Guest Blogger: Chris from ManMade – A Simple Woodworking Storage Project You Can Build This Weekend

This blog post is taken as an excerpt from Chris over at ManMade

I have a million e-mails. It’s not actually a million, but it makes my soul feel that way. I know this feeling. It happens when I’ve been staring too long at a screen, clicking reply until I lose track of time and space and what name I’m supposed to sign in the sendoff. (It’s Chris. My name is Chris.) The only way to fix it? Get away from the computer, turn on some music, and build something.

So let’s go out to the shop and build a box that will never, ever have e-mails in it. Here’s a simple woodworking project that can get you back to working with your hands, but isn’t too fussy or complicated. And the cool part — it uses just a few basic tools and single board. When it’s done, you’ll have a stylish, versatile, stacking storage solution that will come in handy in any room in your house.  

Tools & Materials

I’m building this project is in partnership with Orchard Supply Hardware, a neighborhood hardware and garden store focused on paint, repair and the backyard. The company was founded in 1931 as a co-op of thirty farmers in central California. Each farmer put up $30, and Orchard Supply was born.  Today they have over 40,000 products in stores throughout the West Coast (best coast!) and Florida, as well as their website. Check out their online store here. 

I purchased all the tools and materials for this project at my local Orchard Supply Hardware store, and I loved the experience. As someone who spends a fair amount of time in lumber and hardware aisles, I was super pleased by the layout and availability of products and supplies. My local store – in the Hollywood neighborhood of Portland –  featured the kinds of materials, fixtures, and goods for those living in an urban neighborhood, looking to repair and decorate older homes. The selections were conducive to the architectural style of the neighborhood – the Northwest bungalow – as well as general DIY and creative needs.  The staff was just helpful and friendly. They welcomed me warmly and pointing me in the right direction, but left just enough space to let me figure out my design and specific needs. And if I had a question, they were right there to help.

This build uses only two power tools, one eight-foot-long pine board, and some basic hand tools. If you don’t want to cut the lumber yourself, you can get it cut to size at The Workbench, an innovate customer service center at your local Orchard Supply Hardware store (they can cut rope, wire, chain and wood, make keys, and sharpen tools too).

Use a speed square as a guide fence to get straight cuts with a circular saw.

Step 1

Begin by cutting your wood to size. One great way to get straight cuts with a circular saw is by using a speed square as a guide fence. Cut five pieces of wood to the following dimensions:

  • Front and back: 14 3/4″ x 11 1/4″
  • 2 sides: 11 1/4″ square
  • Bottom: 13 1/4″ by 11 1/4″

Step 2

On each side panel, draw a horizontal line near the top (we placed ours 2″ from the top). Now find the center of the side, and mark. This will be the center of your box handle. Measure out 1.5″ to each side from this spot and make a mark. These crosshairs are the starting point (center) of your Forstner bit.

As shown below in the image below, make a starting divot for your 1″ Forstner bit using a hammer and nail. This prevents the bit from wandering when you start drilling, making for a cleaner hole. Next, drill down all the way through, keeping your bit as plumb as possible. Use some scrap wood underneath your work piece to prevent tearout. Repeat for both side panels of the box.

Step 3

Now, use a coping saw to cut out the waste between the two holes you just drilled. A coping saw is a great, affordable tool that allows you to make difficult cuts in tight spaces. It take a little practice to get the hang of it, so if you’ve never used one before, try a few cuts on some scrap wood first.

Cut the holes for the box handles. Use sand paper to smooth over the edges. 

Step 4

We’re going to be joining our pieces together using counterbored screws.  This allows us to sink the screw heads below the surface, and hide them under wooden plugs. It’s also really strong; great for moving heavy objects around, and you’ll never have to worry about dropping your precious record collection.

Lay out your drill points first by marking a line 3/8″ from the outside edges of the front and back boards. Your drill holes will run along both sides (across the grain) and the bottom of the front and back boards. I evenly spaced five holes along the sides, and six holes along the bottom. Once your points are marked, drill through (again, use scrap wood below) using your counter bore bit. Adjust the stop on the counter bore bit so that the tip of the counterbore will not blow the opposite side. Then drill each hole until the stop collar hits your work piece.

