Making a File Drawer Storage Compainion Box

I can't image how many unique and custom woodworking projects there must be in this world, millions probably, and now I am going to add one more to that list. I made this because I have never seen anything like this ever displayed or listed for sale anywhere, which mean it's a new design (at least for me).

We seem to spend a lot of our time making storage and organizational things and this is yet another item to add to that list. This particular box is what I am calling a drop box because to put anything into it you have to drop it in from the top and it also includes an upper tray for easy access to things you want quicker and easier access to. Other items for more long term storage are underneath the upper tray that just lifts out. The whole concept of this box is that if fits in any file drawer that also accommodates one of the standard metal or plastic hanging file folder stands. Often these can be purchased as single units or "half" units which leaves the other half of the file drawer empty, which of course means the single is free to slide and move around, plus there a big waste of space that could be otherwise better utilized.

There are no particular features of this box that need further explanation that the video does not already explain. For this unit I used 1/8" plywood for the sides and bottoms, then 1/2" natural wood for the ends. The only word or caution I need to pass along, some file drawers have more room in height than others so you may need to watch the height of your handle, it is possible to make it to high so that the drawer does not close ... otherwise it's another fun, easy to make and super useful little storage box you will use for many, many years.
Copyright Colin Knecht
Woodworkweb.com

Building a Small Parts Storage Cabinet

I seem to go through phases where I have this need to re-organize my stuff and it's often triggered by an event. Recently I lost the little mounting foot that goes in the head of my small Gorilla Tripod. Oh sure you can buy new ones, and have them shipped to you but most of the ones I saw, with shipping, are about the same price a buying a whole new tripod! Eventually (2 months later) I have found the missing foot and all is well again, but it made me realize I have camera and video gear in at least 3 different places and it's time to get it all in one place ... the workshop where it is being used.

The real problem with all these bits and pieces is that they are currently being stored in little plastic rectangular trays, which work ok, but they take up a lot of shelf space because you can't store something above them like you can with a little cabinet with drawers. And that was my motivation.

I had some other ideas along the way, like having something with a Dutch Door or half door so that if you had something lying in front of the little cabinet, you could still open the door without knocking something on to the floor. I also liked ....

Cutting Cabinet Backs and Box Bottoms

Some things in woodworking are just not that exciting and cutting backs and bottoms probably falls quite nicely in that category. So why am I even covering it, because I have had a number of emails and comments from subscribers on the topic and I know if a few people comment on something, there are probably hundreds who also have questions but just don't ask the questions.

So, cutting backs on cabinets or bottoms for boxes is really exactly the same thing. All you are doing is cutting rabbet around insides of the cabinet carcass to allow for the inserting of a back. The back could be plywood, or it could be a series of boards. Either way, the best way of putting these backs on is in such a way that the back of the back - is flush with the back of the carcass or it can even be inset a bit more, but definitely not sticking out from the back of the cabinet of box.

 

Back in the day when I first learned serious woodworking, we always cut the backs using a dado blade on the table saw. That's just the way things were done then. There wood routers, but they were uncommon, had very few bits and were really still in their infancy, so weren't even considered for this function back then ....

Making a Jewelry / Keepsake Box

It's always fun making new things and seeing how they turn out, and if you get the chance to make something a second or third time, or even more, each version gets better and better because you learn quicker ways or building and you learn how to master the finer details too. I saw this little jewelry box somewhere and the design stuck in my brain as something I would like to build some day ... and someday has come.
I liked that it had substance, but also that it hand some curves to the design. It's not just a square, flat sided box, and it's nice to vary things once in a while. I started off with some rough sawn Alder and planed it down to 1-1/8". Since I had no plans, I just guessed at a size that I felt would look good.

 

The sides would be joined edge grain to edge grain, which is not the best way to hold wood together but by adding splines to the corners, the box would be very strong. The one thing I knew from making picture frames with 45 degree corners is that each of the opposite sides needs to be identical in length ... so the left and right sides need to be exactly the same length AFTER the 45 degree cut is made and the front and back sides also need to be identical in length. If they are not ....

Make a Box Joint Shoe Shine Tote

shoe shine boxOn a previous video, I re-made the Lynn Sabin adjustable Box Joint Jig and adapted it to the router table. I had put off doing this as I already had one that worked fine on the table saw, but after many, many requests I decided to make a router table version unit of all our European subscribers who cannot purchase dado blades in most European countries. After building the jig and trying it out, I found I really liked this version. It seems much less dusty to operate that the same jig on the table saw that is using dado blades or even the dedicated Freud - Box Joint Blade Set, and the joints are nice and crisp with cleaner edges that what I was getting on the table saw.

I decided the next step should be to actually make project of some sort so I can really try out this jig and see how it really performs. As it happens, I had been in an Antique Store a few weeks earlier and had seen, what I called a shoe shine tote. A lovely little box, with box joint corners and some sort of a sole deck on top of the lid that could double as a handle.

I didn't have any plans and just went by what I had remembered when I saw the tote in the store. The only thing that really stood out for me was that the box joints appeared to be 1/4", which was perfect for this new router based, box joint jig.

How to Build a Camera Storage and Carry Box

camera boxI love making videos "in the field" so to speak, at others work shops and other special sites. The problem with doing this is I often need a few extra pieces of photographic gear ... which I have, but for some reason I always seem to leave back in the workshop. I purchased this gear to make my life easier and to make the videos better ... then I go and leave it at home. Time for me to get organized.

I have looked, for a few months, at a variety of camera bags. It's very irritating. Most of the ones shown on-line don't show you what they look like inside, nor to they even give dimensions. The ones I have seen in person have not been suitable for a number of reasons, poor quality, wrong sizes, insides don't work etc.

Time for me to solve my own frustrations and make my own storage and carry case. I started off with a small sheet of Baltic Birch Plywood. This is excellent plywood, even thought it is only 1/2" thick it's seven plys. Very strong, good quality wood and no voids, so that when I cut through it, I don't have to worry that somewhere in the middle will be a big soft spot, or a place where the wood doesn't come together which makes it very hard to join edges.

I decided the best size ... at least for now, is 10" x 10" x 16". This will hold and store the gear I need, and it will also hold my 2 smaller soft carry cases. The bonus to this is I can easily find them and if I use them in the box they help protect the cameras and lenses from bumping together. I really liked this advantage ...

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