Portable Storage Case Rack

Harbor Freight has some great buys if you shop carefully and these portable storage bins are no exception. This case feature removable bins that allow you to take the fasteners to the work area without needing to tote the entire thing. Unlike some of the other “store brand” cases out there, the lid seems to connect closely to the bins so that all but the smallest parts should be prevented from “contaminating” into adjacent bins. When these are on sale for around $8, they’re a steal but I managed to find a coupon for $5.99 so I grabbed 4 more to go with the one I already had.


I quickly found out that while these containers stack nicely, the one I needed was always on the bottom. I would imagine with 5-10 pounds of hardware in each box would begin to strain the one on the bottom after a while. I decided that a simple cabinet-like rack would be a good way to keep them organized and then also provide a top to pile more stuff on. Naturally I took to SketchUp to find out exactly what proportions I needed. Below is the cut-list and dado spacing (also included in .ZIP download with the SketchUp file)

This was a great project to use up some leftover scrap from some previous commission pieces.


SketchUp is great for laying out dados and grooves so that you can align your fence exactly to the right place.



  • 1/2 sheet – 3/4″ plywood
  • About 53″ of 1/2 material

I started by ripping down the plywood with my Kreg Rip-Cut.


I decided to try making the dados with a 1/2″ router bit instead of a dado stack. They turned out pretty good but the router makes a ridiculous mess so I did this out of the garage to make cleanup easier.

Tip: If you are cutting dados that need to match on both sides of a cabinet or frame, leave the pieces connected until the dados are cut and then rip that piece in half (or more pieces). This will ensure that your dados match since they were cut at the same time.


Next I ripped both of the plywood pieces at the table saw to final width.



Ripping all of the runners down to the right dimensions


What would a project be without a few pocket hole screws?


Although not really needed, I wanted to try out a new toy so I sanded the sides


All that’s left is a bit of simple assembly.



I’m very happy about how this project turned out. While it was cheap and simple to make, the rewards of being able to finally get my shop organized and to the point that I can find things when I need them, the value is priceless.