Sit on it. Stand on it. Holster tools in it or on it. Use it as a mini workbench or to clamp up materials.

tool box, Gary Katz, carpenter jobsite organization, tote, workbench
The wood tool tote friction fits into the plastic frame on top of a Milwaukee Packout system, allowing Brian Campbell to use the drawers on the Packout instead of building them into the box, which was part of Gark Katz's original design.

In his constant evolution to make his work as a finish carpenter easier, Brian Campbell has dabbled as a "carpenter of invention," most notably in the past with his Tri-Horse workstation. In 2018, he became intrigued with a site-built toolbox invented by Gary Katz, who shared the details on Since then, Brian has made several renditions of this small wooden tool carrier, using it as a tool box, step stool, mini workbench, cabinet lift, and saw stand, depending on the job at hand (see slideshow below). He settled on what he felt was the perfect rendition - "Katz Box 2.0" - and he's now is offering it to other carpenters (with Gary's blessing, of course).

Brian explains that a few changes have been made in an attempt to make something a bit different than the Gary Katz original, though not necessarily better, he admits. Compared to the Katz original, it's lost its drawers in exchange for space to holster tools inside. (The drawers have moved to a toolbox under the tote, see photo above). It gained dog holes on top and on three sides. The tool rack for chisels and other tools was outsourced to 3D printers and can be added on.

The Katz Box 2.0 is made of 3/4-inch cabinet-grade, maple plywood. It comes with dadoes for the interior angled tool rack and the top is rabbeted to fit the sides. The back and bottom are simple lap joints. The kit is shipped flat with 1-1/2-inch screws and pre-drilled pilot holes provided. Brian recommends gluing the joints during assembly, but it's BYOG (bring your own glue), he quips.

Like a lot of carpenters, Brian is always inventing new jigs, workstations and toolboxes, and his most recent rigs have been different shop-made systems for use on his jobsites to overcome the shortcomings of commercially-made, stackable tool boxes (see "The Well-Organized Carpenter," Jan-Feb/24). The Katz Box 2.0 is currently "Milwaukee Packout compatible" (that is, sized to fit on top of and integrate with the Packout system). Other versions that are compatible with other platforms are coming soon, Brian says.

If you choose not to make your own Katz Box, Brian will send out a completely ready-to-assemble, knocked-down version for $150 from his spinoff website, A dollar from each sale will go to Skills USA. As Brian explains, "Gary didn’t want anything personally from us, so this is what we are doing in recognition of Gary Katz's many contributions to the trades and to help support the next generation of aspiring carpenters."