Instructables

Recycled workshop organzier

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This is a simple way of storing tools, supply's, and general clutter, and though not 100% recycled Is does use plastic which is an environmental nightmare to dispose off.
This instuctable was inspired by my most hated nemesis  "cords" I hate them with a passion, always getting in-tangled, getting under my feet and in the way, and been just that little bit too short.
I need some where to store tools with these nasty attachments, as all my tools seem to have self tangling cords fitted.
Since making this storage unit the cords have behaved and it great to be able to just grab a box with a power tool in it and have all the accessorys and supply's  in the same place and to be able to throw it all back in the box and not have the cord tie itself to other cords.
 
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Step 1: Stuff you will need

1. plastic 20litre containers
2.  450x2400mm "white board" shelving material 2 pre drilled and 2 without holes.
3. some thin plywood for the back.
4. wood glue
5. shelf supports
6. cordless drill
7. wood screws.
8. radial arm saw (or you can get the timber pre cut )
9. jigsaw
10. staple gun
11. around 2 hours
12. optional 3 milk crates and cable ties

Step 2: Chose your containers

20 litre containers can be picked up from many places, the back of restaurants  of is a good place to look as cooking oil and cleaning products often are sold in these containers. The best ones I found are the yellow cooking oil containers as they are a nice shape, easy to cut and have some sort of UV stabilisation as they don't crack if left out side for weeks on end.
Check what the container had stored in it as some may have something toxic in it. The photo shows one that  had sodium hydroxide in it. Nasty stuff, you certainly would want to bee cutting that open, without taking some precautions. In fact I wont use a container that has something that looks toxic inside.
echiarini1 year ago
looks like a wombat to me.
liquidhandwash (author)  echiarini1 year ago
your kidding right? a wombat in a tree?
Yeah dont know why I said that I was thinking Glider. Sorry.
echiarini1 year ago
http://dark-horse-adaptations.blogspot.com/2012/06/wombat-wallpapers-images.html
wickedchild2 years ago
Way to cool will be trying this for sure. I just hate throwing things away if they can be reused.
liquidhandwash (author) 2 years ago
I finally got around to putting more photos on
jolshefsky2 years ago
I'm just going to cross-recommend a link to How to Neatly Wrap Power Tool Cords.
jolshefsky2 years ago
As I've been walking my dog around the neighborhood on garbage day, I keep on the lookout for good containers. In the U.S. 20L containers aren't nearly as commonplace (although a similar size is indeed available in restaurant waste). Two suggestions came to mind: large liquid laundry detergent containers (particularly the kind with the valve/spout that you leave setting on its side to dispense) and kitty litter containers (the ones that look like a jug, not the ever-useful buckets).
rcardoção2 years ago
sorry for being ignorant... what is it?
Instructions to make shelves and to recycle some plastic containers into boxes. You throw stuff into the thing, stick it in there, and take it out if you need 'em. It alleviates the author's ailment called "dangling chords".
I see I was being vague. I was talking about the animal. I see someone else called it a possum. Thanks anyway!
makermike2 years ago
Great Instructable. I love workshop organizing ideas (and I definitely share your annoyance with power cords!).

But for us non-Aussies, you'll have to identify the animal in the bird house! I first thought it was an opossum, but it looks vaguely wallaby-ish too.
liquidhandwash (author)  makermike2 years ago
Hi everyone Im still flooded out, the water just wont go away.
the critter in the box is a brush tail possum, Its lived in the box for around 3 year and has become quite tame. you can hand feed it and she will come out of the box to grab food. she has had at lest 3 babys since moving in.
Ok, i'm glad I'm not the only one who went "WTF IS THAT?!?"

It is rather cute though :-)
tobyker2 years ago
Gone metric? that's a laugh. They still make everything on the old machines to the old imperial sizes, but change the sizes to nice round metric MM numbers, to make you think they've "gone metric". Measure twice, cut once.
emmakrazy2 years ago
I love all of these great tips! my husband said he has cut the jugs like this and used them in the shop at work but not to this extent. I know this will be a part of out recycled garage set up as he has so many tools and never knows where he or the kids put things. I love the step too. We have used the the big square ones for feeders for our farm animals and for toys for our goats also. Thanks so much. http://earthsblessing.blogspot.com  The
critter house is so cute!
lironess2 years ago
LOVE the possum pics :)

Save the animals...we take the land of their homes, give them a nice place in return! I love it!
hawgnutz2 years ago
Great idea from "down under!" I will favorite this and use it when I organize my workshop!
Thanks so much for the post. I hope you did not get flooded out too badly!
pfred22 years ago
I've been using plastic containers as storage bins for quite some time. Putting them all on purpose built shelves is a new one on me though.

The biggest downside to your bins is you have to take the shapes you can get, or do you?

Your scrap plastic containers are thermoplastic, that means you can alter their shape through the application of heat. Might be handy if some tools don't quite fit, or you'd like a custom protrusion or something to hold a particular item a bit better. A heat gun and some heavy leather gloves, or scraps of wood and you can customize your containers to a degree. No pun intended :) Might also be an OK way to smooth rough saw cuts on the edges, maybe even roll edges for stronger bins. I imagine trying to do that would be pretty difficult, so not worthwhile. But I'm just thinking out print.

You might even be able to make a form and force a few cut up container pieces on it and get really custom bins that fit your shelves. Something to maybe try after you've accumulated a few extra jugs you can sacrifice in the name of science. I'm thinking maybe you can laminate together a left cut bottle side, a right one, and a center connector piece together. You might need to weld the whole assembly together though. Read run a junk soldering iron down the seams. Plastic bottle material is a lot like hot glue by the sheet.

Just thinking inside the box here ...

liquidhandwash (author)  pfred22 years ago
Thanks everyone for your kind feedback, I will try the heat gun idea at some stage, at the the moment I have two problems . I don't have a heat gun, and I might be flooded out in the next few hours. This photo was taken just down the road, so I may have to sandbag , or evacuate. so if I'm not back soon I'm dealing with a mess.
Screenshot.png
I almost got flooded out a couple years ago. Well, I did lose my well pump, if it came up any higher I'd have lost everything in my garage too.
flood2.JPG
liquidhandwash (author)  pfred22 years ago
sorry everyone I had planed on more photos But Ive been flooded out, I will post them when I can
Here is to hoping your plastic bins float, but not too far away! There is nothing quite like a flood to bring on emotions of utter hopelessness, and powerlessness against the forces of nature. Been there, done that. Try to remember that as long as you don't drown the rest is recoverable. So keep your head up, don't drown! You'll get through it.

When my electric well pump went underwater I had a plumber come out and replace it, but I quickly managed to get the old pump running again. Was just a matter of drying it out thoroughly. I plan on using that motor for something someday.

So a lot of durable goods that seem destroyed due to flood damage can be restored if you give them a good going over. Hot tip, fix your air compressor first, then you can use it to blow dry lots of other stuff.
l8nite2 years ago
cool way to repurpose ! The milk crate step stool is a real winner as well !
Kryptonite2 years ago
I like the idea for the drawers, nice work!