In Projects, Shop Blog, Techniques

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1. Sandpaper Roll Storage
I use pressure-sensitive-adhesive (PSA) sanding discs. For easy
access, I like to get them out of their packages and lined up by grit.
I hang my rolls of sanding discs on horizontally supported dowels so I
can quickly grab the right grit without looking at the back side of a

2. Eye-Level Bit Storage
Lots of folks store router bits in wood blocks. I turned mine into
pull-out blocks mounted at the bottom of my upper cabinets. The shelves
pull out and hang at eye level while you find the bit you need. Each
pull-out block slides on a pan head screw captured in a routed keyhole
slot on the bottom of the block (see inset). If you want to remove the
block and take your bits to where you're working, just lift the block
off the screw and go. Rout the stopped keyhole slot in the center of
each block. Drill a 1-in.-dia. x 1/2-in.-deep finger hole in the front
of each pull-out block. On this cabinet, I use filler blocks to
maintain clearance for the door hinges.


MLCS, (800) 533-9298,, Carbide-tipped keyhole-cutting bit, 3/8-in.-dia. x 1/4-in. shank, #5438, $9.

3. Easy-Adjust Drawer Dividers
I've tried lots of different drawer dividers over the years, but
none comes close to this system. Its beauty lies in its flexibility. As
my storage needs change, so can my dividers—in an instant! These
dividers are friction-fit against strips of 1/4-in.-thick closed-cell
foam. To make the foam inserts, cut pieces of 1/4-in.-thick fiberboard
to fit across your drawer. Use spray adhesive to adhere 1/4-in.-thick
closed-cell foam to the fiberboard. Then set the dividers into your
drawer, measuring the distance you need between them. The best way to
fit the dividers is to start long and slowly trim their lengths until
they fit snugly.

A-1 Foam, (952) 253-1972, Dynaflex closed-cell foam, 1/4 in. thick,
charcoal color, #XL2000, $1 per sq. ft. K-grip foam and fabric spray
adhesive, 13.25 oz., #701, $11.

Sears, (800) 349-4358,, Craftsman drawer liners, mesh roll, 21-3/4 in. x 256-1/2 in., #65190, $30 per roll.

4. Swing-Out Drill Bit Rack
This swing-out drill bit rack means no more peering into a dark
cabinet or trying to reach over a forest of sharp bits to get the one
way in back. Just swing out the block and all your drill accessories
are right where you can easily and safely reach them. The rack is 1-1/4
in. thick by 3 in. wide with a 17/64-in. pivot hole. The rack pivots on
a 1/4-in. bolt mounted through the bottom shelf with a lock nut and
washer. A rubber bumper acts as a stop. A couple of 1/8-in.-deep x
1/2-in.-wide dovetail slots are routed on the front and back edges of
the rack to hold labels.


5. Sandpaper Storage
Stored loose in a drawer, my sheet sandpaper curls like a potato
chip, making it difficult to handle. This simple sandpaper storage tray
solves the problem. The tray keeps an assortment of grits flat and
ready for use. The lid is made from MDF, which is heavy enough to keep
the sandpaper flat. Attach a grab knob to the center of the lid. 


6. The Right Screw Right at Your Fingertips
Nothing is more annoying than fumbling through odd-sized, tattered
cardboard screw boxes, paper bags or, worse yet, old coffee cans. These
translucent plastic boxes, which cost less than a buck apiece, make
organizing screws a snap. I use two sizes of lidded boxes and one size
of unlidded boxes. I place fasteners I use often into the unlidded
bins. Those I use less often go into the lidded boxes; a label stuck to
each lid makes it easy to identify what's in the box.

United States Plastic Corp., (800) 809-4217,, 42-dram
translucent Flex-A-Top Box, 2-1/8 in. x 2-1/8 in. x 2-5/8 in., #201203,
$0.32 ea. 104-dram translucent Flex-A-Top Box, 4-7/32 in. x 1-23/32 in.
x 4-5/8 in., #201204, $0.78 ea. Bin cups for shelf bins, 3-1/4 in. x 2
in. x 3 in., #52299, $0.28 ea.

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