Modular Wooden Storage Unit




This is the step by step guide on how to make my wooden storage unit design that I have created. The four boxes are made out of 6mm thick birched faced plywood. It is essentially four wooden boxes with a rigid polystyrene base, which can be attached together in any combination you can think of.  

Step 1: Step 1

The first step to creating the storage unit is to cut the 16 side panels out of 6mm thick birched faced plywood. I chose to cut them out at 200mm x 100mm but its really your choice! After you have cut these out with your method of choice (I used a circular table saw) you should find the centre of each of the panels and drill a hole through the centre of the panels - to save time when doing this I recommend clamping them together and drilling the hole through all of them, this also helps when you have to line up the panels as the holes are all in the exact same place in each side. When I drilled the holes in my panels I used a 5mm drill bit but the size, again, is up to you.

Step 2: Step 2

After you have cut and drilled the sides you want to now cut out the knuckle joints on each side, make sure to do half of the knuckle joints with 3 prongs and the other half with 2 because otherwise they will not fit together. After you have cut the knuckle joints test to see whether they fit together, if they do then move onto the next step. If the knuckle joints don't then use a flat file and slowly cut away at the edges of the knuckle joint to ensure a nice fit.

Step 3: Step 3

You want to now cut out the bases to your boxes. To ensure that the base of my boxes fit I cut them 200mm x 200mm this is because the longer side of my panels were 200mm. Once you have cut 4 of these base panels out you want to cut a groove 3mm deep into two opposite sides of your base, also you should cut a 3mm groove 3mm from the bottom of each of you side panels. This is the way that the bases fit into the bottom of the panels to form the boxes.   

Step 4: Step 4

Once you have adjusted the knuckle joints and added the bases to your boxes you want to add some PVA glue to the joints and fit all of your boxes together. Once you have fit the boxes together you should grab 16 clamps (4 for each box) and clamp each side of the boxes and leave for a few hours. Once the PVA has set you can remove the clamps and Viola! the boxes are done!

Step 5: Step 5

Now it is time to test how well the boxes fit together. Find yourself a bolt (the same size as you drilled you hole) and feed it through two panels, now they should hopefully fit together and all should be good. After fitting together your boxes find a nut for your bolt to secure them together. Now you should have two securely fastened boxes that hold onto each other. The final step if to unfasten the bolts and varnish the boxes. 

Step 6: Step 6

Now this isn't a mandatory step but I felt that the box looked a bit plain and boring with it all being just wood, so I went and cut myself 4 200mm x 200mm square pieces of rigid polystyrene in different colours to add to the bases of the boxes - This will also cover up any scratched or dented surfaces in the bases that might have occurred through making.

And your done! These boxes can be fit together in a number of ways due to the holes and bolts that are drilled into each of the sides, feel free to add any improvements or helpful comments.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    If I had a little bit more skill with woodworking, I'd definitely save money on a self storage unit haha! Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and a some DIY to create an organization system that works for your home and helps to keep it clean and tidy! Perhaps its time for me to find a little bit of time to get better at my handiwork eh? Haha!


    3 years ago

    I can see myself taking on this cupboard DIY sometime in the next week or so. I think it's time for a little change up in the living room and a bit of tidying in the meantime too! Hopefully getting this new cupboard built in can help me clear space in the bookcase or at least organize my house a little better. The colours are sure to lend a little bit of something different to the room too!


    3 years ago

    I bet the storage unit will look even better when you finish painting all the different surfaces in! It'll definitely be a bright and fun piece of furniture to have in your home.


    7 years ago on Step 6

    Looks a bit like the 'children's toy storage solution' / colour painted cupboard I designed and made for GCSE Design technology:product design (3D design)