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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.

storagebin03.jpg   storagebin04.jpg

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.

storagebin05.jpg   storagebin06.jpg

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.

storagebin08.jpg   storagebin09.jpg   storagebin10.jpg

Run a bead of glue along the edges and nail the sides to the base to complete the box.

storagebin11.jpg   storagebin12.jpg   storagebin13.jpg

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.

storagebin14.jpg   storagebin15.jpg

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.


9 Responses to How To: Make A Basic Wood Storage Bin

  1. Rick says:

    Your garage is too neat Sean..

    Your Toolmonger credentials are in jeopardy 😉

  2. PeterP says:

    That’s impossible! Everyone knows you cant rip a straight line without a $2000 contractors saw!

  3. l_bilyk says:

    Ok for scrap. Expensive woods should be stored flat in neat stacks to discourage movement

  4. Sean O'Hara says:

    Carefully crafted shots from particular angles Rick. Actually, my work area looks like a bomb went off. The popular phrase around the TM shop is “Tool explosion.” 😉

    Peter, did I mention you rock?

  5. PeterP says:

    I do what I can. 🙂

  6. Patty Tikalsky says:

    Thank you for sharing this!!! I’m about to build my own because I have been putting my scrap wood on valuable shelf storage. lol That takes up 2 shelves in my garage that could be used for so many other things.
    Thanks again! 🙂

    • Patty Tikalsky says:

      I have been working on this for 2 hours; and I just figured out that I can’t cut a straight line. lol But I’m determined to make it work….I’m sure not going to waste the wood. lol

  7. Patty Tikalsky says:

    I finished it!!! It’s not perfect, but mine is a little wider than this one. But being I can’t seem to cut a straight line….well it’s off some in the front; but it still holds my lumber!!! There’s not a link to add a picture. I want to paint mine though, and right now it’s too cold where I live to paint it in the garage. 🙁
    Thanks again for sharing!

  8. Oscar Atkinson says:

    Great project, I will build one similar. I am thinking I will use a movers dolly from harbor freight to start my base , hopefully save on time and money. Thanks!

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