Hardware Storage System

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Introduction: Hardware Storage System

About: Analog maker dabbling in digital manufacture

When we moved into our house, there was a lot of stuff left behind in the garage including various hardware storage cabinets, partially full of miscellaneous hardware. I consolidated a lot of it and co-opted them for my own stuff, but breaking hardware down to this high level of resolution (tiny drawers) is an organizational task beyond me. I don't want five drawers with five different types of drywall anchors in them; I want a single container with all sorts of different sizes in them. I needed decent size containers, and had accumulated enough empty laundry detergent bottles to prompt me to make my own storage system.

Step 1: Before

This was what the area looked like before I started.

Step 2: Clean and Cut Bottles

Collect some empty plastic bottles. I used laundry detergent bottles, which are nice and big (2.2 L, 75 oz) and we have a regular supply of. I co-opted some help to rinse them out and dry them before use. I cut them down with a saw and scissors - just scissors would be fine too.

Step 3: Build Shelves

I had some wall space that I could use for hardware storage - enough, it turns out, for 12 layers of 5 containers. I only had 28 saved at the time I built the shelves, but I decided I'd accumulate the remaining 32 over time and could use the shelves with miscellaneous other containers in the meantime. I had a low-grade piece of 5/8" plywood from a demolition, and ripped it lengthwise into 190 mm wide strips. These I crosscut into two long pieces (1400 mm) and twelve short pieces (480 mm). Assembly was with wood glue and a nailgun - I didn't measure anything except for a 100 mm spacer which I clamped in place between each shelf as I went. The whole cabinet took about half an hour to cut and assemble.

Step 4: Mount

I sat the shelves in place on my workbench and screwed it to the wall with a couple of plywood screws. The saws that used to hang there got moved to the side of the cabinet, and I added additional plywood backing at the side for more tool storage and to cover up the electrical panel with a door.

Step 5: Get Organizing

I could then transfer my collected hardware to the new bins. I used stickers and a permanent marker to label the bins with a mixture of text and symbols, and hot-glued examples of the hardware to the front. This has made it easier when I send someone to fetch something for me, and easier for me to find things, too.

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    20 Comments

    0
    Ricardo Furioso
    Ricardo Furioso

    3 months ago

    Thanks for the instructable. And for sharing. I think you could do the same or similar with milk bottles, either gallon or half gallon. Great idea.

    0
    JoeyyBoyy
    JoeyyBoyy

    1 year ago

    ..."I don't want five drawers with five different types of drywall anchors in them; I want a single container with all sorts of different sizes in them" ... Point well taken !!!

    0
    maxman
    maxman

    1 year ago

    I'm thinking plastic coffee cans would work for me.

    0
    JoeyyBoyy
    JoeyyBoyy

    Question 1 year ago

    How many ounces are the laundry containers? Wondering if they are small or large containers as I've seen these in various sizes.

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Answer 1 year ago

    Good question, I had to go and look. 2.21 L which is 75 oz according to Google

    0
    onlylooklikepackrat

    Wonderful. I like the idea/attitude, too, of saving something potentially useful like the containers in enough quantity to do something like this project. As a teacher of 6th grade engineering, one project they had was to design a 'cabinet' for empty sardine tins, which I had aplenty, for tiny thing storage.

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Reply 1 year ago

    great idea!

    0
    Taco08844
    Taco08844

    1 year ago

    This reminds of my grandfather's garage from when I was a kid. He was a builder and stored every nail, screw, and what-not in old 1-gallon cooking oil containers. They were cut just so you could still use the handle and nothing would spill out. Everything was labeled and had one of what was in the container stapled or glued to the outside. I was always in awe of it. Thanks for posting! Thinking I need to do this in my own garage/shop.

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Reply 1 year ago

    neat!

    0
    LeslieGeee
    LeslieGeee

    1 year ago

    Love this thank you so much for sharing. I have limited space so I am thinking I could make your storage system a floor model that sits on wheeled casters for floor use and make it a twofer. The top for the hardware collection system and the bottom shelving for the large tool batteries and tools such as the screw driver and my small skill saw, bits etc. Making a pegboard on the side of it and fitting with small diameter dowels to hang small tools from might work too. Don't forget you can use the tops of your detergent bottle for holsters to hang your tools such as drivers etc. THANK YOU !!!!

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Reply 1 year ago

    great ideas!

    0
    pker
    pker

    1 year ago on Introduction

    Not even alphabetically arranged?! Puhleze
    Just kidding. Good stuff.

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Reply 1 year ago

    ha, it was once, but it didn't last long!

    0
    Hairy Bear
    Hairy Bear

    1 year ago

    I tend to use the plastic curry containers.

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Reply 1 year ago

    good idea - whatever you have the most of lying around works

    0
    apedavid
    apedavid

    1 year ago on Step 5

    Great use of space. organizing is the best thing you can do. Nothing worse than not being able to find hardware when you need it.

    0
    makendo
    makendo

    Reply 1 year ago

    agreed!

    0
    rkolibar
    rkolibar

    1 year ago

    Reminds me of the days I was collecting coffee cans and spray painting then.

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    Great way to reuse and I love that you put what's in them on the front :)