Small Parts Organizer
By: Logan Wittmer
Here's an easy way to keep track of hardware and hand tools for the job you're working on.
I often use several types and sizes of fasteners in the course of building a project. But often their containers end up scattered all over the workbench. This nifty little organizer holds all the fasteners I’ll need for the job at hand, keeps them in one place, and provides easy access. In addition, it has a deep tray on top for keeping larger parts and small tools handy. The organizer has two hardboard and plywood trays with recesses for shallow containers. The recesses are sized for six-ounce tuna cans, but any other type of shallow container would be suitable. Spacer blocks keep the containers’ contents visible and easy to grab.
Begin by cutting two pieces of hardboard to the dimensions shown for the container trays. Using a circle cutter at the drill press works great to make the four holes in each of the pieces. The base pieces are cut from plywood and are attached to the container trays with glue. I eased the top edge of the hardboard trays with a roundover bit. The two spacer blocks are now cut to size and glued to the container trays, as shown in detail ‘a.’ The middle tray has a through hole drilled in the center of the spacer, while the bottom tray has a threaded insert installed in the top of the spacer block.
The handle is also made from hardwood. Use the dimensions shown in detail ‘b’ to cut it to size and ease the top edges with a 1⁄4" roundover bit. Glue the handle to the inside of the tool tray and drill a hole through the tray bottom into the handle for another threaded insert.
Tool Tray & Handle. The tool tray at the top of the organizer is a piece of plywood with 1⁄8"-thick strips of hardwood for the sides. I simply glued them in place. The handle is also made from hardwood. With the parts built, screw the threaded rod into the bottom tray. Next, add the spacer block, fender washer, and middle tray. The fender washers keep the parts spinning freely. The tool tray is simply screwed in place. Now you can load up the containers with the fasteners you need for your next project.