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  1. #1

    Exclamation Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    Ok guys I want to hear your advice/opinions

    I am buying a house that has a 20X30 shop out back and I want to build some cabinets and workbenches like MXtras showed us a while back. I was thinking of having lots of built in drawers and cabinets to store my tools and stuff would work and look pretty good. The shop is kinda small so I want to make the most use the space as possible.
    So:
    What size drawers (width and height) should I have the most of?
    I was thinking around 20-22 inches deep with full extension slides.
    What is a good distance in between shelves (from the top of one to the bottom of the one above it)?
    I was thinking 20-24 inches deep under the work surface and 12-16 inches deep above it.
    Do you like to put stuff on shelves more or in drawers more?
    I want to know which I should have more of.
    Anything else you want to add?

    MXtras what are your likes/dislikes of the ones you built? If you were to do it over again anything you would do differently?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
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    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    Thanks for the nod, Mr. Dodge!

    Personally, I like the drawers more than shelves but there is some stuff that just doesn't go in a drawer as you know.

    I am a bit short on time at the moment.....more in just a bit...

    Scott
    If it wasn't for the last minute I wouldn't get anything done

  3. #3
    Administrator Cebby's Avatar
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    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    Hey Dodge, good to hear from you!

    While I don't have anything as elaborate (or as nice) as Scott's stuff, I do have some opinions and observations.

    I also prefer drawers to shelves, but some things just don't lend themselves to drawers. I've found that deep drawers become too difficult to sift through if you load them up. I prefer 2" to 4" deep for sockets/wrenches/etc up to 6" deep for powertools (those without cases). 4" deep is barely deep enough for sockets on Hansen racks (4.5 would be better since mine get snagged on drawer above from time to time. I also prefer alot of division within my drawers - I use those compartment trays from Sears for my drawers where it makes sense.

    This was before I went nuts and filled up the socket racks - this is in a 4" drawer...


    Here's a typical 6" drawer loaded with power tools... (yes, I like Makita)


    I've found that for tools that come with cases, shelves are best (I keep stuff that came in cases in the case - for the most part). I built a tool shelf above my workbench since that area is under utilized (especially if just used as pegboard) I have joists above, so I was able to cheat a little on the height. I drop down from the joists 15" or so to fit the majority of my cases - the larger ones - framing nailer, sawsall, autofeed screwgun, etc stick up between the joists. Generally, my shelves under the workbench aren't tall enough to fit many of the tool cases I have, so that sort of drove the ddesign of the overhead tool shelf.



    For other oddball storage I use Rubbermaid totes (as seen above). The 14 gallon variety fits within the 13.75" that I have available on the shelves under my workbench. My workbench consists of the 18"d x 36"w HD/Lowes heavy duty shelving that has the steel stringers front to back/side to side and a particle board shelf (eventually I plan to replace the particle bd. with steel plate or maybe even something more custom for the whole kit-n-kaboodle. I'm using 1.25" particle bd tops on my workbench, but this will also change at somepoint to steel and then ability to add a wood top for what I'm working on at the moment.

    I also have some office file cabinets that were used to store paper checks prior to the scanning that is done nowadays. You can find these at many office liquidations since most folks don't have a use for them anymore. I have more totes stacked on top of these.



    As you can see, I prefer having things in totes or drawers - I've done this because I do woodworking and metalworking and found that stuff that wasn't enclosed somehow would get covered in sawdust, paint overspray, or grinding dust. The downside is that everything needs to be labelled - I've started doing this, but it takes time. I know alot of folks think labelling is a waste of time, but my experience has taught me that my little helpers and the Mrs. are more apt to put stuff where it belongs if I have things clearly labelled.
    Last edited by Cebby; 05-26-2006 at 04:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
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    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    The only things I would change if I did the workstations again would be minor changes to the way they are assembled. I don't think I would really change much as far as the layout. I put a lot of thought into them before I started - quantity of drawers, depth of drawers, etc. The only thing I would change is the way I mounted the doors - I would try to make them flush with a dust seal of some sort. I might make a few more shallower drawers - they are pretty handy for smaller stuff but overall I am very happy with them and I might make one with another pull-out shelf or two.

    I guess it depends on how you work and how much of a neat freak you are. I have tool boxes for hand tools so the workstations are used to store lots of frequently used stuff like measuring tools, tape measures, scissors, drills, taps, dies, parallels etc. Reference books go up top as do gloves, glasses and host of other crap.

    I made four large storage cabinets with shelves - but I am not even sure if I posted them anywhere (?). One contains over a hundred plastic slide out drawers for hardware and below that there are a number of large, deep drawers for wire, pipe fittings, pneumatic components, electrical stuff and a bunch of other crap. This is the most visited cabinet in the shop and it still has one drawre that is completely empty. This is the cabinet I go to 5 times more often than any of the others.

    I find the drawers to be very helpful in organizing - much more so than shelves but you have to have both of course.

    I can't recall exactly what dimensions I used for the shelves in the larger cabinets. I measured gallon jugs and added a few inches for several of the shelves and the bottom shelves were sized to accomodate 5 gallon pails plus a little for clearance. The shelves that are at chest height are spaced a bit closer together as are the top shelves in most cases. The cabinets were pretty much purpose built - one for hardware, one for production parts (lots and lots of small blue Akro bins), one for racing gear - like helmets, and one for cleaners, spray cans, air hose - "bulk storage" as it has become to be known.

    I will rustle up some more photos of the inhabited workstations and larger cabinets and their contents if you are interested. It will be next week before I can do this, though - I am off to the Highpoint National (in Cebby's neck of the woods - south of Titsburgh, near Morgantown, West-By-God Virginia).



    Scott
    If it wasn't for the last minute I wouldn't get anything done

  5. #5

    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    Arrrgh!!! Smurfed again! Scott, when are you going to build a tooling cabinet for your mill so I can get lazy and copy it...'cept for the paint?

  6. #6
    Administrator Cebby's Avatar
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    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming
    Arrrgh!!! Smurfed again! Scott, when are you going to build a tooling cabinet for your mill so I can get lazy and copy it...'cept for the paint?
    I think he did already - I know I've seen pics somewhere.

  7. #7

    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    Cebby
    I like the use of those big totes I think I will have to look in to geting some of those
    I also like how the chop saw or miter saw behind the gas cylinders sits lower than the rest of the work bench so its deck is level with the bench

    MXtras
    I would like to see the work stations in action with every thing in them

    I cant wait to close on this house I have most of my stuff in the closet in the spare bedroom of this rental we live in now

  8. #8

    Re: Cabinets and Drawers for storage?

    I know your feeling! Before my wife talked me into having my "retirement" shop built decades early I had to unpack the garage, do the work I needed done, clean up the garage and pack everything back into place like my tools were one of those Russian nesting toys. More work was spent on packing and unpacking than ever was expended on the actual work. Best of luck to you on your new shop.

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