These Tool Bins have adjustable shelves for compartments that fit your needs Make two and set them side by side or stack them up to fit the space in your shop

Set Archive 237

Storing portable power tools is always a problem. They usually end up in a pile on a shelf somewhere. And the power cords unwind and weave together like spaghetti.

To solve this. I built these Modular Tool Bins. It's really a tool storage system that you can customize easily to lit your needs. The cabinets are open in tl:e front to keep the tools right at hand. A set of shelves creates a scries of bins— each bin a "home" for a specific tool or accessory. The shelves can bo moved up or down to make each opening a custom fit. And since it's easy to access the shelves. I find I'm more likely to put a mol back where it belongs instead of just selling it down.

adaptable. I also wanted a system that could be adapted to tit a variety of shop layouts. So 1 built two smaller cases instead of one large cabinet. This way 1 could stack the bins (see Hi photo). place them side by side (see right photo). or use diem as stand alone units in separate areas. By adding a work surface between them, they can even be used as the base for a workbench. There's more about this option in the Designer's Notebook ou page shelves.To store the widest possible variety of power lools. the shelves are two different widths. And in keeping with the simple design, there's no hardware needed to hold the shelves. Instead they fit in a set of dadoes in the sides. This makes il easy to rearrange the shelves to accommodate different lools and accessories. 1 even customized several of the shelves to hold specific lools. (For more on this, see the Designer's Notebook on page $6.)

F.veu though there are 21 dadoes for the shelves. I'll show you a trick for cutting them quickly.

i EXPLODED VIEW

OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 23J/AVx 1w,dx36h

Wood Shop Electrical Set

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CUTTING DIAGRAM

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MATERIALS UST

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HARDWARE SUPPLIES

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CUTTING DIAGRAM

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Wood Shop Electrical Set

CASE

The modular tool bins consist of Iwo identical cases. Each case is just a plywood box with a divider (Fig. I).

All of the thick plvw<x>d picces for both cases are cut from a single sheet (refer to the Cutting Diagram on page 85). Since these pieces are all (he same width (II started by ripping the sheet into thrtx: lf>%"-wide strips.

top and bottom. Once the ease pieces are cut to width, (he lop (A) and bottom (P.) pieces can be cut to their finished length <:>\P/r> (Fig. {).

'I"hen the ends tire rabbeted to accept the side pieces (Fig. hi). And a dado is cut in each piece for a divider added later. Note liiat litis dado is offset on the length of the top and bottom (Fig. i).

sides and dividers, The next step is lo cut the sides (C) and dividers (I)) to attach l'^xj aujol A=rr fFnn= to mftfft o'mjgl second:

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•Njyiia\STCi>3iocvr anocyidado length (31W) (Fig. I). To accept the adjusrableshelves (added later), '¿¡"-wide dadoes are cut in the inside faces uf the sides (Q, and both faces of the dividers (D) (Fig. la).

cut in pairs. Thai's a lol of dadoes to ei it (24 per case). To cut these quickly, I use a special tech nique. I cul ihc dadoes ill pairs slarling near the ends and working towards the cenler (Fig. 2). This cuts your sel up lime ir. half and ensures ihe dadoes will align.

Start by attaching a long auxiliary fence to your miter gauge (Fig. 2). Then clamp a stop to the fence and cut the first dado. Now turn the workpieue end for end and «it a second dado (Fig. J).

Once you've cut matching pairs of dadoes in all four sides and both dividers. Ihen reset the stop and cul the next set of dadoes.

Note: 1'or each divider (E), flip Ihe piece over and repeal Ihe cuts on the other side.

BACK

NOTE: IO». BOTTOM. SO-S AND O.VltfFR ¿ft.- MAOC FROM iV PITWOOO

To strengthen Ihe case and prevent il from racking, I added a back (li) made from W plywood.

rabbet. To hold the back in place. 1 cut rabbets ou ihe inside edges

~&>i the top. bottom, and side pieces "A. B.C) (Fi9*.XandZb).

trim divider. But before you can assemble the case, youH need to trim •A" off the width of the divider (I)).This way it won't interfere with the back when it's installed later (Fig. .i).

ASSEMBLE CASES. .Now you're ready to assemble the cases. To do this, apply glue, dten screw the top and bottom to the sides and divider (Figs. ;t a ml .in).

Note: Make sure that the case is square, and the front of the divider (D) is flush with the front of die case.

ADD THE BACK. Finally, cut a hack (K) to fit iu the rabbets in each case. Then glue and nail the baek in place (Fig. .lb).

BASE

To make the bollom bin more accessible and keep the case up off a damp flour. I added a base (Fig. i).

The base consists of four pieces of lxl stock: a front and back (F). and two ends (Cr).The front and back pieces are rabbeted to accept Ihe ends (Fig. Sa).

CUT PIECES. Tile length of the ends ^s the same (lUW). But the length ol the front and hack depends on how you arrange Ihe cases. If the base is for a single case {or you're going to slack them), the fronl and back pieces are 213// long. If the cases are side by side, they're 451/." long.

ASSEMBLY. 'Ihe base is assembled with glue and a couple of nails at each corner (Fig. *a). 'Ihen it's centered under the case (ibis allows a 1" overhang) and screwed in place (Fig. ¿b).

note BASF BAC<. ficfvt AAO f N'rt Aftf MADC FfiOf.lV THIOi STOCK

ADJUSTABLE SH&VES. A series of dadoes allows ihe shelves to be adjusted o< rernoifrf to hold tools of various .sizes.

ADJUSTABLE SH&VES. A series of dadoes allows ihe shelves to be adjusted o< rernoifrf to hold tools of various .sizes.

Wood Shop Electrical Set

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FINISH

OASC FRONT

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SHELVES

The nnly thing left lo complete ihe loo! bins is to acid the adjustable shelves (riff. :>). These '/a" plywood shelves are cut to fit in between the dadoes in the sides and divider.

two sizes. The depth ol the shelves (distance from front to hack) is the same (lH'/<*). Rut the lengths (distance from side to side) aredifferent (Fly. 5). (Note the grain direction.)

In tuy case, the long shelves (H) are 12Vi" long, and the short shelves (I) are 9Vc" long.

Note: The Vs" plywood that remains from cutting the backs (K) will allow for eight shelves of each size. Make as many shelves as you need.

chamfer and bevel To prevent chipping and to make it easier to slide the shelves in and out, I rook them to the router table and chamfered their front and back edges <Fig. an).Then I beveled the front edge of each dado in the cabinets (Fig. 5a). This can be done with a chisel, a file, or with sandpaper.

Customize, finally. 1 took the time to customize some of the shelves to hold specific tools, as shown in the Designer's Notebook below. s

Cupboard Cabinet

MittMBS [email protected](2Xo)CI

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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