The perfect way to store your sharp tools under your desk. Made from re-purposed kitchen cabinet runners and some scrap wood. This Instructable also expands on how to do this with no specialist power-tools for low cost.

WHY I MADE THIS: I just moved to London (to start working at sugru). London is clearly more expensive than Bristol, so my 'workshop' is now in one corner of the kitchen. Space is a premium and I needed not to leave my sharp tools all over the place when not in use. I looked around for ready-made solutions to store tools under my desk, but they were either around $40 (and not deep enough) - and certainly not reconfigurable.

SCAVENGE: The solution came when I was at IKEA's Bargain Bin and saw two (really smooth) kitchen cabinet runners going for 50p each. I grabbed a bit of scrap wood and knew this was going to save the day!

NO POWER TOOLS REQUIRED: I appreciate this is not 'hard-core innovation', but I thought I should share it with people as firstly, it seemed to impress some of my friends - and secondly, it surprised them that I didn't use any heavy machinery to modify the runners. THIS is the focus of this Instructable, and I will show you how to cut metal with Nibblers (yes, really they are called that) and how to chisel out a slot with a screwdriver (if you don't have a circular saw). [Zona Saw is optional, as Junior Hacksaw will do too.]

SHARE THE LOVE: If you are familiar with my website Design Modelling, you'll know that although I often have access to fabulous workshops and facilities as a Design Engineer - I get kick out of being able to do things cheaply, safely and well... so please let me know how you get on with this Instructible - and of course share any pro tips of a similar nature!

Step 1: Tools, Materials & Diagrams

TOOLS: I'm expecting most viewers of Instructables have many of these tools, but here they are for completeness:

Nibblers* | Hacksaw | Drill Bits & Countersink | File | Razor Saw* | Flathead Screwdriver | Pliers.

*More on these later. The only one not shown is a Power Drill.

MATERIALS: Other than the scavenged stuff, like Runners, the 'strip-wood' was 12mm square section and 12x5mm section: I bought about 2 each of 2m length. I used M3 countersunk (CSK) Bolts (15mm long) with nuts and washers, and 12mm and 25mm Wood Screws.

DIAGRAMS: So... I had deliberated over whether this in fact was and Instructable, owing to the fact that the kitchen cabinet runners (and integral part) are not exactly 'off the shelf'. Consequently, I felt it was only right that I sketched out the overarching process, so that regardless of what runners and bits of wood you do scavenge, you get the general idea and can easily have a go at it.

Hopefully this is neither totally confusing, or patronisingly obvious. Although, even if it is obvious, I recon there will be a few pro tips that are worth knowing anyway, so read on...

