In Techniques

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Some of the older fastener drawers in my bin were broken so I decided to fix them. The first step was sawing off the broken handles.

One staple you’ll likely find in most woodworking shops is a fasteners/hardware bin filled with small plastic drawers. These drawers hold everything from nails and screws to hinges and glue tubes. Many of these organizers have been handed down from friends, neighbors, or family members, and over time, they might be missing drawers or have damaged parts. Often, the tabs or drawer pulls are broken, and in some cases, the entire front of the drawer is damaged. As an avid reclaimer and restorer, I’ve developed a quick and efficient method to fix these issues.

Here’s how I do it:

Prepare the Broken Drawer

Start by bringing the broken drawer to your bandsaw and sawing off the damaged tab or front portion, removing only the protruding/broken parts and leaving as much of the original plastic as possible.

Create Replacement Parts

Make two identical parts out of plywood that match the inner cross-section of the drawer. These should be trapezoid pieces with rounded corners at the narrow end. If you have one of the original plastic drawer dividers, use it as a template.

Assemble the New Front

Sandwich the two plywood parts over the broken front using epoxy or polyurethane glue. Ensure they are securely bonded and properly aligned.

Finish the Surface

Once the glue has completely cured, use a chisel or sandpaper to smooth out the repaired area and ensure it fits seamlessly with the rest of the drawer.

Attach a New Pull

Choose a new knob or pull and attach it to the front plywood piece. Plenty of options are available, from custom wooden parts you can make yourself to store-bought drawer pulls. Select whatever works best with your time and aesthetic preferences.

Following these steps, you can efficiently restore your broken plastic fasteners/hardware organizer drawers, ensuring they continue serving your workshop needs for many more years.

One last tip: If you need more drawer dividers then the one supplied by the bin maker, make new one out off portions cut from old credit cards.

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