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I built this desktop organizer caddy to keep all the small parts and electronics components I've been collecting for my tinker area. This unit features 20 small caddies with drawers, three larger caddies underneath, a shelf for keeping equipment and a large base with stops on the sides to keep things from falling over. I decided to use MDF for the entire build because it seem to go very well with look I was going for, plus it makes for very nice drawers.

Step 1: Parts for the Caddy

So I started with cutting up a bunch of MDF. This is for the base. I've also got a couple of pieces cut up here for the cubby hole organizer, this is all made out of 1/2 inch MDF, with some grooves routed on the sides. The basic construction is two shelves in the middle and then one piece to cap it off.

Next step is to mark where I need to use the router to make grooves to add 1/4 inch MDF to make the cubbies. I've got a scrap piece here to act as a template to make it easier. Then drawing the lines down the piece.

Step 2: Routing

First I'm cutting up some MDF for the separators for the cubbies. And next I'm setting up the router. So I'm routing two pieces at the same time, so what will be the top and the bottom of the cubbies, so everything will line up.

And then just going down the line.

Next, to attach the sides to the top of the cubby unit I'm using pocket holes, and this is because I don't want to use screws that would be visible on the top.

Then gluing the cubby unit together, first inserting the shelves into the sides.To act as a clamp I added a few brad nails on the sides. Then gluing in all the separators. Sometimes they need a little gentle tapping to go in right.

OK, so next I want some cubbies at the bottom of the unit too, so I have to route two sections on the underside too. And these are 1/2 inch, cause I'm using 1/2 inch MDF here. Then doing a little sanding on this whole unit.

Step 3: Drawers Knobs

Let's move on the to drawers. So I'm making 20 drawers which means there's a whole bunch of MDF to cup up. 20 bottoms, 40 sides, 40 ends.

For the drawer knobs, I was debating different things, the desk has these oil rubbed bronze knobs which I like, so I thought to kind of match that, I first cut up a 1/2 inch dowel into small pieces. Then sanded to get the burrs off and then sprayed those in oil rubbed bronze. And to put small thing in a cardboard box when spraying is a really practical little tip.

Step 4: Assembling Drawers

So I want each knob to sit inset in the side of the drawer, so to make it a little easier I put together this quick jig for the drill press so the hole go perfectly in the center each time. Then I glued and fit each knob in.

Then time to assemble all the drawers. So gluing the sides to the bottom, and adding a few nails too. I'm using a brad nailer, however I think it would be even easier to do this with a pin nailer if you have one. Of course 20 drawers does take a little bit of time to put together. Next I sanded down any glue lines with the belt sander in the vice.

Step 5: Finishing Unit

To complete the unit I'm gluing on the stops on the sides here and the on the top. Also, I simply added a few screws from underneath to secure the cubby unit to the base.

Now for protection, I first put on a couple of coats of shellac, and this MDF just soaks that in. Once that was dry I also added some water based polyurethane on the base and the shelf surface which will get the most use.

Step 6: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video!

<p>OMG! I have been looking for plans to build something like this! I want to store old postage stamps in the drawers similar to a card catalog. Thank you so much!</p>
det &auml;r mycket vackert. tack!
<p>That looks real good !<br>I have to get a router. It's the only tool I don't have that would really help me built nice projects like this.</p>
<p>you can put a dado blade in your table saw if you have one of those, a table saw is so useful if you have a space for it.</p>
Yes they are adjustable, most just come with stackable spacers.
I do have a table saw. The Dado blades, are they ajustable? Or do you need one for &frac14;&quot; wide cuts, one for &frac12;&ldquo; etc... ?
<p>Muy interesante y pr&aacute;ctico, realmente me gusto para llevarlo a la pr&aacute;ctica.</p><p>Queda todo muy bien organizado y a la mano. Gracias por el aporte!</p><p>Saludos!!</p>
<p>Fantastic, I would like a handy wife like that. Best of all I like the little soldering clamp station on the desk. Keep up the good work.</p>
How deep did you run the router ?
<p>for the top you could add a sheet of 1/8 inch thick Hardboard </p>
<p>Nice Idea. Maybe a 1 side white MDF.</p>
<p>and why would you need 40 ends??</p><p>&quot;So I'm making 20 drawers which means there's a whole bunch of MDF to cup up. 20 bottoms, 40 sides, 40 ends.&quot;</p><p>Great project thank you!!</p>
I'm guessing that ends would be the front and back of the drawers.
ah, yeah that would make sense, thanks!!
<p>How do you know which caddy contains what? Practic? For electronic parts each caddy should be subdivided into dozen minicaddies ... or contains a packs of zipped clear bags filled with tiny bugs. I wanna say some kind of label should be sticked on the fronts of the caddies... Transparent material for the caddies' front panels? IMHO.</p><p>Where are your AC outlets situated? Where is your local operational lighting (except that heatsinked LED)?</p>
<p>Very nice project! Instead of the knobs, I'd go with drawer label pulls. <br>Thank you for sharing. </p>
<p>Great idea, they would look great. It would be neat to make them.</p>
<p>What is MDF?</p>
<p>MDF = &quot;Medium Density Fiberboard.&quot; Somewhere out there is &quot;high density&quot; but this stuff is very very fine grain and dense. You can make super accurate cuts.</p><p>It makes great speaker cabinets. It's heavy though.</p><p>See Wikipedia entry for excellent information on its properties. Wear a dust mask. Clean up. In other words, be like darbinorvar not like me! MDF dust contains a carcinogen (ie dont cut it in your bedroom and leave dust everywhere.)</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-density_fibreboard" rel="nofollow">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-density_fibre...</a></p><p>If I made a beautiful desk like that, 15 minutes after it was done I'd never see my tablet computer again and in 2 days the drawers would be inaccessible. &quot;Honey have you see the tablet?&quot; &quot;Have you checked your desk?&quot;</p>
Is it what we call particle board, made of sawdust?
<p>What I call particle board is made from saw dust and has large visible grains. MDF has no visible grain structure and it is always glued together. Some forms of particle board are pressed together with steam so they are less toxic and less dense and break more easily. Gluing makes it stronger. Fine grain of MDF makes it heavier and makes cut edges come out crisp and sharp compared to older style particle boards.</p>
Medium-density fibreboard
<p>Where does the name Darbin Orvar come from?</p>
<p>It's a play on the name of her dog, Darwin.</p>
<p>Another great project! Your instructions are always so clean and accessible. Also, your videos are a genuinely pleasant experience, every single one! Your excitement for the project is always evident. Thanks for the great content! </p>
<p>good work,!<br>Muy buen trabajo felicitaciones... :D</p>
<p>fantastic work.love your youtube work as well .my kind of woman </p>
Another nice build. Everyone should check out her YouTube channel. Great production and fun projects.
<p>like it</p>
Nice work
That looks great! How long did it take to build?<br><br>Have a great day! :-)
<p>Thanks! I guess it took a couple hours to build and a day or so to dry.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check ... More »
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