Australian Woodsmith 31st March 2020

Small Parts Organiser

I often use several types and sizes of fasteners in the course of building a project. But often their containers end up scattered all over the workbench. 

This nifty little organiser holds all the fasteners I’ll need for the job at hand, keeps them in one place, and provides easy access. In addition, it has a deep tray on top for keeping larger parts and small tools handy.

The organiser has two Masonite and plywood trays with recesses for shallow containers. The recesses are sized for 170g tuna cans, but any other type of shallow container would be suitable. Spacer blocks keep the containers’ contents visible and easy to grab.

Container Trays. Begin by cutting two pieces of Masonite to the dimensions shown for the container trays. Using a circle cutter at the drill press works great to make the four holes in each of the pieces. The base pieces are cut from plywood and are attached to the container trays with glue. I eased the top edge of the Masonite trays with a roundover bit.

Spacer Blocks. The two spacer blocks are now cut to size and glued to the container trays, as shown in detail ‘a.’ The middle tray has a through hole drilled in the centre of the spacer, while the bottom tray has a threaded insert installed in the top of the spacer block.

Tool Tray & Handle. The tool tray at the top of the organiser is a piece of plywood with 3mm-thick strips of hardwood for the sides. I simply glued them in place. The handle is also made from hardwood. Use the dimensions shown in detail ‘b’ to cut it to size and ease the top edges with a 6mm roundover bit. Glue the handle to the inside of the tool tray and drill a hole through the tray bottom into the handle for another threaded insert.

Assembly. With the parts built, screw the threaded rod into the  bottom tray. Next, add the spacer block, large washer and middle tray. The fender washers keep the parts spinning freely. The tool tray is simply screwed in place. Now you can load up the containers with the fasteners you need for your next project.

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SAFETY IN THE WORKSHOP Safety devices, such as riving knives, guards on table saws and guards over router bits have been deliberately left out of the line drawings in Australian Woodsmith projects in order to make them easier to follow. It goes without saying that where safety devices have been supplied by the manufacturers you should use them. We encourage the use of push sticks as good work practice.
    Exercise vigilance and the greatest of care when using power tools, whether stationary or portable. Keep all your tools sharp and well maintained. Wear protective eyewear, a dust mask and a hearing protector when appropriate. By limiting distractions and developing safe work practices you will go a long way to avoiding workshop accidents. So, work safe fellow woodworkers.  -Editor
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