For this week’s project, I am hanging out with my folks once again and while looking around in my dad’s garage, I noticed that he has a lot of things that need to be better organized, so I brought out my computer and started designing something to hopefully organize his paint cans, all of his miscellaneous hardware, his screw boxes, his spray bottles, as well as give him a few drawers to store anything else that he might have. I was able to build this entire thing from four sheets of plywood and I do have a set of plans available if you are wanting to build your own.
Here’s the video giving the overview of the build process:
In the video, I actually start off by building the top of this unit first because at that point I wasn’t building as many things, so for the purpose of it making more sense to build, I’m going to be starting at the bottom of the unit and working my way up.
Making Dresser Drawers
The first thing I did was cut all of my pieces to size. I broke down my sheet of plywood and then used a table saw and a circular saw to cut the individual pieces. Since I’m working in my dad’s garage, I also used the help of my Triton SuperJaws as a clamp station/work bench. These are very handy if you haven’t used one.
Next I attached the horizontal shelves. Now I am using glue and a butt joint but you could use whatever joint you’d like. I started off with the very bottom shelf and used a tape measure to mark off the distance between the shelves and then inserted them and attached them. I used a speed square to help with alignment as I was installing these. Be sure to use a countersink bit for these screws so the heads are flush with the surface.
A different option would be to use sliders instead of building in shelves, but sliders are more expensive so for projects in the shop I typically use a shelf for the drawer to slide in and out on top of instead.
After getting all of the shelves inserted, I came back and glued and screwed on the second side piece. The reason I added this was to thicken up the footprint of the entire base since this is essentially the legs of the unit.
Making the Drawers
I first cut all of the pieces to size then ran a dado in the front pieces and both of the side pieces. Then I raised the blade and ran the back pieces through to cut them down to size.
I joined them all together using glue and brad nails and then I cut and slipped in the bottoms.
I would insert the drawers as I was making them to make sure they were fitting properly. Since I am not buying and using sliders, I made the drawers very tight fitting so that they don’t wobble around too much; however, another option would be to buy sliders for the drawers.
Making a Miscellaneous Hardware Storage Station
So this was how my dad was storing all of his hardware before. Well, I thought I could work something up that would work a little bit better…
This is what I ended up building! I first purchased the storage containers that I wanted to use then designed the section around the containers. If you want to use the same containers I purchased them at Dollar General (so $1 each) and here is a link to the exact one I used
The first thing I did on this section was cut the individual dividers. I exchanged the regular blade for a dado stack in the table saw to make cutting all of the dados go a lot quicker. If you do not have a dado stack, you can do this step using an individual blade; however, it will be more time consuming because you will have to do multiple passes on each dado slot.
To also make things go faster, I added up the dimension of all of the dividers together and cut a board to that size. Then I cut in the dados. Be sure to cut the dados in on both sides!
Once all the dados are cut then you can set your fence and cut the board into the individual pieces that will be the dividers. This way is much quicker then cutting the individual pieces first, then cutting in the dados.
After I did the shorter dividers that make up the screw box storage section, I repeated the steps to make the taller dividers that make up the hardware bin section.
Now I made the sides. These also have dados cut in them but they are only on one side of the boards. To make these I used a temporary fence attached to my miter gauge. I also first marked off lines on the temporary fence with a pencil so that I could just very quickly move my side board up and down the fence to cut in the dados.
After all of the dados were cut in the divider pieces and side pieces, I started joining everything together. I cut a top and a bottom and then attached the dividers where they all needed to go, before attaching the bottom to the drawer unit that we made in the last section.
When attaching these dividers I used the storage containers as the spacers. I would set two containers in place (one near the top and bottom) then butt the divider against it. Make sure they can still slide up and down then screw it down.
Once they were all attached, I added a shelf on top then came back with my brad nailer and tack the top of the dividers in.
I repeated the same steps to attach the shorter dividers that make up the screw box storage but instead of screwing in the bottoms, I simply glued and nailed them.
Once the dividers were attached, I set the section on top of the drawer section, and screwed it down.
Next I turned the unit around and added a back to it. Now I only wanted to use one sheet of plywood for a back so I cut and spliced together a few different pieces in order to get a back on the entire thing. The only area I did not add a back is up near the top of the paint rack section where the spray bottles will be hanging. A back really isn’t necessary there.
While I was cutting up the 1/4″ material, I used the cutoffs from making the back to make all of the shelves for the screw box holder section. You can just measure them and cut them to length with the table saw and then slide them into place. I did not glue these into place so if my dad has taller screw boxes, he can simply take out a shelf and store them here as well; however, you can very well glue these into place so they are attached permanently.
We moved the entire thing over to where my dad wanted it and I ran in a few screws to attach it to the studs. This will keep the unit from pulling forward if he has to tug on a drawer or one of the hardware containers.
Once the bottom section was in place, I used pocket holes to attach the paint rack section to the top. Now my dad is very tall so he can still reach the spray bottle rod up at the very top; however, I am short and wouldn’t be able to reach it if this was in my shop, so if you are short, you can lower the paint rack section down to where you can easily reach it, or you can just use a step stool to reach the rod to hang or grab a spray bottle.
And that’s it. Between all of these different sections, we were certainly able to organize a few different things in his shop.
With all the wood and the containers I spent $140 total to build this. If you want to organize your garage with this system then check out the set of plans here:
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