Is your workshop or lab getting a bit cluttered? Every time you walk across the floor do you get poked by some unidentified sharp object? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have come to the right place. This Instructable will teach you how to make a handy organizer that you can customize to fit your needs using a common household item. Cardboard!
Before you begin, you need to gather a few supplies. Collect 5-6 large corrugated cardboard boxes. If you don't have some on hand, try asking a grocery store or recycling plant for a few boxes. You will also need scissors or a hobby knife, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, an inch ruler, a pen, and tools and materials to stock your organizer.
First, flatten your cardboard boxes, trying not to mangle them to much. If you do damage the cardboard, it will still work so long as it can hold its shape under pressure. Cut out 8 9"x24" strips of cardboard. Your cuts do not need to be exact, but should be within a couple of inches of the specified measurements. A hobby knife works best to cut out the cardboard strips, but scissors will also do. Next, mark every 7.5" to 8" on the cardboard strips to make 3 equal sections. Cut on the marks 4.5" up for half of the strips and 8" up for the other half. Make each cut a few millimeters wide so that a piece of cardboard can fit in it.
After you have made the cuts on on all the strips, pick up two strips with cuts 4.5" up. Slide the two cuts together by aligning both cuts and forcing them together. Repeat this with the other 4.5" cut strips. Then connect all the pieces to form a tic-tac-toe pattern.
Next, slide the 8" cut pieces on the edges of the tic-tac-toe formation. Hot glue all the meshing edges on your organizer and allow the glue to cool. Now it is time to customize the cubbies in your organizer. You can use my ideas or invent your own to fit your needs.
Egg Carton Component Holder- This compartment is perfect for storing your electronics components. The egg holes in an egg carton can house 5-6 small components. Most components are darker in color then an egg carton, making them easier to find. To make this compartment, cut out a piece of egg carton 9" long. You can easily slide the carton in and out for easy locating.
Bookshelf- I used two of the middle shelves to store books. The books must be fairly small, but the bookshelf is still handy to reduce the clutter in your workshop.
Tool Buckets- I made some compartments to store painting supplies, cutting tools, and glue and tape. Cut out a 3"x8" rectangle of cardboard and glue it onto the bottom of one of the cubbies. Then, all you have to do is label the compartments.
Pencil/Pen/Soldering Iron Holder- This compartment uses holes cut into a cardboard square to handily store pencils, pens, soldering irons, and any other small diameter cylinder. Cuut out an 8"x8" square of cardboard and cut holes in it according to the size of the objects you want to put in it.
Paper Holder- The paper holder that I made has a piece of cardboard that slides down as the paper gets lower, making your organizer look neater. Cut out another 8"x8" square of cardboard. Fold two cardboard strips in a 90 degree angle and glue them near the bottom of the compartment. Lastly, slip the square of cardboard behind the cardboard strips and stock the compartment with paper.
Wire/ Thread/ Solder/ Alligator Clip Holder- This holder mounts to the top of your organizer and distributes rolls of materials easily. It is also a great place to store alligator clips when not in use. First, bend two legs on the end of a piece of 8" stiff wire. Slide the rolls of materials onto the stiff wire, and then stuff the legs into the top of your organizer.
Now that you have built your cardboard workshop organizer you can stock it with whatever tools and supplies you want. Try inventing your own specialized compartments. Immediately you will notice a large decrease in the clutter in your workshop or laboratory.