Garden Shed Cubbies





Introduction: Garden Shed Cubbies

About: Old school tool & die maker who likes to tinker.

I've been a member at a local community garden since it was built, so I guess there could be a lot of Instructables about the various projects there. However, most of these did not get documented, so I'll stick with this one.

We acquired a shed to store all the neat stuff that you would want for gardening and I decided the shed needed someplace for each gardener to keep their personal tools and whatnot. This Instructable is the process of building the Garden Shed Cubbies. I should probably mention that when I was done I thought of a number of easier ways to do the same thing. So it goes.

I had some basic design needs; minimum of 22 spaces and I wanted to fit it in to the available space and not have to put a back on it. I dithered about whether of not to put a back on the cubbies for quite awhile, but in the end decided that it would cause the loss of space in the shed, so I took the much harder route of custom fitting it to the wall.

Step 1: Measuring the Wall

I spent a lot of time in this shed measuring and re-measuring the location of the studs and how they would impact the design of the cubbies. I did not take pictures of my copious notes and sketches because I had not yet thought of recording the process.There is also no record of me rounding the front edge of my boards.

On a side note; I've heard it said that if it isn't documented, it didn't happen. I disagree. I belong to a class of makers that were doing stuff long before it became a "thing", and doing it for the sheer joy of building something. When we are done, we have the thing and we move on to the next project. Documentation is a project in itself and is normally not part of the process except as an after thought. By doing Instructables, I am trying to change my ways and show the world the things I do and how I did them.

Step 2: Many Slots!

I had decided to make a "liquor box" type of thing, so called because this is the design of the dividers in a case of wine, hence the name "liquor box"

This requires making many slots in your boards, so being a clever monkey, I made myself a jig, shown in the first picture. The purpose of a jig or fixture is to guide the tool or the work in such a way as to allow repeatability.

The second photo shows the jig in place on a board. I made all the measurements from one end to help maintain consistency.

First thing I learned when I started was that the router pulls to the left because of the direction of rotation of the cutter, therefore, the cut is always to the right of the jig because the router is pushing against the jig on the left.

I used 1/4" board for the whole thing, so one pass up and back with the router with a 1/4" straight cutter makes a perfect slot.

Step 3: More Cutouts!

The second most numerous cutout after the slots were clearance for the studs on the shed wall. I wanted to maximize the use of the space, so the cubbies go in to the outer wall of the shed so cutouts had to be made to allow this.

More jig building, this time to allow a wider cut. Remember, the router is pushing to the left so you plan your cut accordingly.

Step 4: The Unplanned Design Change.

I had finished all the notches and cutouts and cleaned up all the edges so I could do the first trial assembly. I was pleased that it went together the way I had hoped it would. One little glitch; the back half of each cubbie was unsupported! Functionally, this was a major problem because it meant that it limited the weight that could be supported and also it would not be as sturdy as it should be. I used 1/4" thick boards for this to maximize the available space for storage, but now I have a problem!

The solution was to add pieces to the back half as an extension of the slot. The pictures illustrate what I did and the fixture I made so I could quickly move from slot to slot.

The next trial assembly went well and each cubicle was solid all around.

Step 5: Sanding and Staining.

Sanding and staining. What more can I say.

Step 6: Final Assembly.

I knew this would have to be assembled in place; it was too big to go in at once.



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    8 Discussions

    Cool. I'm using this. But instead of 2 supports per shelf, I'm putting one (slightly longer) one across the back on the wall.

    Good stuff thanks

    Great 'ible. I especially like how you documented making the jig to correctly place the shelf supports.

    Great job! I'm going to have to do this to my shed!

    Very nice job! Almost to nice for a shed... you could place that in your livingroom aswell!

    1 reply

    Thank you! I guess I'm one of those "anything worth doing is worth overdoing" kind of people. :)

    These cubbies look excellent! I'm glad you took the time to document this to share. I hope you'll share more of your projects! :)

    1 reply

    Thank you! I plan on doing more Instructables in the future!