is MTNTBR8120BA.)