Custom-Made and DIY Solutions: Storage Components You Can Build -- Intro to Storage Components


Storage schemes are made of basic components: shelves, pockets, dividers, modules, rollouts, cases, chests, and racks. This section shows you how to design and construct your own. A special illustrated section helps you with Tools, Techniques, and Tips.

Storage Components

This section shows you how to build the basic components of storage. Each represents a part of any storage project. No dimensions are included for any component; that permits you to tailor the size to your own particular space situation. When you master the layout, design, and construction method, you can freely adapt the concept as needed. Once you can build single components, you’ll be able to apply the same skills to make any, combination you choose to construct. Thus the instructions here are the key to storage improvements ranging from a single drawer or shelf to a whole houseful of projects. The components are arranged in a skill-building order. The first ones are the simplest; the construction methods needed are basic. Succeeding projects graduate in the levels of skill and experience you’ll need. You can plunge in at any point; if you are new to woodworking and are not familiar with the process of construction, you may want to read the section on tools, techniques, and tips before you proceed. It is organized in the order of the steps commonly used on any building project. The instructions in this section show you how to tailor-make the components to the dimensions of your living space. You can add shelf capacity with self-supporting shelves, install cleats to support shelves, or mount track to walls or other vertical surfaces for adjustable shelving. Pockets will allow you to convert any door back into drawer space. Vertical dividers form ideal storage spaces for thin, flat items; horizontal dividers do the same job of concentrating the use you get out of storage volume. See this closet photo for an example of what modules can do for you: the large-scale vertical module holds a set of adjustable shelves. A large-scale horizontal module could be mounted across the top; see below for an illustration of these components used together. Modules at a smaller scale hang from the bottom of any horizontal surface. Rollouts can be built in any size or shape that your imagination conceives, and installed in any configuration you choose.

All the above components are excellent for making conversions to your existing storage space. Cases and chests bring you to furniture-scale projects. They offer a variety of styles as well as storage capacity. Racks, too, yield generous storage space and are excellent components where visual effect is not of great importance. Like cases and chests, they excel at adding storage where none already exists. They are easy to build, relatively inexpensive, and need no particular finish treatment.

Keep in mind that woodworking is a personal craft. Although the techniques are tried and true, the way you’ll do each task will depend on your individual experience, rhythm, and tools. You’ll do your building in the way that is most comfortable for you. Even if your workshop consists of a closet where you keep a few tools, many of the projects are within your reach. Whatever your level of skill, among these components may be the answer to your storage problems.

A plywood chest (instructions on next page) is made with simple butt joints and rests on a separate pedestal with a curved-cut foot (see below). Stock cove molding is attached to the top and front to make a pull for the lift-up lid. Designed as a dressing bench that will hold clothing or blankets at the foot of a bed, the chest is a comfortable height for sitting, which means it also makes a pleasant window seat, as shown here.

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