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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Woodworking Tip of The Week - Organizing Drawers

Drawers are a good way to organize tools and other supplies. The problem is, it’s all too easy for stuff to get lost in deep drawers. To solve this problem, I like to divide each deep drawer into two layers, as shown in the photo below.

Dividers. For the bottom layer, I made a divided box. When you measure for the box, you’ll want to leave a 1/16″ gap between the box and the drawer. This way you can take the box out if you ever need to.

The dividers are dadoed into the sides of the insert box. They also accept subdividers, so you can customize the box for whatever you need to store (drawing below).

The Totes. To take advantage of the space above the box, I made some totes to rest on top. Each tote has a pair of fixed dividers and a handle. Besides making it easy to organize small items, you can remove a tote from the drawer and take it right where it’s needed.
Making the totes is similar to making the divided box. But there are some things to keep in mind while building them.

It’s a good idea to allow a 1/16″ gap between the totes. This makes it easy to slip one tote in place while the other is in the drawer.
You’ll also notice that the rabbets and dadoes for the tote dividers are cut in the front and back pieces, not the sides like in the divided box. And don’t forget to cut notches for the wood handle and the groove for the 1/4″ hardboard bottom.

Have a nice weekend,

Phil Huber

Editor, ShopNotes


  1. Great Tip! I have not added any for my sanding table yet. but I do have a couple I made for my other drawers. I like the snazzy little handle for easy lift out. I'll have to incorperate that idea if i make any more.

  2. Ethan: I've not done any yet, but Probably will be doing some as soon as i get some Drawers and all in my Garage...

    Now I may consider doing some of my Kitchen Drawers that way, expecially the Silverware Drawer to help seperate the Silverware, then have a Slideable section front to back so I can put my bigger Knives in, like my Chef Knives and Fley knives and sharpeners, then have a Sliding pice over that.

    To protect my Silverware incause we ever get any Little Visitors that we don't want leaving little gifts over the silverware lol.


  3. Yes, This is a good idea. It also helps because when it comes to tools, they can get heavy real quick, so the not too deep drawers helps with this problem also. Great tip.