Get all the cabinets and drawers you want in the world, but if each is a catch-all or “junk drawer”, you are not officially organized.  Hanging out in my friend Jay’s shop I see everything having a home and everything having a place to return to.  Upon further review, one of his drawers was in disarray.  This was a perfect opportunity to inject a bit of organization into an already well organized shop.  Let this be a reminder that what appears to be clean on the surface may not in fact be.  Come on, am I the only on who has thrown 9,000 things in a hall closet right when you hear the mother-in-law is on her way over?

Drawer Organizer 01

By measuring some of the drawer contents I could figure out roughly how big my parts needed to be.


Drawer Organizer 02

This would essentially make up the sides of the drawer organizer insert.


Drawer Organizer 03

Go ahead and make a thin strip of scrap to the thickness of your blade.


Drawer Organizer 04Drawer Organizer 05

Cut off an inch or so to make a front stop and secure it in place.  Here Jay used some carpet tape to attach it.  Some wood glue or hot glue would work fine as well.



Drawer Organizer 07 Drawer Organizer 08

Using that spacer between your workpiece and the fence, cut your first dado.



Drawer Organizer 09

Remove the spacer and make a second pass.  This will widen the dado to twice the thickness of your blade.  If using slightly under-sized 1/4″ plywood & a 1/8″ blade, your dados will be perfect to accept the dividers.


Drawer Organizer 10

Cut your side pieces to final width.  Doing it in this order makes sure all the dados (grooves) will line up.


Drawer Organizer 11

In this particular case, we wanted a small tray to insert on the back of the drawer.  I used a bandsaw to make those notches.


Drawer Organizer 12

I am wondering if Jay liked my method of emptying the drawer.




Drawer Organizer 13

There is no reason to glue or nail the side pieces to the drawer.  The dividers will keep them in place just fine.  If you are like me, you just want them tacked down to make sure they don’t move.



Drawer Organizer 14 Drawer Organizer 15 Drawer Organizer 16

Cutting some wood to be the dividers was easy.  Cut a section out of the top to make grabbing the contents easier.  Then simply slide them in place.


Drawer Organizer 17

With evenly spaced slots, mixing and matching the dividers to fit your content is super simple.


Drawer Organizer 18

Time to start building the insert tray with some leftover material.  That was cut to width on the table saw.



Drawer Organizer 19

I took advantage of Jay’s Domino to cut some mortises in some of the drawer parts.


Drawer Organizer 20

After inserting those, I could put the front, back and sides together using a little glue.


Drawer Organizer 21Drawer Organizer 22

We ran out of 6mm plywood so I ended up rabbeting a piece of 1/2″ plywood around its perimeter to have it inset a bit into the drawer frame.  A small amount of glue and some brad nails kept it in place.


Drawer Organizer 23

The insert tray simply sits on the side rails we made earlier.



All said and done it was a really simple project.  It didn’t take a lot of time and will save some in the future when snagging up some tape.  It is really frustrating to reach into your drawers and not find what you are looking for right away.  This will help ensure that you can easily grab what you’re looking for right away.


Thanks for checking it out.  I’d love to hear what you do to keep your stuff readily available and organized!

Select list(s):

4 Responses

  1. Tony O

    I think you missed a step. 1) drive to a friend’s house, use their tools, and their wood.

  2. Terry Roesner

    I have never used podcast and am very newbie. I saw the cabinet behind your chop saw but could not find it in your podcast. Can you help?


Leave a Reply to Nick Cancel reply