The issue of where to store all the little bits and pieces used for DIY is a problem that never seems to go away.
While there’s a wide range of storage options available, all too often they’re not quite the right size or they are laid out in an impractical way.
These bins are fast and easy to make, and have several advantages. As well as being much tougher than plastic storage boxes, they can also be customised to suit your available space and the items that you need to store.
They’re also the ideal way to use up scrap timber, and you can apply the mass-production techniques used to cut the parts to bigger projects later on.
Our storage bins were built from leftovers, so they didn’t cost a thing. But if you’re looking to make them from bought materials, the whole set will only cost you just over $150.
Mass-produce the parts
Begin by measuring the equipment you want to store. Small, basic boxes are ideal for nuts, bolts and screws, plus plumbing and electrical parts. Several wider bins can be used for tubes of silicone and similar items.
Keep the dimensions of the sides consistent to make the cutting and assembly more efficient.
In this workshop, the small boxes are 125mm wide, while the other bin widths are 220, 270 and 340mm, but you can adjust these sizes.
The bins can also be divided into smaller sections by cutting housings in the sides with a trim router and adding removable dividers cut from 3mm thick MDF.
Split battens are used to mount the bins on the wall. A piece is cut to fit each box and attached to the back, so they can be hung separately on the wall batten, making them easy to remove.
Cutting the split battens from pine will leave sharp splintering edges on both pieces. So crank the tablesaw blade back to 0° after they’re split, then trim 3mm off the sharp edge of each batten before cutting to length.
Make the bins
Using a tablesaw, cut the plywood to the width of the backs, sides, bases and fronts, then cross cut each piece to length with a mitresaw. Clamp a stop block to the saw fence so the lengths are identical every time. TIP Trim off the corner of the stop block to avoid sawdust accumulating.
Mark the slot position on the centreline of the 165mm long sides. Clamp to a workbench, then use a router fitted with a 3mm straight cutting bit to rout 5mm deep housings across the sides. Use a straightedge or router fence to keep the housing straight.
Set the mitresaw to 45°, then clamp a stop block and cut a corner off each bin side. To finish the left and right sides for the divided bins, cut one side with the housing face up and the other side with the housing face down. Assemble the bins using PVA adhesive and brads.
Tilt the tablesaw blade to 45° and set the fence so that the bin batten is 40mm wide, then carefully feed the batten through the saw blade using a push stick. TIP The blade guard has been removed here for picture clarity. Don’t saw timber without the guard in position
Mark the stud locations on the wall using masking tape, then secure the lowest batten first, using a spirit level to ensure it is level. Continue working up the wall using a pair of spacers to position each batten. TIP We used 50mm wide spacers to separate the battens.
Cut the bin battens to match the widths of the bins, then secure one batten to the back of each bin, flush with the top edge, using two screws. To finish, apply two coats of Danish oil to each bin, then hang them by hooking the bins onto the wall battens.