There are 8 other bloggers who also came up with fantastic projects for this challenge, so don’t forget to visit them too!
Now back to MY DREADED JUNK DRAWER…
Admit it.. we all have one. And getting control of it can be a huge headache, since it is the place you put stuff that has nowhere better to go. For us it is things like rubber bands, match books, flash lights, take out menus, paper clips, safety pins and super glue. And one of my most populous ‘homeless’ items has always been batteries.
After Christmas this year, our junk drawer was awash in close to 100 batteries (since you can never have too many on hand with all the hand held electronics and other gadgets that are floating around this house) and of course, they are all different types and brands. It was a mess! This was the pile of batteries I dug out of the junk drawer:
And now, inspired by this challenge.. Here was my solution:
A simple wooden organizer that can hold more than 100 different batteries:
Plus an area for button batteries, a battery tester and 9 Volts.
How did it go together? It was actually a little more complicated than just drilling holes into a board. I needed the boards to be thick enough to accommodate the batteries and I needed the holes to be far enough apart that the board didn’t crack or break. And I needed to drill a LOT of holes.
Luckily, I know a pro when it came to laminating boards together. Brad, from Fix This, Build That had a great tutorial on how to make a cutting board from scrap lumber, and I knew (in concept) I wanted to do the same thing. However, unlike his cutting board, I wanted my boards to lay in the other direction (his boards were glued together side by side, and I wanted mine stacked on top of each other.) If you can’t visualize what I’m trying to say, go look at his post and you'll see what I’m talking about).
He was super great and gave me some advice on what I could try and it came together great. This is actually a beginner project if you have a drill press. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make this if you don’t. (I had to buy one specifically for this project!) It is a LOT of holes.
What other supplies do you need?
(One) 6 or 8 foot 1x8 board: Depending on how long you want your organizer to be. Mine was 16 inches long
Miter, Chop or Circular Saw
Drill Press (I got a cheap-o one from Harbor Frieght)
Clamps (I used Quick Grip and Pony hand clamps)
Titebond II or Titebond III Wood Glue
Forstner Bit Set (I used this set from Ryobi, although you will need to also buy an additional 1-1/4 inch bit since that size is not included)
Router & Roundover Bit
Medium-Fine Grit Sandpaper
What was the process?
The first thing I did was buy an 8 foot 1x10 (this was actually a mistake.. which I why I have “1x8” on the supply list, I’ll explain why later) and cut it down into THREE 16 inch lengths.
If you don’t have one of those clamp edge guide bars, I would highly recommend it. I bought it since my regular clamps were always getting in the way of the circular saw and router.. but these guys are flush and I love them!
Next I glued TWO of those board using Titebond III (I probably could have used TItebond II which is what Brad used, but i found III for the same price and thought “why the hell not?”)
I clamped it down and let it dry and then went on to ‘map’ where I wanted the holes.
I just set them out, and then using a speed square marked the center of each horizontal and vertical row.
Then I took the whole sha-bang to my NEW drill press. (Yes, I ended up buying a drill press specifically for this project.. and because who doesn’t want a drill press.. i mean come on!)
Now here is why using 1x10s was a mistake: I COULD NOT REACH THE CENTER MARKS WITH THE DRILL PRESS. The support arm got in the way. I had to drill about 20 holes by hand (using my cordless drill). This was NOT ideal..and I could tell it was really hard on the drill to use the Forstner bits that weren’t designed for a handheld drill. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND DOING THAT.
I will say, one perk of this project is, if you need rodent bedding, you will have WOOD SHAVINGS FOR DAYS!
What I love about the ‘layering’ is that the bottom of the holes are perfectly flat. Even with Forstner bits you get a small pilot hole, but not when you drill all the way though the board.
To finish it off i used a roundover bit in my router along the corners.
Now I can see exactly how many of each type of battery I have on hand. No more digging though the junk drawer looking for those stray batteries. And they aren’t banging together, which helps prevent them from getting damaged. (I found a few leaking batteries on my drawer clean out.. which was NOT good.)
Plus now there is more room in the junk drawer for.. well.. more junk!
You can only expect so much organization from a person like me!
I want to send a HUGE thanks to Brad at Fix This Build That for his time helping me think out this project.. and to the dorky sales rep at Home Depot, who put up with me as I held up a bunch of batteries to about 2 dozen different Forstner bits in the middle of the power tool aisle. I am pretty sure he thought I had lost my mind.. so this post goes out to him. “See! I told you battery storage was a ’thing’!"