Simple Shop Storage Bins

About: I'm a retired mechanical engineer, woodworker, boater, and inventor. Now I'm getting into wood turning, and have found that all my wood projects need not be flat and square.

My shop is small, and all prime real estate has gone to new woodworking tools. When I finally realized it was time to get all the other stuff organized, I came up with a simple but inelegant storage idea. I bought a few milk crate type boxes, and turned them into sliding storage bins. The crates have a nice lip at the top, so all I needed to do was rout ledges in two 2x3 boards to make supports for the crates to side in,  and attach them under shop tables. Now I have large out-of the-way storage bins that can slide in and out as drawers, or be removed and carried to work locations. One is where I keep vacuum and clean up tools, another is for finishing supplies. A lot better than keeping this stuff on the floor.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge

    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I worked for a medical device manufacturer who used a similar box in the clean room (with a bottom). Because of quality and cleanliness issues they would throw them away on a regular schedule.I would wait at the back door and grab all that I could (a lot with everyone else). My garage is full of them ...full.

    If anyone lives near such a company, they should check the dumpsters regularly.

    Keep away from scrap parts though; they will come after you if you attempt to take any of that stuff.

    1 reply
    Bill WWLotus14

    Reply 2 years ago

    Dumpster diving can be a gold mine at many companies. A friend of mine worked in R&D at a manufacturing company. He collected a lot of equipment and stainless fasteners from projects that did not work out.

    It's amazing what simple storage ideas are thought up in this community for real! Thanks for sharing!

    Bill WWBigMrTree

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction


    Well, I had the bin and things to store. But sometimes small things fall thru the holes in the bin!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work, Bill. I use PET bottles for little parts, as washers, screws, nuts, nails, etc.

    Occasionally I must change them for larger containers, like those for 5 or 8 liters of water. Wires are a special case, too.


    I like it... Real estate in my shop is very limited as well... I have used crates in the past, and they do work well, but the holes in the crates are so awkward. I at least place hardboard iN the bottoms and sometimes the sides.

    Nice work!