Step 5

Now it’s time to put everything together. Use your clamps to assemble the box, making sure your edges are flush. Insert the bottom piece to keep everything square.

Now, using a 1/8″ drill bit, drill through the counterbores to make pilot holes in the side pieces. This will keep your screws from splitting the material.

Step 6

Use a driver bit to screw the pieces together. If you’ve done everything right, you can’t really screw this up (no pun intended). Just make sure you slow the drill down toward the end so you don’t strip the screws. You can also finish the job by hand with a #2 screwdriver.

Step 7

The counterbores are filled in with 3/8″ dowel rods. These aren’t structural; they just hide the screw heads. Cut thirty-two 1″-long pieces out of your dowel rods. You can do this with a coping saw, like I did, or if you have another crosscut saw, like a miter saw, you can cut them that way. Just make sure you stay safe with the small size. (Check your local Orchard store; they may have pre-cut dowel rods for just this sort of thing. Look in the hardware aisle.)

Once cut, dip one end in glue and insert them into the counter bores, tapping them in gently with a hammer.

Step 8

Wait about half an hour for the glue to set up, then use the coping saw to cut off the excess dowel rod material. Be careful not to mar the finished surfaces when you do this; it’s better to leave a little too much than to cut too close.

Step 9

Sand the remaining material down until it’s flush with the surface. Use a scrap block of wood to back up the sandpaper so you don’t round over the edges. Sand with the grain and don’t use too much pressure.

What I love about these boxes is that they’re strong, stackable, and you can fit all kinds of stuff in ’em. I’m using them for my  record collection, but they’d also be great for toys, , winter clothing (hats and gloves), or as closet organizers. They’re sturdy enough for tools or heavy items; you can even stand on them without worrying that they’ll break.

They work resting on either the long or short sides, or the base, and can be mixed and matched as needed. I made an extra one to house my lineup of books to read.  I plan to whip up a few more to use in my garage for strong project-specific storage.



Follow along with the #OrchardSimple campaign on their blog, Facebook, and Pinterest pages. It’s all about thoughtful DIY projects that you can take on to help simplify your daily life. Can’t beat that.”

Head over to your local Orchard Supply Hardware this weekend to pick up the materials needed for this project! 

50 Ways of Clean: Top Ways to Dominate Dirt This Valentine’s Day

Is your floor looking a bit off-color? Doorknobs a little dirty? White linens turning a few different shades of gray? To help you whip your place into shape, we’ve put together 50 ways to get a good, deep clean to refresh your home before summer and the company starts pouring in!

1. Dust the light fixtures
2. Wipe down the table and chairs
3. Sweep the floor clean
4. Put the dishes away and organize
5. Clean the dishwasher
6. Replace the water filters
7. Wipe down the kitchen cabinet faces


9. Scrub the kitchen sink
10. Scrub out the trash cans
11. Take out the trash and replace the bag
12. Wipe down the front of the refrigerator
13. Clean the refrigerator shelves
14. Sanitize the refrigerator handle


16. Sort the mail
17. Dust the furniture
18. Dust the shelves


20. Replace the vacuum filter
21. Vacuum the blinds or curtains
22. Vacuum the couch


24. Wash the clothes
25. Wash the towels
26. Wash the sheets
27. Wash the pillows
28. Wash the blankets
29. Clean the washing machine
30. Clean the lint filter
31. Wipe down the dryer
32. Fold the laundry
33. Put the laundry away
34. Vacuum the mattresses
35. Make the beds
36. Organize the linen closet
37. Wash the bathroom mirror
38. Sanitize the bathroom sinks and counters
39. Scrub the bathroom or shower


41. Remove any hair from the drains
42. Wash the shower curtain or door
43. Clean the showerhead
44. Wipe down the bathroom cabinet faces
45. Clean out the bathroom cabinets
46. Clean the toilet
47. Mop the bathroom floor
48. Wash the dishes
49. Sweep the porch


Get the tools to make cleaning painless and hassle free.  We have everything waiting for you at your at your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store or online at
Some items may not be available at all stores. Call your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store for availability. Coupons and/or offers cannot be combined with any other discounts off of merchandise being offered at store closing sales.

