Organizing screws and nails (or anything else for that matter!) can be rather frustrating, and I really wanted to get rid of my old plastic cases that were rather impractical and cumbersome. So I decided to build a nice big box, full of cubbie holes, and then to build lots of small boxes to fit inside the large one. I used my box joint jig that I built for the table saw, however you could use any method to construct the boxes. Let's go over how I created this project!
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Step 1: The Big Box
First of all, I needed to create a large box. I used 1 x 6 pine boards.
These are the sizes I used:
- 2 @ 28 inches
- 2 @ 19 1/2 inches
To connect the pieces together, I decided to use my box joint jig which I built for my cross cut jig for the table saw (video is out now!). If you don't have a box joint jig, you could any construction method you want (butt joints, pocket holes etc...)
I wanted 1/2 inch box joints so that's what I cut on the jig.
I also cut up a total of 5 shelves out of 3/8" pine at the length of 20 inches, because I included material for 1/4" dados.
I cut dados for five shelves on the 19 1/2 inch long side pieces on the table saw, taking multiple passes to get the 3/8" width, however you could certainly use use a router instead. I cut the dados at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 ".
Step 2: Big Box Glue Up
Once I had all my pieces, I glued everything up, inserting the shelves in the dados and clamping everything in place for drying.
Step 3: Little Boxes
Now, to fill up this big box, I'm going to make a ton of little boxes, and I'm using the bandsaw to resaw some material, and the miter saw to cut to size.
I'm making 36 boxes to fit the big box, so totally I need the following cuts:
- 72 @ 5 x 1 1/2 x 3/8 "
- 72 @ 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 3/8 "
I'm using the variable box joint jig again, however this time I'm going for 1/8 inch joints. What's really cool about the jig is that you can make the joints any size you want and you don't need a dado stack (video above!)
I cut six pieces at a time, making sure to stack three of them offset, and then it was simple a matter of cutting a ton of box joints on all the wood!
Step 4: Semi Circle Hole
I wanted a hole in the side of each box so you could grab it easily. So I set up a jig on the drill press with a 1 1/8" Forstner bit to create a semi circle in each piece. That worked out great and was a lot faster and easier than cuttng the hole on the bandsaw or something like that
Step 5: Gluing Little Boxes
Once I had all the pieces cut up, the only thing left was gluing all of the 36 boxes together. I used small clamps to keep the boxes in place as the glue was drying. This was a lot of boxes, and I did it all in a couple of batches!
Step 6: Dividers
I waited with cutting up the dividers until this point, because each one was slightly different so it was easier to measure and cut as I went along. The dividers measured 5 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 3/8 in general, however it's better to not cut up all 30 at once, but to measure and cut for one row at a time.
I decided to simply glue and clamp in the dividers for the box.
Step 7: Sanding & Bottoms
Once all the boxes were glued, I sanded each one to get them nice and smooth.
Next, bottoms. So I used 1/8 of an inch plywood that I cut out, pre-drilled and nailed in with little finishing nails. I also chamfered the edges.
Step 8: Finishing the Boxes
When it came to finishing the large box and the tiny boxes, I used an HVLP sprayer and with polyurethane. I was so happy to use the sprayer because this would have taken me all night to do by hand, and now I did it in a few minutes.
Step 9: Installing
I decided to put this box on a French cleat wall, so I installed a 45 degree French cleat plywood board at the back and then I slipped it onto the wall. I made a whole other instructable about installing the French cleat wall and all the organizers, so check that out here: How To Build a French Cleat Organizer
Once the large box was in its place, it was time to fill up all the little boxes with screws and nails. I emptied my plastic cases and organized everything in the wooden boxes.
Step 10: Conclusion - Watch the Video!
For a much better perspective make sure to watch the video that goes over the build of the large box, the small boxes, as well installing a French cleat wall system to hang the box on!