The Hardware Drawer of Last Resort | Popular Woodworking Magazine
 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Woodworking Blogs

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

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Showing 3 comments
  • Planesaw

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

  • 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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