Step 1: Assemble the basic box
Need a home for all the coats, toys, books, shoes and other stuff that
accumulates next to your entry door? Adjustable shelves and hooks
make this open locker the perfect catchall. Construction is simple—
just cut the pieces to length and nail them together. Our total cost
was $300, but you can build it for $200 if you substitute plywood
for the 16-in.-wide laminated pine panels we used.
First, sand the plywood back and both sides of the pine panels
with 120- or 150-grit sandpaper. Check the ends of the panels to
make sure they’re square, and measure the widths to make sure
they’re all the same (two of ours varied slightly and had to be
ripped to match). If you want to paint the plywood back and pine
panel sides and shelves different colors, as we did, paint or stain all
the pieces separately before putting the locker together.
Cut all the panels and shelves to the lengths in the
Cutting List in Additional Information below. Glue and nail the top, bottom and
center nailers to the sides, nailing from inside with
1-1/4-in. brad nails so the nails are hidden. Set the sides
upright on a large worktable or flat area of the floor,
then nail the top, bottom and center fixed shelves to the
nailers. Keep the best edges of the sides facing up. Check
to be sure all the edges are aligned to each other in the
front as you assemble the locker.
Figure A: Organizer Details
Figure A: Organizer Details
Figure A, as well as a combined Materials/Cutting List are available in pdf format in Additional Information below.
Step 2: Install the two central dividers
After the shelves are nailed into place, square the locker
by measuring diagonally from corner to corner, first from
one side and then the other, and then pushing the corners
in or out until the measurements are equal. Set the two
center dividers into place, square them against the front
edge, and then nail them through the top and bottom fixed
shelves, using four nails at each end.
Step 3: Add the back and shelf supports
Turn the locker over so the back is facing up. Measure the
location of the center dividers and shelves from the sides,
then mark these locations on the back of the plywood. Set
the plywood on the back of the locker with the best side
facing down. Predrill and screw the plywood down at one
corner, then align the rest of the framework to the plywood
as you screw it down to the sides. Finally, screw the plywood
to the center dividers and shelves. Use four screws for
each divider and shelf and eight for each side.
Turn the locker over again and glue and nail the back
shelf supports to the plywood, tight up against each shelf.
Fasten the nailers to the plywood with 1-1/4-in. nails, but
drive them at about a 15-degree angle so they don’t stick
through the back of the plywood. You may also need to
lower the air pressure on your compressor.
Back to Top
Step 4: Finish with the trim and adjustable shelves
Nail the front trim to the front edge of the shelves and
to the sides, then glue and nail the front support under the
bottom shelf, into the back of the 1x4 base.
Finally, attach the shelf standards and hooks. You can
make one cubby all shelves or leave the shelves out entirely
and just make space for hanging coats. Locate and mark
the wall studs, then move the locker into position. For a
permanent installation, remove the baseboard and recut it
around the locker. Shim the base of the locker, if necessary,
then screw the locker to the studs just above the center
shelf to prevent it from ever tipping forward.