Easy Wall Mounted Storage Bins for Hardware Parts

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About: Hi! I'm a general-purpose maker geek, living in Seattle. Interests include beer brewing, robotics and woodworking. I like to go camping in the desert. I enjoy hiking to hot springs. I'm learning how to sa...

Intro: Easy Wall Mounted Storage Bins for Hardware Parts

If you're a maker, they you probably have acquired a vast assortments of parts, screws, widgets and assorted random bits. And if you're like me, then they've all disappeared into cabinets and drawers, never to be found when you really need them.

I decided to organize all my parts into bins that allow me to easily see in a glance what parts I have. At first I was going to build standard shelving, but then I came upon a solution that's inexpensive, easy, flexible and fast. And it looks pretty cool, too!

Step 1: The Storage Bins...

The key to this project is the bins. I picked up these made by Akro-Mils at a local Grainger store. They're also available on the web for $0.90 each, in cases of 24. This is the model that is 5.5" deep by 4" wide by 3" tall. Blue, yellow and green.

The key feature for the bins is the hook along the back, that is designed to fit into their shelving systems.

These bins also have a 3" by 1" slot in the front for a label.

Other brands & models may work well, but I can vouch for these.

Step 2: ...and the Mounting Rails

The hardware I used as mounting rails is actually intended to be flashing for dry wall. It cost about $8 for an 8 foot length, which will hold 23 4" bins. Yeah, the math doesn't work out perfectly there, but the bins are actually a hair wider than 4", and you want a little bit of space between the bins when you hang them.

Step 3: Preparing the Mounting Rails

This is pretty sttraight forwards. Drill a hole at each end and about every foot along the rail. I think I used a 3/16th bit, but it just needs to be large enough for your mounting screws.

Step 4: Mounting the Rails

Using a level, mount the rails on the wall.

This would probably be a fine time to point out the obvious: You should be mounting this on some sort of finished walls, rather than on a wall that's just exposed studs. If you have the latter, hang 4x8 sheet of plywood on the wall, and attach the rails to it.

I seperated the rails by 4 inches, and used a level to guarantee some semblence of levelness. Although I mounted them myself, it probably would have been a bit easier with an assistant.

Step 5: Hang the Shelves on the Rails, Fill With Parts, Label and Resort

Once it's all mounted, hang the bins. I got 92 bins to fit in this space. Amazingly, when I went through all my stuff, I ran out. I guess I'll be building more...

For $150, this gives me a really nice organization scheme. Parts are visible, classified, and easily accessible. I will be investigating using some larger bins in other areas to handle oversized parts, but so far, it's been an unqualified success.

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51 Discussions

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Kink Jarfold

2 months ago on Step 5

Very nice solution to all the little parts I have roaming around my shop.

KJ

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Snowberry

2 years ago

Nice job, those bins look pretty sturdy, I could only find cheap flimsy ones, I'll check out A G. I'm hoping they have different colors as well. BTW I see you use rafters for clamp storage like me.

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MarkSindone

2 years ago

Organizing things regardless of where the location is will help to maintain a neat and tidy area to encourage easy retrieval later on. I am in the midst of sorting items out from various rooms around the house before putting the rest up in storage and I think I’m going to start with the workshop with your instructable.

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RickS70

2 years ago

real nice.....just what I need

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Yonatan24

2 years ago

That looks so cool!

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huttarl

3 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for a helpful instructable. This got me going in the right direction for what I needed. I ended up finding a set of 20 of these bins for $10 at Harbor Freight (including some plastic rails).

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Mike Begleyhammer9876

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

The before photo would have been a bare plywood wall and a mess of parts scattered all over my workshop, and me desperately hunting for a particularly sized screw in the mess.

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bobzjrMike Begley

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Mike, I should post some pics of my messy garage - it would certainly be worth a laugh. Hey we should have a contest! I'll try to throw up some samples later today.... Ever find yourself buying the same tool multiple times because you can't find it?

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staticMike Begley

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Speaking about the plywood on the walls, I found it interesting you got a delivery of plywood with so many sheets with the knots lined up. Almost like printed wall paneling.

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noahspurrierstatic

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

That's because plywood is made from veneer which is made by "unrolling" a log using a giant peeler. The roll is flattened out to make a veneer. Knots in a log will repeat every time the log rolls back around to the same spot. Of course, the repeats will be a little closer each time because the log diameter gets smaller as the wood is stripped off.

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agatornz

7 years ago on Introduction

I am using the large bins - and so used lengths of scrap inch angle iron, cutting off two inch piece, and welding them opposite to each end so they acted as feet.. to keep the rail away from the wall, then drilling through and screwing in... Angle also required a quick dust with the angle grinder to make the edge thin enough to take the bins... - was about to do and instructable on it...

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marc.cryan

7 years ago on Introduction

Nice -

I'm using J-channel from the drywall section of home depot, it is about $2 for 10ft.

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kyzla

7 years ago on Step 4

I always do this sort of thing by myself... like shelves (the uber simple kind, wood (1"x8"x8') on L brackets) and my husband comes home and just looks in astonishment.
"How? What? You could have waited!"
"You'd only get in the way," I say.

I've been doing it solo for 15 years...
It's almost easier when you're trying to balance the length of wood/flash/bracket/whatnot and the level and the pencil and the drill as opposed to just the pencil.

ha!

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hailster

7 years ago on Introduction

I use a very similar set-up on my RMA service bench at work. It makes keeping different parts organized very easy and I've thought about doing something like this at home but have always put it off because of the cost. Using your idea I might actually do it now.

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efgal

7 years ago on Introduction

That does look like a great, easy-access system! One question, though, is how much sawdust do they also end up holding? Or is there a suggestion for minimizing the problem? My workshop is a rather tight space, and where I'd put such a setup wouldn't be very far from my things-that-create-sawdust.

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NickGriffinefgal

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

My solution to the sawdust problem might be a flap of 6 mil plastic attached to the wall above them-creating a "flap" for each row of bins. If they are labelled, you should still be able to see what is in them, and no sawdust! Just reach under the flap.

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Mike Begleyefgal

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

On the akro-mills page for these bins, they list bin lids for certain sizes towards the bottom:

http://www.akro-mils.com/industrial/coupon_display.asp?id=59

I got a few bin lids for some (different sized) bins, and they work well enough. They're clear, high-impact plastic so you can see into the bins, but they should keep pretty much all the dist out. Of course, they do prevent you from overfilling the bins, but that shouldn't be a huge issue.

And a dust collection system is always a good idea, not just for keeping your parts clean but for your overall respiratory health as well.

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iritm

7 years ago on Introduction

I love your ideas. Maybe you have an idea for my beads.
As a 'beader' jewelry making, I have a lot of boxes but they are not accessible and not so visible!
I keep the beads in boxes that are transparent and divided, and also little transparent plastic bags, and every type of beads in a larger plastic bags, so every time I need beads I spend a lot of time looking for them. It is tiring makes the planning cumbersome and takes out all the fun of the creativity that I love very much!
I am in a very large community of beaders in my country and all over the world, we are all connected more or less together. I am sure all of them will be glad to have a solution for this problem!