Organizing All Of The Things

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I have limited space in my shop and am constantly trying to condense the volume of space that my materials and supplies take up while still allowing me to find what I am looking for without digging through bin after bin. One of the best solutions I’ve found to this problem are large, shallow drawers.




This is a toolbox I built about 20 years ago. The carcass is from a television record player combo that was probably manufactured in the 1940s, I found it in the trash when I was about 14. The electronics were long since gone and I used the cabinet to hold records and books. When it was relegated to the basement, I built a set of drawers for it out of material from a demolished fence. The slides are wood on wood lubricated with a coating of paraffin wax. They work reasonably well, but I will likely upgrade them with ball bearing slides soon.

Using the rails from discarded Beowulf cluster nodes to make storage drawers for the workshop. - A SPWS One Shot

In my day job I manage Linux computers in a computational data center. We have racks of computers we update regularly and when we send a batch off to the recycling center I usually grab the ball bearing slides to use in the workshop. Here I’ve attached them to two pieces of 3/4″ plywood that will make the sides of my cabinet of drawers.

New storage for ALL OF THE HARDWARE! - A SPWS One Shot

I also put a back on the cabinet that is screwed to the wall to stabilize and secure the whole thing. Once I transferred all of my hardware from the jars and cans that it had been in I found that I had freed up the equivalent of 3 full-sized kitchen cabinets!

Done for today. - A SPWS One Shot

Once I complete all of the shop furniture under the work bench these drawers, and the rest, will get poplar facings painted Von Slatt green.

Slide out storage for the etching tank and power supply. - A SPWS One Shot

Next to the cabinet of drawers I build sliding shelves to hold my 15 gallon etching tank and the etching power supply that goes with it that I made from a discarded Harbor Freight MIG welder.

3D printed socket holder on the left, 9 hours. Milled socket holder on the right, 20 minutes. Additive vs. subtractive. - A SPWS One Shot

While I was building the cabinet, I set the 3D Printer and the milling machine to work making socket wrench holders. While the 3D printed holder took many hours longer to print, it required far less setup and design time than the CNC milled part. It was an interesting study in additive vs. subtractive fabrication.


  1. Posted by Cheshire Noir
  2. Posted by Chris