A drawer without organization becomes a mess quickly. I'm sure that's a proverb written on a wall somewhere.
While I built this foam insert for a jewelry box, you can employ this technique for any number of organizing needs; drawers, tool boxes, etc.
• Alternatively, EVA foam
• Painters tape
• Table Saw, a hand saw, or hobby knife for cutting the foam
• Plywood or a 2x4 to ballast the foam
I don't remember where I got this foam, though I know it was used for packaging some other item. This is why I save things, sometimes that is beneficial. The first link is very similar to what I used. EVA foam is cheaper but doesn't compress as much. If you are just cutting out inserts for tools, EVA foam would be fine for that.
Step 1: Make the Insert
First, measure your drawer and cut the foam to size. While I used a table saw and cross cut table saw sled (link to build), you could just as easily use a hobby knife or a hand saw. I used a table saw because I wanted crisp lines. especially for the inserts.
If you use a power tool, you need to use wood to ballast the foam. It's too light by itself to run through the saw. The saw will just sling it out and tear it up. It will happen very quickly. I used a 2x4 on top of the foam as I ran it through the saw.
You can sand the edge of the foam if it's slightly too large to fit the drawer after cutting. Foam doesn't do well if you're trying to just trim it down slightly. It's too flimsy.
Determine the spacing of the rows and the height of your saw blade. I spaced the first row 1" from the top and then 1/2" on center, and made the cuts 3/8" deep.You don't want to cut all the way through the foam. I made four slots total.
I had to blind cut these, so I used painters tape as a guide.
While I cut a shelf into the foam, it's pointless and reduces drawer depth while not adding any function. It seemed like a nice idea, but obviously it is not. I cut the shelf with a handsaw. To do it on a table saw you would need a
zero clearance insert, otherwise the foam will just get sucked into the blade opening insert and ruin the foam and leave your prone to injury.
The shelf just takes up drawer depth. If I did this again, I wouldn't make a shelf, I'd either cut the foam clean off or make slots all the way across.
This could also work as washer, nut, bolt or part storage. You could cut openings custom fit to tools or various objects with this foam or EVA foam. Since this foam compresses more than EVA foam, it serves better to hold objects in place. EVA foam would work better as cut outs for wrenches and other tools.
Step 2: Video Tutorial
A video of the tutorial.