In this Tested video podcast, Adam Savage talks to Will Smith about his latest mobile tool caddy project and his concept of “First Order Retrieveabilty.” Wha? Basically, it’s Adam’s shop layout philosophy of minimizing the need to go through things to get to other things–the things you need! I.e., as many tools as possible should be visible, mobile, and accessible to you wherever you work (not on shelves, in boxes, etc.). Or put into a bumper sticker slogan: “Drawers are where tools go to die.” The working title for the project was the “F*** Drawers Initiative.”


Explaining the design of the cart, Adam says that it provides “Stadium seating access to everything I would need on a regular basis.” On this particular cart that includes pliers, cutters, grabbers, punchers, clamps, drills, brakes (for bending metal), and more. Adam also shows off his original “First Order” cart, for drills, drill bits, and drivers.


Adam says it only took him about 3 to 4 hours to put this simple cart together, but he spent several weeks laying out, looking at, and thinking about all of his tools and the best way to make them first-order accessible. The resulting cart is still kind of open, with some room for modification. Adam thinks he needs some time with it before he decides what changes need to be made to refine its efficiency.


The tool space provided by the new cart allowed Adam to empty a 5-drawer Crafstman chest of tools and make all of its contents visible and mobile. And he plans to keep thinking about first-order access and designing new mobile platforms to get the tools he needs ever-closer to him as he works.