Workshop Build #24: Wall - Mounted Bins

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 08-18-2010 04:44 PM 5663 reads 28 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: The Front Porch Part 24 of Workshop Build series Part 25: Starting the Siding »

I posted a question in the forum section here two months ago asking what others did for organizing all their screws, hooks, etc. in their shops.

Some people suggested buying plastic bins, others said use jars or bags. I had a plan in a magazine full of shop storage and tool cabinets put out by the Woodsmith/Shop Notes people and so I decided to make my own.

Unfortunately I felt like one of Santa’s elves with the assembly line of parts. It seemed to take forever to make all the bins!

finished bins

Here’s a quick tutorial of what I did.

The plan called for sides of the bins to be made out of hardboard. I saw some pre-finished one side with white (melamine?) covering that was only a few cents more than the plain stuff, so went with that. I figured the outsides of the bins could be white and look nice against my white walls of the shop.

I would make as many bins as I could using the hardboard for the sides which were 7 3/4” for the large bins and 3 3/4” for the smaller ones. I found I could get 19 small bins and 12 large ones out of my hardboard piece.

The side pieces came from strips of hardboard ripped the length of the bins. Then I used my mitre saw to angle the pieces.

cutting the sides

For some reason I thought I was getting two mirror images for each side of one bin, but I really was getting two of the same piece. This would not matter if I had not bought the one-side finished hardboard. But, by the time I realized that I wasn’t getting a left and a right, I had cut half of them, so I ended up with some of the larger bins sides which would have the inside finished white. Not the original plan!

After removing my palm from my forehead I figured I would have to paint the outsides of the ones I had cut wrong. Crap.

sides cut

The next step was to cut the bottoms and backs out of 1/2” plywood. The backs for the large and small bins are the same size, the bottoms are (of course) larger on the larger bins.

back and bottom pieces

The fronts were cut from 3/4” pine, again the larger bins had larger fronts.

front pieces started

Next a rabbet was cut on the sides of the fronts. This would accept the hardboard sides, so was the width of the hardboard.

side rabbets

Another rabbet is cut on the bottom of the front to accept the bottom 1/2” plywood.
bottom rabbet

A dovetail bit was used to make a slot for holding a label, on the fronts of each bin. (The L shaped piece of wood is just a jig to help pushing the front pieces through the router)
front slot

closeup of front piece

All pieces were sanded and then it was time for assembly. The back plywood sits on top of the bottom piece, the front sits with the rabbet over the bottom plywood. Then the side goes on over that. I used glue as well as small nails to assemble these.

assembling the parts

I had 31 of these to assemble, which took much longer than I thought it would. Please remind me in the future not to make 31 of anything.

bins bins bins

I put a few coats of shellac on everything, which I find makes things shed off dust better and looks prettier.

Now, where to hang them? Initially I was going to put my bins on the cleats in my shop but I realized if I did that, because of the way they hang from rails, I would have to put the rails first on a backing of plywood or something similar, and then they would stick out further from the wall. So, I decided to take down part of one of my wall cleats and attach the bins rails directly to the wall.

removing a cleat

That didn’t hurt too much!
cleat gone

The bins hang from rails that are 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” with a rabbet in the bottom back edge to hold the bins. I made four rails at 36” long. (Plus I made a bottom rail without a rabbet)

Each rail is screwed into the wall at the joists, with 4 5/8” between them, this is important because the bins actually sit on the rail below.
rails up

bins in place

Now I have to fill them and make the labels. Hopefully this helps keep things organized.

Thanks for reading be continued…

-- ~Julie~

11 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3490 days

#1 posted 08-18-2010 05:19 PM

Definitely on my favorites.

View Manitario's profile


2778 posts in 3332 days

#2 posted 08-18-2010 05:36 PM

great project, congrats on persevering through it all; I probably would have quit after making 2….

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View bigbuddha's profile


200 posts in 3668 days

#3 posted 08-18-2010 07:19 PM

nice job Julie! :)

-- helen

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3315 days

#4 posted 08-18-2010 07:59 PM

Those are very nice. All of mine are plastic store bought bins but if I waited for me to build any I would never have any bins. I seem to never have enough bins. Great job.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3540 days

#5 posted 08-18-2010 11:31 PM

cool idea! everything is always so much easier when things are organized!! Another way to do it would have been to use french cleats to hang the bins on the wall (that might have saved you some time). thanks for posting!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4140 days

#6 posted 08-18-2010 11:44 PM


they have come out great think you have made my mind up for my next big workshop overhaul


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View DenverDave's profile


41 posts in 3299 days

#7 posted 08-19-2010 09:07 PM

Nice job!

View MickeyGee's profile


119 posts in 3343 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 12:28 PM

Really looks nice – a whole lot of work but you’ll definitely be keeping organized!

-- -- Mike

View b2rtch's profile


4880 posts in 3497 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 12:54 PM

Very nice

-- Bert

View Bluebear's profile


417 posts in 3345 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 01:58 PM

definitely will be using this for inspiration one day. you can always add more rows as your needs progress :)
very cool.

-- -- It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3587 days

#11 posted 02-16-2012 04:55 AM

Julie as I read your opening paragraphs, the 2nd paragraph you state ” I decided to make my own.” I just had to smile and shake my head. I’d expect nothing less from you. Of course you’d make your own. Wow – what a project. I would have to imagine 31 of these would take a lot of time.

-- Harold

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