The inspiration for organization began with a visit to my hairdresser.
SHOP OWNER: Carol Reed
LOCATION: Strawberry, AZ
This project began with mis-made drawers, a set of surplus wheels, a trip to my hairdresser, and sore feet. It seems like I had the things I use the most stored all over the place and I was constantly running after them. I have to put everything away in its place when I stop work. That is the nature of my shop area. I was getting sore feet running after this stuff every day I worked on projects.
A trip to my hairdresser had me in great envy of her “buddy” cart. It had her brushes and combs, hair dryers, curling irons, and gobs of other stuff. She simply towed it around the chair with her as she worked. Voile, inspiration struck!
Last fall I made a small cabinet and swapped the drawer widths for the drawer lengths. I had to remake four dovetailed drawers! So my ‘buddy’ cart began with these mis-made dovetailed drawers and I had the pleasure of making a cabinet from the inside out.
The cabinet itself is made of leftover ¾” Baltic Birch plywood. I actually had to butt join the sides to get pieces that were long enough. The 4” swivel wheels are just big enough for the chip sealed surface of my carport, which is where this thing is used. They were left over from a surplus Harbor Freight on-sale buy.
This picture shows storage for my cordless drivers, nail guns, and various rolls of tape on one side. I’ve used every surface to store or hang something. The drawers dictated the size, but I wouldn’t want it any bigger than it is. It would just get too heavy. Now it is about 20” x 20” x 40” high.
Sanding blocks, hammers, a glue bottle, bench brush, pull saw, and file are organized on the other side.
I recessed a ¾” piece of Baltic Birch plywood about 2” in for the back. The purpose was to give some structural integrity to a cabinet that would be towed around on a none-too-smooth surface. Screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches hang from that partition. I added a little clamp shelf and store the quick clamps and the 4” Bessy’s. You can also see my earmuffs hanging off the end.
The top sports a paper towel holder perched above the pencil tray. A bungee cord keeps the roll from self-dispensing! Next to it are vix bits, a shop-made awl, a ½” bench chisel, and the glue water bottle that keeps my glue brush soft. A putty knife is held on by a glued in rare earth magnet. On the right side of the towel rack is a dial caliper. The other side of the towel rack has a center ruler and a real paint can opener. I have a high class shop here - no opening cans with a screwdriver or old chisels! The top tray features a carpet remnant and three plastic trays from TV dinners. I use them to store parts when I am disassembling something, which beats looking for errant screws and such.
The top drawer stores tape measures on the outside and measuring tools, block plane, and drill and driver accessories.
The second drawer holds Incra gauges, squares, knives, and scissors.
The third drawer holds a corded drill, a set of brad point drill bits, a set of twist bits, and a set of transfer punches.
The bottom drawer keeps my clamping squares and corner clamps in one place.
What would I do differently if I had it to do over? I probably would have made the drawers right on the last cabinet and would still be searching for a solution to the problem of my sore feet. Seriously, I love the thing. Most everything I use most often is right at hand.
. . . Carol Reed