New Hardware Storage in the Shop
I don’t think my workshop tweaking will ever truly be done, but one of the things my remodel did was give me a blank slate to start working from. This also helped to clearly identify wasted spaces in my shop. One of the most obvious was the door into my shop from our laundry room. There has to be some way I can better use that real estate than just hanging my shop apron there so I set out to find a better use of the space.
This past weekend my wife and I were down near DC because she wanted to visit a specific store we don’t have in our neck of the woods called The Container Store. I understand this is a national chain, but the closest one to us is a 90 minute drive away. She has a new office at school and was looking for several specific storage solutions. This place is probably what heaven looks like to the incurably anal retentive personality. If I ever need a tiny acrylic lidded box big enough to hold only a single ring then I probably need to seek help. That being said, once you get past the ridiculous there are some really cool storage solutions to be found.
I kept walking around and thinking about how I might employ these various solutions in my own shop and then coming to the typical woodworker conclusion that I could build something myself to do the same thing. It was like walking through a storage Pinterest board and filing away ideas for the future. At the same time I would check the prices and realized that in some instances I should just get out the wallet because a $9 storage bin is a better deal than me spending a day to make something similar when I have other pressing projects.
So I loaded up on these narrow and slim profile drawer systems. They were the perfect size to hang on the back of my door to hold various and sundry things like screws, cut nails, hinges, riven pegs, wedge stock, etc. Plus the drawers pull out completely so I can take it over to the bench with me instead of grabbing handfuls of screws/nails and dumping them on the bench to get lost under chips or to bite that freshly honed chisel.
I also had a bit of scrap plywood left over from the pre-finished Birch I hung on my walls which would be a great solution to hanging on my cheap hollow core door. I drilled all the way through the door and fastened the plywood using some allen keyed connector bolts I had laying around from a previous project. This held is much more securely than any wall plug fastener could do.
With the plywood in place I could screw the storage bins directly to it without those pesky wall plugs that came with it. Now I have A LOT of storage in a space that used to be empty. What’s more is my visit to The Container Store has given me a lot of additional ideas for how I can more effectively store other things around the shop. I’m eyeing that big useless garage door right now.
Whether you choose to build or buy, keep your eyes open in places like kitchen stores and even retail stores. There are some really clever solutions right in front of use that you just might be able to use and improve for your own shop.