Harbor Freight Storage Case Rack

Harbor Freight Storage Case Organizer

The Problem…

I have quite a few projects I’d like to get started on but before I can do that, I need to clean up my workshop. I use my workshop for some small scale manufacturing as well as general purpose stuff like home/vehicle maintenance and whatever crazy projects I get myself into. At less than 500 sq feet, it is a tight squeeze. As long as everything remains in its spot, I’ve got room to work. Once a project gets underway and tools and supplies start finding every spare horizontal surface, things get tight really fast.

For small parts storage I’m a big fan of the Harbor Freight 8, 15 & 20 bin parts cases. Unfortunately I don’t have a good place to store them. They currently are stacked on a shelf under my workbench. 3 columns of them 2 rows deep. The case I need always seems to be in the back on the bottom. I’m constantly shuffling through cases to find the one I need. This little dance has been going on for a few years and I decided it was time to do something about it.

My Solution…

At the corner of my workbench is a spot that is really unusable. It is up against the wall and right beside my tool box. There is no room to stand there to do anything. As a result it just ends up being a place where stuff accumulates. Most recently my bench grinder and belt sander lived there but again, they were unusable in that spot so they just look cluttered.

Taking inspiration from the Adam Savage Sortimo storage system, I created a storage rack in this space that holds the Harbor Freight cases. I wanted a rack that would waste the least amount of space while holding the largest amount of cases and, additionally be able to hold all 3 sizes of cases that Harbor Freight offers.

I made this rack from a mixture of 1/4″, 1/2″, & 3/4″ plywood. Shelves slip into dados and a 1/4″ threaded rod, run through the center shelf, prevents the sides from bowing out.

Jump to the future and see how I enhance the storage cases with additional 3-D printed bin sizes.