Like many tradespeople, I'd always lusted for a shiny new work truck with utility-bed locking boxes — plus a high-security shop-garage to park it in and a five-digit checking account that could bankroll the whole shebang. But instead I had a middle-aged half-ton pickup, an unfenced driveway, and a budget with about as much fat as a figure skater. So I took what I had and went to work.

Drawers are housed in 3/4-inch plywood-topped cases that sit in the bed of the truck. Rainwater drains out of the truck bed in the usual way. I didn't need much: just a truck-bed tool-storage unit that would keep the weather out and my valuables locked up but readily available, their presence hidden from passersby — all with a minimum of...

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