Introduction: Steel & Wood Mail & Key Organizer

About: Hi. I'm Joel Washing and I like to build things. A few years ago while helping some friends build their food truck, I became interested in welding. Along with my new found passion for metal comes a strong desi…

I created this video to show how I made the mail and key organizer for our kitchen. I used reclaimed wood from an old bookshelf, 16 gauge sheet steel, and 1 inch square tube. All materials used for the build were drops or scrap found in my shop.

The caddy has three spaces for envelopes and four hooks for keys.

Step 1: Build Video

Watch the build video. It will help you to understand the steps involved.

Step 2: ​Tools and Materials

Tools needed:

- Welder
- Saw (preferably table saw)
- Pencil
- Tape measure
- Combination Square
- Angle Grinder
- 4 ½ in. Cut off wheel
- 4 ½ in. Flap disc
- File
- Electric drill
- Drill bits (to drill steel and for deck screws)
- Counter sink drill bit
- 6 (1 ½") General purpose deck screws (I like the ones with square bit over philips)
- Wood clamps (about 2)
- Vice grips (about 3)
- Sandpaper


- Nice piece of hard wood
- 1 inch steel square tube
- 16 gauge sheet steel
- 4 screw hooks (I made mine from eye screws that were on hand)

Step 3: Dimensions and Layout

Using my SketchUp design as the guide, I cut the sheet steel, steel square tube, and wood to size. I also played out marks for where the shelves were to be placed.

I've included the SketchUp file here.

Step 4: De-bur Steel

After cutting steel to size with the angle grinder the steel is left with very sharp raised edges. I always de-bur the edges with a file or flap wheel on the angle grinder.

Step 5: Assembly

Next, I dry assembled all the parts with clamps and vice grips.

This steps, as with all steps, makes more sense in the video.

Step 6: Tack and Weld Everything Together

While keeping the parts clamped together, I tacked and welded each component.

Step 7: Secure Sides to Wood Body

While keeping everything clamped together, drill three holes on each side through the steel and into the wood body.

I drilled an oversized hole through the steel to make insertion of the screw easier. I then use an appropriate sized drill bit to pre-drill the wood for the deck screw. I chamfer the holes with a counter sink bit. Finally, drove each screw home making sure the heads were flush to the surface.

Step 8: Add Hooks for the Keys

I pre-drilled four holes near the bottom of the caddy for key hooks.

Step 9: All Finished

A few finishing notes. The wood I used was reclaimed from a book shelf so it was already finished. As for the steel, I liked all of the scratches and heat tint from the welds and I wanted to preserve those artifacts. I left the steel unfinished except for a little paste wax. The wax helps to keep steel from further rusting.

Also, I didn't document the hanging system for the back of the organizer. I strung some picture wire across the back and that was that.

Thanks for reading through to the end. Have fun!

I welcome all questions or feedback. Thanks again.

Metal Contest 2016

Participated in the
Metal Contest 2016