<p>OMG I need this in my garage NOW. Nice work.</p>
<p>OMG, I need a garage NOW ;o)</p>
<p>You have my sympathy. It's only by luck and happenstance that I ended up with one. I lived in SF for a loooooooong time. Garages are in very short supply there, particularly ones in which a shop space is a potential reality.</p>
<p>BTW, I just saw that you do product design....I should have figured something like that by realizing that this toolset is for modelmaking....!!</p>
<p>Great idea</p>
<p>neat storage !!!</p>
<p>looks like Dexter&acute;s tool box XD nice work!</p>
<p>Ha, my tackle box of modeling tools has an inordinate number of dental tools. So when I'm making models with friends I'm always asking them &quot;is it safe?&quot;. Nice instructable makes me almost wish I wasn't using a tackle box.</p>
<p>This is random, but how come more people don't utilize all the space in between wall joists, or even use a wooden floor as storage space- like on a boat deck. I always wished for a hidden staircase or bookcase when I was young.</p>
<p>Perhaps if I had built more items I might not need to ask this question but why use the nibblers to take part of the metal off? Can't the guides / runners be used as they are? This instructable could be a lifesaver for me. I've been looking for a replacement for a file cabinet that would allow me to put my tools in an area where they would be more easily accessible. Everything I find either doesn't fit in the space I have or is excessively expensive.</p>
<p>Hi paqrat, not a silly question at all. The runners were designed to mount to vertical surfaces (wall of a kitchen cabinet unit), so I needed to chop this bit off, as i was mounting it to a horizontal board (my desk).</p><p>The great thing about the Nibblers is that I was cutting through 2mm galvanised steel, without power tools.</p><p>If you are lucky enough to find a runner that fits as it is, go ahead and use it, though removing any excess keeps the profile down.</p>
Thanks :)<br>
<p>I like this idea..so much so that I made it for my desk (before I saw this article). Here are the images: </p>
<p>Nice work! Like the use of the wire trays. </p><p>Let me know if you make a V2.0!</p><p>Thanks for sharing :o)</p>
<p>Cool, does it take a lot of hand strength to use the nibbler? That's a cool tool I didn't know about</p>
<p>I'd say it takes effort for sure, but I was able to do two cuts of around 400mm length in around 20mins. Sure it takes longer than a power saw, but is less dangerous and is cheaper. If you are having difficulty, you could always challenge your most buff friend to do it for you :o) or if you are feeling really cunning, you could slot two lengths of tube over the handles to multiply the force?</p>
excellent work! i will use this on my desk in my garage. i have sharps, smalls, and specialty tools. though i think i will use foam and cut out slots and such.
<p>I guess you could laser-cut out a pattern or just use '<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Charcoal-Pick-Pluck-Foam-10-5/dp/B00I80KG0I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1403480631&sr=8-3&keywords=pick+and+pluck+foam" rel="nofollow">Pick'N'Pluck</a>' Foam?</p>
That would work fine and is probably easier to obtain. I was leaning towards a more dense material and either use a hot wire or razor knife ( in hopes not to injure myself with them). I will find what I am looking for and try to attempt an i'ble on it. My desk is in need of straightening up, so when I get done with my &quot;honey do list&quot; it is next!
<p>&quot;honey do list&quot; - love it!</p>
<p>I used similar technique to make drawer dividers for kitchen, didn't <br>like any 'off the shelf' steel or plastic ones (plus they didn't fit <br>properly)</p><p>Been intending to make a fold up case/workbench for small projects, shallow drawer would be a good addition plus the extra depth will great;y add to stiffness of top/cover. Good job I haven't started yet, design keeps changing </p>
<p>Cool - best of luck to you!</p>
<p>Very nice!</p><p>I've toyed with similar ideas for the 'pull-out'/keyboard drawer runners from old computer desks, but have never quite managed to finalise my plans well enough. Having seen this, though, I may well have another go in a month or two.</p>
<p>great idea...double plus good....</p>
Great project! It never occurred to me to add such a low profile drawer under an existing table- you get your knee-room and storage at the same time. Well done.
<p>Yeah, a lot of the commercial stuff is about 70mm or more in depth, where as this was about 40mm, so I'm please with it not digging into my knees! Also butting it off-centre helps I think. If I had more I'd consider doing 2 mini drawers...</p>
I'm really liking this. It just needs a lock to keep little fingers out. Good job!
<p>Good idea - you might try something like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Line-Products-9943-Diecast-Stainless/dp/B00173CT58/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1403480524&sr=8-6&keywords=drawer+lock" rel="nofollow">this</a>.</p>
<p>Sooo awesome! Thank you for sharing your ways and knowledge. </p>
I like seeing an instructable with good hand drawn sketches. Takes me back to the good ole days.
<p>Tools in drawers is the pro solution. Now quit playing around, just get yourself a roller box already, and be done with it! Even my milling machine has its own roller box, so you should have one too. You could park this in your kitchen</p><p><a href="http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=788&pictureid=8056" rel="nofollow">http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/picture.php?alb...</a></p><p>Yeah...</p>
<p>killer storage space.....it rocks!!</p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm a Product Design Engineer, currently living in the UK. I have been fortunate to have lived, studied and worked in Hong Kong, Norway ... More »
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