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How to build a Portable Cut-off Bin

While creating and building, you tend to have several leftovers from wood boards and sheets that you would like to store away just in case. Sometimes even the smallest piece of wood can come in handy. Besides it would be a pity to simply throw them away as chances are you will use some of them while building something else in the future. However since these pieces of wood are of various different sizes and shapes, you would prefer to store them in an organized way. You do not want to end up with a pile of wood cluttering part of your workshop or garage. So a simple cut off bin could do the trick to store them away neatly. Building a portable cut-off bin is actually quite simple, and considering how practical and useful it can be, it is certainly worth building one. Let us outline how you can go about it in some more detail.

A Simple Plywood Cut-Off Bin. Image credit: Lumber Jocks

Materials Required

First you will need to use a full sheet of plywood or purchase a sheet of MDF. 8inch by 4inch, and at least 18mm deep, will be fine. Even though both plywood and MDF are good materials, it is better to opt for plywood as it is stronger and more moisture resistant than MDF. So considering that the cut-off bin might be placed outdoors, it is best to stick to plywood.

You will need four casters so as to attach them to the bin for portability purposes. You will also need four corner L-brackets, and a box of self-tapping screws.

Tools Required

You will need an electric drill with a 2mm wood drill bit. You will also need a hand saw or a circular saw to cut the various parts.

Cutting Guidelines

  1. You will need to start cutting the various parts of the bin first. Since every piece will be with straight edges there is no complicated cutting in this project. Start by cutting the main pieces, that is, the two sides of the bin, and the centre panel. Give them a light sanding to remove any splinters or rough edges.
  2. Next come another two pieces of exactly the same size of the centre piece.
  3. Now you will need to cut the front panel and the base panel of the bin.
  4. Cut the dividers that will be placed within the bin. With two dividers you will have four compartments. This should be good enough to organize the various pieces of wood you will be storing inside the bin.
  5. Last but not least cut the back panel.

Assembly Guidelines

  1. You should start by attaching the centre piece and the two other pieces which are exactly the same shape and size of this panel, in their respective parts. Measure the length of the base panel so as to mark the centre with a pencil. Then measure 5cm from either edge and drill two holes through the base panel.
  2. Have someone hold them for you so that you can create a T-shape. Screw the base panel to the centre divider panel using wood screws. Repeat this to the other two pieces. When done you should have a W-shaped formation.
  3. Your frame is already taking shape at this point. Carefully turn it over to attach the back panel to it. You will definitely need someone to hold the panels in place until you attach them or use some suitable wood clamps. Always drill pilot holes and then use the wood screws to fix them in place. 1inch wood screws should be enough for a sturdy frame.
  4. Now mark where the dividers will be attached. This is important to attach the L-brackets accordingly.
  5. Place the first L-bracket in place and drill gently to make two shallow pilot holes. Screw the L-bracket onto the panel. Repeat with the other brackets.
  6. Slide the dividers one by one into the frame. Then start screwing each one of them to the centre panel with the brackets.
  7. Afterwards screw the outer panels to the interior divider panels by drilling pilot holes and then using wood screws.
  8. Next, lay the frame on its back, place the outer panel over the front opening, and drill pilot holes along the bottom area. Continue to drill on the two sides and the centre line, and finally attach with the wood screws.
  9. Your bin’s frame is now ready. The last step is to attach the four casters to the base. Lay it on its back and mark the holes you will be drilling one by one. Then screw each caster in place with the wood screws.
Plywood comes in various thickness. Image credit: Wood News Online

Your portable cut-off bin is assembled and all that remains is to finish it off. This is obviously optional, but by giving it a light sanding especially along the edges to get rid of any splinters, it will look neater. Then, you may stain it with wood varnish or paint. Once it is dry, fill it up with all those leftover pieces of wood you have piled up! At last they are now neatly organized!