Rainy Day Project: Tips For an Efficient and Cool Kitchen Space

Glidez™ 12-in Sink Sliding Organizer

First step to a cool and efficient kitchen space is to clear out your drawers and cabinets. Get rid of anything you don’t need, YOU KNOW that grater from college let’s toss it!  Have things that are expired or broken?  Donate or trash.  Then, clean everything you’re keeping with disinfectant wipes (they come in handy with built up grime). Now it’s time to get organized.

Plan your every move.

Think about your kitchen routine, and try to keep everything you need for regular tasks together. Keep glassware next to the sink or refrigerator. Store cookware and utensils by your food prep area. Organize your spices and cooking oils so you can reach them from your stove. Get handy sized trash cans with smell good liners to make your kitchen smell nice even when the smelly hits the can!

Use specialized items.

Helper shelves can elevate an otherwise out-of-reach corner. Lazy Susan’s in the refrigerator keep your leftovers rotating so nothing can hide in the back and spoil. Cupboard dividers make it easy to separate out miscellaneous items and keep them from getting lost.

Glidez® 11.5-in D Sliding Organizer

Go vertical.

Free up valuable drawer and counter space by hanging long-handled utensils, oven mitts, aprons, and more on hooks. Serving platters can do double duty as art when displayed on your kitchen walls. Create a cookbook stand on your wall with railing, or an adhesive ledge.


Until this rain lets up we suggest a fun and inspiring project! Visit your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware® store to find solutions for your  cool and efficient kitchen makeover!

#MyOSHProject: Create A Succulent Mini Garden

Not only are they exceptionally hardy, they come in a happy array of shapes and sizes. Good luck choosing. A succulent mini garden can be hung in a variety of ways, placed on shelves, or tucked into nooks all around the house. It’s like bringing a bit of summer indoors. Find everything you need at your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store.


Canning Jars


Spanish Moss


Jute Twine and Adhesive


5-lb Pebbles


Cactus Mix Potting Soil


Ready to get Started On Your Succulent Garden?

  1. Select canning jar(s). Keep in mind if you plan on hanging, or where you want to place.
  2. Put in a layer of Spanish moss. The moss will compact quite a bit, so it’s a good idea to put in more than you think you might need.
  3. Add a layer of rocks or pebbles. This will allow excess water to drain to be absorbed by the moss.
  4. Fill the jar with cactus mix to about 1-in from the rim.
  5. Plant with the succulent of your choice.
  6. If you want to hang the planter, wrap twin multiple times around the rim, and then secure with the adhesive.
  7. Mini succulent garden ready to cheer your indoor space.

Want to embellish your planter? Look throughout the store for ideas. You’ll find paints, markers, tapes and much more.

All items may not be offered at every store.
Call your neighborhood store for availability. FIND A STORE

#MyOSHProject: Tape-a-palooza: Projects with Designer Tape

Tape is so much more than an adhesive. You can accent a room, customize your gadgets, or even build useful everyday items.

With decorative tapes in a crazy range of colors, textures, and patterns combined with all the materials you’ll need available in our store, the number of projects you can wrap your mind around has no limit.

Check out the wacky wrapping experiments we came up with here or view our strip selection and roll with your own.


What you’ll need:

  • Single roll of Duck® 10-yd tape
  • Steel-backed folding chair
  • Scissors


  1. Cut a single 15-in or so strip
  2. Starting from just behind the chair back, wrap around front till the other end meets where you started. Cut off excess.
  3. Apply next piece without overlapping the tape strips. Repeat step 1 until chair back is covered.

Washi covered light plate

Washi-covered light plate
Washi-covered light plate

What you’ll need:

  • Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape
  • Leviton® Toggle Switch Wall Plate
  • Fiskars® Amplify 8-in Craft Shears


  1. Liberally stick strips of tape across face of wall plate one at a time until covered. