Introduction: Recycled Hardware & Parts Bin Organizer!

About: As a young lad Tom spent most of his days at the heels of his father, working in their shop, also known as the basement. His dad was an extraordinary cabinet maker and while working on their 1850’s home,…

When we started buying formula for my son I quickly realized I was going to have a lot of these containers. It hit me right away that it would make a great hardware bin. Over the last year I saved almost everyone of them and I am finally putting them to use.

Step 1: Layout

I wanted this project to be a quick one, and I knew that if I had spent a lot of time on the design I would been disappointed

So, I grabbed a white board and my tape measure and quicking laid out what was in my head. I knew that I wanted it to be shelves with dividers. I wanted a back, and I wanted the canisters to stick out of the front, just enough so they could be grabbed quickly.

I decided to use datos for all (most) of the joiner.

The dividers would sit in the datos just thicker than 1/4" so they would be easy to slide in.

I also didn't want to see the plywood edge so I knew I was going to use some walnut to cover it up.

Step 2: Cutting It Down to Size

When cutting large piece of plywood down it faster and MUCH safer to use a straightedge and a circular saw than a table saw. I have found this method is not the most accurate. It maybe my inexperience or impatience but I just can't seem to get consistent and accurate cuts with a circular saw.

A full 4x8 sheet of plywood can weight quite a bit and when I had about 18" hanging over the edge of my table saw is wanted to start to slide. I used some "weights" (old brake rotors) to hold down one side. This worked great!

Once you have everything cut down manageable pieces you can then go ahead and run them through the table saw to get a more exact cut.

Step 3: Cutting the Datos

I tried 2 methods of cutting datos. First I used my router with a 5/8" router bit. This did not do well my attempt at a jig was pour and rushed. I should have clamped down the piece better. You can see in the 3rd picture, the piece moved on me. The router is also extremely messy!

For the smaller datos I used my table saw. While building the project my uncle had given me a tool of free tools. One of the things that he gave me was a set of dato blades. Once these were installed it took me a fraction of the time it would have taken with the router.

Step 4: Dry Fit and Assembling the Box

I got all the shelves lined up and in the datos making sure everything lined up and the shelve would be square to the sides.

Once I knew the shelf datos were cut right it was time to start the assembly.

I used glue and brad nails. With the datos holding up the weight of the shelves the glue and brads just keep things together.

Step 5: Cutting the Spacers

See Step 2.

Seriously See Step 2 and don't do what I'm about to say.

Cutting down the full 4x8 sheet of plywood on the table saw by myself was sketch at best and extremely dangerous at worst. I could have gotten seriously hurt. The wood was floppy, my "outfeed" table was not lined up exactly with the table saw. It is very hard to control an 8 foot piece of wood from only one end. I did however manage to do this without getting hurt.

I then when back to the table saw and took my rough cuts and made them more precise.

I then used a stop block, stopping the block before the blade so the wood would not touch the stop block and the blade at the same time. This allowed me to make many of the same cuts in a row.

Step 6: Putting on the Back

Putting on the back was simple, I measured the outside of the box and subtracted and 1/8" so the back would sit just inside the very edge of the frame. Once I had the piece cut I marked where the shelves where and used my brad nailer to put in a tone of nails. Oh and I used glue!

Step 7: Hardwood Edge Band

I was lucky enough to have some scrap walnut in the shop. I cut these down to 1/4" on the table saw to use along the edge of the plywood. This will have to purposes. The first it will hid the edge of the plywood and the contrast of light and dark wood looks cools.

The second purpose will be to hold in the dividers. Unlike the tool cubies I plan on making these divider can be fixed in place. Instead of holding them in with glue or nails. The edge band will trap them into the datos I cut.

I cut and measured these to size as I went. I did not want to waste any of the walnut since I had just enough. Around the boarder I cut them like a picture frame using 45 degree angles on the corners. For the shelve pieces I cut them square. The idea is that you don't see any end grain of the walnut.

Since these piece have no structural purpose I used only wood glue. I "clamped" done the strips using tape. Once the clue dried I removed the tape.

Step 8: Sanding and Finish

I used my trim router and a flush trim bit to clean up all the outside edge band. I did a good amount of sanding, this removed any glue and imperfections.

I finished the walnut using a Tung Oil, it s a simple oil finish and I had some lying around. This is shop furniture and I don't expect it to look nice for very long.

Step 9: Hanging

I used a temporary cleat that was level to hold the box in place while I screwed it in. I mounted it directly through the back and with 6 screws it wont be going anywhere.

Step 10: The Containers

These container are prefect for holding hard ware they are large enough to hold 2-3 lbs of screws they have a lid so it will keep the dust out, they have little finger grasps so you can easily side them out.

I just cut the labels off the cardboard box the screws came in and hot glued it to the container. If I had a label maker I would make something more uniform but for now this will help me quickly identify what I am looking for.

Thanks for checking out my build, let me know what you think!