I finally grew tired of and tripping over scrap plywood and knocking down spare sticks of trim this weekend. Thankfully, I had enough spare wood and junk lying around to make a storage bin to hold all of it. If you’ve never attempted a storage bin project, you should know that the difficulty level is similar to tying your shoe. The whole project takes about 20 minutes. Read on past the jump for details.
Materials are not super important on a project like this. The most important thing is to use stock that you won’t feel bad cutting up and using in this manner — so sugar maple scrap need not apply. I had a bit of quarter inch ply and some pine underfoot, so that’s what I used.
My design is not new. I’ve seen the same rig in different forms and sizes in various handyman books since before I was born. But since the main culprit in my shop mess was trim and scrap, I sized my bin small. The box measures 4’ x 2’ x 11” and is cut at an angle from 18” up to the top of the 4’ spine.
The first step is to build the load bearing pieces. Measure and cut a 4’, 2’, and 18” piece out of the board stock. This will be the back, bottom, and front of the bin.
Next connect the three pieces together with wood glue. If you don’t want to wait — I didn’t — you can shoot some finishing nails into the corners to hold it together until the glue dries. Just remember: this isn’t a show piece. Rabbet cuts aren’t required. Whatever works is fine.
At this stage the base looks like a number seven if viewed edge on.
The sides are just a 2’ x 4’ sheet of ply wood with an angled cut. Measure 18” from the bottom and draw a line from that mark to the opposite corner. Clamp and cut the piece with a circ saw or whatever’s handy. Use this piece as a template for the other and trace the angle onto a second sheet and repeat.
Run a bead of glue along the edges and nail the sides to the base to complete the box.
To make the bin mobile, I grabbed a few 2” locking caster wheels from Harbor Freight. They’re cheap and will support more weight than I could possibly load in the bin. To install them just flip the bin over and screw each of them to a corner.
And there you have it: your own storage bin.
I added a handle/divider in the center to simplify hauling it around, but you could make tons of additions and modifications to this with little to no effort. It’s not a future heirloom by anyone’s standards, but it does keep scrap and trim out from under foot in the shop — and that means the bin is a success in my book.