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.
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 a cabinet.
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.
Mount the magnet, load the cups, snap on the lids and all your itty-bitties are easy to spot, nab and put away. Magnetic strips are available from Rockler (800-279-4441, rockler.com) and Magnaproducts (800-338-0527). The magnetic strip provides more than enough magnet power to hold a cup crammed with screws.
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:
- Use muffin tins made from heavier gauge metal.
- Drill and countersink a 1/4-in. hole in the shelf top, so the top of the screw is flush with the shelf.
- Place 1/4-in. fender washers above and below the rim of the muffin tin.
- Tighten two nuts against each other on the underside so the threads won't loosen.
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.