Monthly Archives: August 2012

Make your own modular plywood storage

Images by Matt Allison

Plywood Storage as featured in VISI issue 66

Image courtesy of VISI Magazine as featured in The Office Issue #66, Photographer Micky Hoyle

‘Everything in its right place’, Radiohead couldn’t have said it better, and what better way to stay organized than with a set of modular storage boxes that grow with you!

Inspired by simple modular Noridic designs I set out to make a series of boxes that I could use as a modern shelving/storage unit.

I chose to work with readily available 18mm pine plywood, it’s easy to use, looks great and is cost-effective.

I was able to make 10 boxes out of 2 standard sheets with a few offcuts for less than the cost of one of the commercial Nordic offerings.

I chose to make up three different sizes boxes 18x30cm, 30x30xm and 30x60cm. Below I’ll show you how to assemble a box, one of the 18x18x30cm ones, but the principle is the same irrespective of the size.

So let’s get started!

Supplies needed: 1 x 336mm x 180mm piece of 18mm ply (the extra 36mm is to accommodate the 18mm thicknesses of adjoining sides), 2 x 180mm x 180mm pieces of 18mm ply, 2 x 300mm x 180mm pieces of 18mm ply, Plascon paints in Cashmere or Double Velvet, several rollers and tray, cold glue of wood adhesive, 16mm masking tape, a battery drill, 4mm drill bit, screw bit, a bag of 5mm x 75mm screws, a pencil, a tape measure, 100 grit sandpaper and a set square.

Step 1. Start by laying out your ply pieces and orientate the wood grain in the way you want it run.

Step 2. Using a tape measure and pencil measure out 20mm from the end of the two 180x180mm pieces and 9mm down from the edges, mark an X where you’ll be drilling your holes, repeat on each corner.

TIP: It’s best to drill the holes on top of an offcut so as to drill a clean hole and not slam your bit into your work surface.

Step 3. Apply a bead of cold glue to the sides you’ve just drilled as illustrated above.

Step 4. Align one of the glued pieces with one of your side pieces and use your set square to make sure you are flush and then use your drill to drill a pilot hole into the adjoining side piece.

Step 5. Using your drill screw in ONE of the 5mm x 75mm screws, making sure you countersink the screw head so that it is flush. Once you’ve done so, do the same to the screw on the opposite side. Use a wet rag to wipe off any excess glue. Proceed to the next side, repeating steps 4 and 5 until the box is assembled.

Step 6. Using a piece of 100 grit sandpaper sand down all the edges of the now assembled box.

Step 7. Using the methods above make up your other boxes and stack them in an arrangement that will best suit your needs.

Step 8. Using your masking tape, tape about 10mm around the sides of each of the backing boards, this will allow you to get a clean edge when your screw them down onto the boxes and prevent your paint from bleeding out onto the sides. Use a roller and apply at least 2 coats of paint. I chose to use the following Plascon colours Lavish Lemon (Y5 A1 1), Sparkling Lemon Lime (Y6-A1-1) and Mandarin Tusk (GR-Y04) in both Cashmere and Double Velvet ranges.

Step 9. Once your paint has dried screw the back boards down onto your boxes and arrange to taste using the guide set out in step 2. For added strength a simple set screw will pull your box collection together and added further rigidity (not shown above).

TIP: You can also use thinner plywood, or if you chose or buy ready-made ply storage boxes you can use large foldback clips to secure them in interesting shapes/designs instead of fabricating your own clamps/brackets.

Thank You!

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to those of you who have popped over to take a look at my Make your own chalkboard wall organizer. I’ve had unprecedented web traffic, tons of pins, retweets and reblogs. Thank you all, it’s SO MUCH appreciated.

A particular shout out to the Curbly community and to Chris Gardener in particular for taking the time to reblog it and share it with you all. Much kudos.

I went to sleep last night thinking about the blog and the direction it has taken over the last month with the weekly Plascon DIY posts. It’s revealed a need for me to continue on with the ‘how-to’s’, not just projects, but primers.

According to a recent audit of my social media followers 70% of you are women, not hard to believe since I know I have a love for/of pretty things: decor, design, landscaping, gardening, food etc.

As gender roles cross pollinate (remember I’m the primary caregiver in our family) more and more women are empowering themselves with practical DIY skills.

Understandably readers are at different levels of skill and I’m trying to gauge where that skill level is? Do you know a pozidriver from a star screwdriver? The difference between a cut-off and bandsaw?

Maybe along side the weekly practical projects I need to feature a series of basic primers?

A few thoughts were.

Tooling up your toolbox
Getting screwed, a basic primer for choosing the right screw
Nails aren’t just for mani pedis
The light goes on, a basic understanding of household wiring

Yes, they are a little tongue and cheek, possibly bordering on insulting, but trust me, using the wrong tool for the job can cost you both time and money.

I’m open to suggestion and encourage you to share your comments below.

Again, thank you ALL for your support!