Building the “Cheese Box” Storage Bins

Click photos for larger view
workbench end view
Following the posting of the Work Bench project I received inquires about the pull out drawer/bins at the end of the work bench. That prompted the writing of the Cheese Box article.

After writing the Cheese Box article I then received a few requests for more information on how I made all of those small storage bins.

Every woodshop accumulates a fair amount of wood scraps that are too small to use but too good to throw away. This is the perfect project to use up a lot of small, left-over pieces of wood of all types.

To get the widths I needed I only had to edge glue the scraps together, however, the short lengths were too short to pass thru the thickness planer.

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In the photos above there is a long piece of mahogany and on either side is edge glued 3 pieces of poplar and other woods. The bottom and the matting edge of each piece was first passed over the joiner before being glued to the center strip. No fasteners are used. The long strip acted as a carrier to run the shorter pieces thru the planer. Once planed to the proper thickness the pieces were then cut to size.

The photos below show the end of a small bin made with three pieces and a bottom of a large bin made with four pieces glued together.

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The photos below show a simple jig I used to aid assembly. The red colored right-angle square is screwed to the work bench top. In the background are the many pieces stacked in order of assembly. Be sure to cut a few extras of each piece for set-up and spares.

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The photo below shows a front corner view. In the center photo note the sides overlap the rear but do not overlap the front. There is a rabbet cut in the front piece. This way you do not see the ends of the side pieces when all of the drawers are in place.

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The drawer pull handle is poplar. I could have just purchase that same shape at Home Depot but it was almost $1.75 a foot and I needed 16 feet. So I just cut it on the table saw.

The sides are 1/8 plywood, the bottom and ends are ½ inch of various woods. All pieces were cut and sanded before assembly. The boxes were assembled with Titebond III glue and brad nailed with a Bostitch air gun.

The “brass” label holders were purchased from Rockler Hardware and as you can see they lost their luster very quickly which was a disappointment. However they were only $1.50 each and I did need 32 of them. Nicer ones were a lot more expensive. For their cost these are acceptable.

Only the fronts were finished with one coat of boiled linseed oil and two coats of MinWax wipe-on polyurethane. Allow the boiled linseed oil to dry completely before applying the polyurethane.

This was a fun project, but when it was done, I was glad it was done.

Have Fun. Send me some photos.