Machine tool accessory storage

My workshop is built using kitchen cabinets from IKEA, so naturally when it came time to think about organizing the drawers, IKEA is at the top of my list. Yesterday, I made the trek to the big blue and yellow box in the burbs, where I picked up a sampling of drawer organizers in the “Variera” line, including the two approaches shown below:

Variera plastic bins

These plastic bins are sold in pairs (one green, one white) and do a good job of holding small pieces, such as cutting tools and tool posts. Their one drawback is that they don’t fill the drawer completely, front to back: they leave a gap which becomes wasted space (unless I build a styrene tray to fill it, which is a possibility). I have not tried them in different-width drawers. I’ll need to do that. But they hold 90 percent of the machine tool accessories I have. I’d like some larger bins – the size of two of these, together – for bigger accessories.

Variera wooden insert

The wooden drawer organizers use the full space and I like the look – easy on the eyes, and the tools. They don’t provide as many bins, but I could cut and install additional dividers as required. (For wider accessories, I will have to experiment with cutting away a divider between two bins.) They do offer longer spaces for things – which may make them more appropriate for hand tools such as knives, pliers, hammers and so on. They also provide more room for larger accessories such as the lathe’s thread cutting gear shown at left.

I suspect I will eventually deploy a mix of storage options. IKEA has a one-page handout in the kitchen section that shows how the various drawer organizers fit into various size drawers, so I will have some homework to do…

5 thoughts on “Machine tool accessory storage

  1. If you plan to store fixtures and gizmos that are coated with oil to prevent corrosion, best to store them in your wooden trays. The oils could attack the plastic bins over time (ask me how I know this).

  2. You’re lucky you can go to “The Unhappiest Place on Earth” on a weekday when it may be tolerable. When I start buying the new furniture for our home office to allow space for layout building, I’m inevitably going to have to go on an evening or weekend, and be made absolutely miserable by the experience until the arrival of post checkout cheap hot dogs!

    I like the storage trays you found. I should check if they fit some of the drawer units I have. I’m not entirely happy with the Rubbermaid or home made dividers I’ve been using for sorting building materials, paints and tools.


    • Yesterday’s snow storm meant it was pretty much empty. I still managed to get lost, and wander about for much longer than I planned…

  3. For the last 14 years IKEA has been at least a 2.5 hour or more drive away. It has saved me vast sums of money but also made for strange luggage when flying out of Portland,Oregon and Sacramento, California where the stores are so convenient to the airports!

    The IVAR shelving units make a great layout support system IMHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you're not a nasty spamming robot thingy * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.