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!