Introduction: Organizer Bin Storage Unit
After accumulating a number of those bins from Harbor Freight, it quickly grew tiring having to unstack them to get to the bin you want which perpetually seems to be at the bottom. There are other versions of this organizer which are smaller and more compact, but I wanted this to be an additional working surface to compliment my workbench for larger/longer projects. Initially it was going to be shelves inside, but the drafting turned into more of an exercise rather than a project I could realistically accomplish in my limited shop. The final version includes a shallow storage space with a shelf into the backside of the unit, which is great for storing thin things such as spare blades or a pegboard full of tools. I was working on this during a rather chaotic week of life, so please let me know of any errors I made when translating this project to written text.
Step 1: What You Will Need:
Here is what I used for this project, feel free to substitute to use what you have.
2 Swivel with Brake Casters
2 Swivel Casters
16 1" Bolts
1 1/2" x 4' x 4' ACX Handi-Panel
5 1/2" x 2' x 4' ACX Handi-Panel
5 1/2" x 3/4" x 8' Utility Trim
Router with Flush Trim Bit
Clamping Saw Guide
Dead Blow Hammer
1/2" T-Handle Nut Driver
Random Orbital Sander
Drill Press with
Flat Work Surface
Step 2: Getting Started
Cut the plywood to size. I left the top and bottom slightly oversized and routed them flush after the nailing was complete. Be sure to check that your blade is set to 90°. As you cut the pieces label the edges so you can quickly identify them as you move them around. I later added on the shelf rails, I made them from scrap, as such they are not included in the plywood sheet quantity. Use any scrap lumber you have around the shop.
- Top and Bottom 23 3/4" x 35 1/4"
- Sides 23 3/4" x 27 7/8"
- Middle 13 3/4" x 27 7/8"
- Inside Wall 34 1/4" x 27 7/8"
- Shelf 34 1/4" x 9 5/8"
- Upper Rail 34 1/4" x 3 3/4"
- Lower Rail 34 1/4" x 6 3/4"
Select which piece you want to be the bottom and drill the holes for the casters now. Use your bolt to select your drill bit. I cleaned up the edges of the holes with a light counter sinking.
Step 3: Test Fit
On the flat surface assemble and clamp the pieces together to ensure everything fits. Check your measurement for the rails now. I cut my rails into 13 1/5" lengths on the miter saw and rounded them over on my bench top sander before cleaning them up with my orbital sander. If your sander gets gunky don't toss the disc. Use a rubber cleaner to extend the life of your sanding discs. This bench sander also works as a pencil sharpener.
Step 4: Glue and Nail It
For the brad nails I used 1 1/4" 18 gauge. No photos as I was trying to get things done quickly. Mark out your nail lines before you are racing against the glue clock, it is much less tedious. Allow the glue to fully dry before applying finish. If you assemble it upside down you can install the casters while the glue dries.
Step 5: Breaking the Corners and Installing the Brackets
Once the glue has dried I cut down and routed my top and bottom pieces flush, for all other corners use a 1/8" round over bit or knock them down with your random orbital sander as you sand the entire piece smooth.
For the spacing I went with 4 3/4" from the bottom of the organizer to the bottom of the rail for the larger bins and 2 15/16" top of the rail to the top of the rail for the smaller bins.
Once I had installed the rails I decided to add some guards for the shelves on the rear. They will help hold items when I move the cart around.
Step 6: Apply Finish
If so desired, clean off surfaces and apply your finish of choice. I used Minwax Tung Oil Finish. Start with the storage unit on the side so you have clear access to the bottom. Tilt the unit onto the casters and complete applying your finish and give it time to dry overnight.
Step 7: Load Up and Use
Now that it is on casters wheel it over and load all of your organizer bins and other items into your new creation.
ironarmadillo made it!