Chris Schwarz's Blog

The Hardware Drawer of Last Resort

Some of you will file this under “Bleeding Obvious,” but few people ever discuss their “junk drawers” in their shops. I call mine: The Hardware Drawer of Last Resort. It has saved my butt a thousand times.

Actually, it’s not one drawer. It’s five. The one shown in the photo above is the “random fasteners” drawer. Every time I install some hinges and have extra screws left over that don’t suck, I put them in this drawer. (If the screws are soft or ill-formed, I file them in the recycling bin.) Thanks to companies such as Horton Brasses, which always supplies additional high-quality screws, I have many extra screws in various sizes, lengths and finishes.

That’s also where the escutcheon pins go and the random copper nails that occasionally show up here.

So when I have to install weird bits of hardware, such as the hinges in the Folding Campaign Bookshelf, I had plenty of nice slotted screws at my disposal without having to scramble to find what I needed online or at the home center (home center screws almost always suck, by the way).

What is in the other drawers? I have a drawer dedicated to assorted hinges, one for pulls, one for cabinet catches and plates and – finally – a drawer for the truly miscellaneous. Having separate drawers for each of these items helps me keep them sorted after 20 years of having a shop in Northern Kentucky. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you just have one drawer filled with every spare part.

And hey, if you need a good way to organize your hardware, I recommend this plan – a copy I built of Roy Underhill’s nail cabinet.

— Christopher Schwarz

3 thoughts on “The Hardware Drawer of Last Resort

  1. Planesaw

    The link to the “free plan” in your blog doesn’t work. Would like to get a copy of the plan.

  2. JoshCook

    We have something similar here at work. We call it the Bowl of Desperation. So named because we’re not very disciplined at separating metric and imperial loosies; you never what you’re going to find in there.

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