It's the little things that make us happy, right? Not when those little things are screws, nuts, bolts and other pieces of hardware that get stuck in a drawer somewhere never to be found again. We've come up with a great collection of tips for how to store hardware so you can actually find what you need. Happiness indeed!
Put those neglected muffin tins
to work holding small fasteners,
electrical parts and more. Screw together
a tote from three pieces
of 1/2-in.-thick plywood cut to
fit the width and height of your
trays. Screw plywood strips on
the inside to act as drawer runners
for the tins and glue or screw
on a thin plywood back. The tote
shown here holds four tins, but
you can build it higher for even
more storage capacity. Cut
the plywood sides long enough
so there's room to add a 3/4-in. -
diameter dowel handle.
For rust-free storage of expensive air
nailer fasteners, use steel
ammunition boxes from an
army surplus store. They have
a watertight seal to help prevent
corrosion and they're
cheap (about $5).
Old-fashioned shower curtain rings ($2 for a 12-pack at a
home center) can organize and conveniently display nuts
and washers on your pegboard. Load up the rings, add a
tape label, and hang them near the wrenches. You can also
toss them in a nail apron for on-the-go repairs.
Plastic peanut butter jars work better for storage than glass baby
food jars because they hold a lot more hardware and won't
smash into slivers if you drop one. Attach the lids of 28-oz. jars
under a shelf with two screws (so the lid can't spin when you
loosen the jar) and screw on the loaded jar. For quick access, cut
away half of a 64-oz. peanut butter jar with a sharp utility knife,
leaving the neck intact, then attach the lid and jar to the side of
Want a handy storage roost for all the little screws,
earplugs, nuts and washers in your shop? Pick up a
package of Glad 4-oz. cups, a magnetic strip, several
7/16-in. washers and a tube of E6000 glue ($4 at craft
and hobby stores). Apply glue to the cup's concave
bottom, press in a washer flush with the bottom rim
and let the glue set for 24 hours.
Save up 12 plastic oil quart bottles, cut away
one side with a utility knife, scrub out
the oil residue and load them with nails
and screws. Build a carrying case from
scrap 1/2-in. and 1/4-in. plywood.
label the bottle caps
and slide in the
bottles. Add a
handle and tote
it to your next
Save those 100-oz. laundry detergent bottles and use them to hold jumbo supplies of screws
and nails. Cut the top off the bottle to create a wide-mouth bin with a built-in
Label the bins, load them up, and you're ready to snag a handful when needed or
carry a bin or two right to the job site.
Work surface cluttered with miscellaneous nails, screws, hardware, whatever?
Clean it up and still keep that stuff at your fingertips.
Attach a muffin tin under a shelf with a single 1/4-in. x 1-1/2-in. flat
head machine screw. The tin pivots out from beneath work surfaces to
organize and serve up any little doodad you frequently use. And you
store all that little stuff without using up a single square inch of workspace.
For best results when installing your muffin bins:
Save jumbo-sized Nesquik containers
to hold nails, lag bolts and extra long
drywall screws up to 5 in. long.
You can pack 4 lbs. of 16d nails in
one can. They're great dispensers
since the fasteners lie flat and are
easy to grab, and they use space better
than coffee cans when you store
them on a shelf.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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