You can’t tell, but I suffer from a condition called LoSNES (Lots of Stuff, Not Enough Space). As such, I am always searching for tool and part storage products that can help make my workspace neater and my work a little easier.
A product manager for BluCave sent over the above image of their modular and customizable storage system, and it really caught my attention. I started looking into the company and learned quite a bit about their products. I almost wish I hadn’t, as it now pains me that BluCave products are not (yet?) available in the USA.
As I browsed around their site, it took me a few minutes to really understand what’s going on with the various storage products and accessories. To avoid channelling that confusion into this post, I decided to break things things down into a pictorial story.
You start with the BluCave wall-mounted rail.
Then add 1-4 toolboxes per rail. They’re carry cabinets when mounted to the rail, toolboxes when they’re off. Each toolbox has a clear hinged lid and a long carrying handle that folds down when not in use.
The lids fold all the way to the side of the toolboxes when open, and it looks like they could be removable as well.
The cabinets attach via a French cleat-like mechanism.
You can add a shelf underneath. It comes with (4) drawers and a mounting bracket, and you can dock additional accessories underneath it.
Even though the wall-mounted rail has space for up to 4 cabinets, you don’t actually need that many to make good use of the space.
Add a hood to help keep everything contained. Gas struts assist with lifting the hood, and a lock helps keep things safe. The lock requires that a shelf be installed beneath the rail to work properly.
This also means that you can install a BluCave storage setup inside a van or truck without having to worry about the cabinets becoming dislodged during transport.
Add single or double-height drawers to your cabinets. Each cabinet can hold up to 10 single-height drawers.
Or you can add dividers.
All drawers come with dividers to help keep everything nice and neat during transport. The drawers snap into place when closed and also seem to be retained when fully extended.
Adding a power module cabinet gives you a removable work light, retractable power cable, and removable 4-outlet power strip.
The work light and power strip are also available separately and can both be docked to the underside of the optional shelf.
There’s also an audio module with a 6W speaker, built-in FM radio, MP3 connectivity, and iPod/iPhone dock.
The setup is completely modular and reconfigurable.
Update: Link has been removed as Blucave’s website is now defunct.
- Rail: $39.50
- Shelf: $129
- Hood: $170
- Cabinets/toolboxes: $39.88
- Single drawer (incl. divider): $9.98
- Double drawer (incl. divider): $14.98
- Dividers (2): $8.87
- Power module (dock, worklight, power strip): $141.90
- Worklight: $43.99
- Power strip: $17.59
- Starter kit (rail and 1 cabinet): $79.99
- Storage kit (rail, 4 cabinets, 1 shelf, 1 hood, 4 single drawers, 3 double drawers): $519
- Complete storage (2 rails, 6 cabinets, 2 shelves, 2 hoods, 4 single drawers, 3 double drawers, 1 power module, 1 work light, 1 power strip, 1 audio module): $1109
Prices are in Australian dollars ($1 AUD ~ $0.90 USD).
Right now, these products are NOT available in the USA.
Wow! I can envision a few additions to the system, such as dividable drawers or a half-width drawer insert for small parts, but I can’t really see a lot of room for improvement. This is assuming that all of the components and parts are well made. It would be a shame if such unique and appealing engineering was sullied with chintzy materials or construction.
The same company also makes a line of ToolBod modular power tools and accessory sets that pair up with the tools. That’s a story for another time, but wouldn’t you know it, the accessory sets come in blow-molded trays that fit right into the single-height drawers.
If I had the wall space and spare funds, I might configure two rails, one with a hood and 2 shelves below it and another with a shelf spaced a few extra inches underneath instead of directly below. There would be 7 cabinets, 1 power module, and 1 add-on power strip. While the audio module looks good, a separate radio might work just as well. The cabinets would be equipped with a lot of single and double-height drawers, and maybe only one would just have dividers.
Realistically, I think the cabinets’ limitations might be the load ratings of individual drawers and dividers. I have my doubts that they can handle being fully loaded with steel fasteners, but maybe they can. Except for the bottom drawer, each drawer is only supported by a divider immediately beneath it, and the dividers don’t look to be particularly load-bearing.
There are a few things I would like to see BluCave add to the system, such as a double-wide stationary cabinet that’s built with horizontal reinforcements (so I can load it up as a parts cabinet), and shorter 1- and 2-unit rails. While the 4-unit rail is logical, I can think of a few places in my small workshop where just one or two wall-mounted BluCave toolboxes would fit or work as lot better.
Overall, I am very intrigued by BluCave’s unique modular storage system, but it seems like the kind of product I would need to see firsthand in-store before I can be fully won over. I’m crossing my fingers that BluCave is able to bring the storage products to the USA, maybe at least to online retailers if not brick-and-mortar retail stores.