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Easy-to-Build Benchtop Organizer

Combine plastic bins with a simple plywood cabinet to super-organize small stuff.

Benchtop organizerFamily Handyman
A stack of plastic bins can organize thousands of small items. But it’s not very convenient when the bin you need is at the bottom of the stack. That’s the point of this cabinet: You can slide out any bin—no stacking and unstacking. You can easily build a cabinet identical to this one. Or you can customize it, using larger or smaller bins, more bins or fewer. Whatever configuration you choose, this project is a great clutter solution for the garage, workshop or craft room.

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Time
1 hour
Complexity
Beginner
Cost
$50

Shop before you build

Benchtop organizerFamily HandymanOur cabinet is built for Husky 11-in. Parts Bin Organizers ($4) from The Home Depot. Most discount stores and home centers carry similar bins. Be sure the bins you choose have a sturdy rim that can rest on the runners.
You’ll also need a 2 x 4-ft. sheet of 1/2-in. plywood for the cabinet box. If you have a table saw, you can cut runners from any 3/4-in.-thick board. If not, check the millwork aisle at your home center. You’ll find 1/4 x 3/4-in. stock like we used or other moldings that will work. When you’re done shopping, just follow Photos 1 – 3 and Figure A to build the cabinet.

Project Directions:

1. MARK BOTH CABINET SIDES AT ONCE

Building the cabinet sidesFamily Handyman
Mark the centerline and the runner locations onto a single plywood blank. In Step 3, you’ll cut the blank in half to make two identical cabinet sides.

2. ATTACH THE RUNNERS

Attaching the runnersFamily Handyman
You can use brads, staples, nails or screws. Just be sure to keep the fasteners at least 1/2 in. away from the centerline so you don’t hit them with your saw in Step 3.

3. CUT THE BLANK IN HALF

Cut the blank in halfFamily Handyman
Set the table saw fence at 7-1/2 in. and cut the blank. Since the blank is slightly oversized, also trim the offcut side to 7-1/2 in. If you don’t have a table saw, make the cuts with a circular saw or jigsaw. Join the two sides to the top, bottom and back as shown in Figure A.

Figure A Benchtop Organizer

Overall dimensions: 15-1/4″ tall x 11-3/4″ wide x 8″ deep

Family HandymanNOTES:
All dimensions given accommodate the plastic bins we used. Adjust these measurements to suit your bins.
Top, bottom, sides and back are 1/2-in. plywood.
*Start with a side blank that’s 15-1/4″ x 15-1/4″.
**Start with runners 15-1/4″ long.

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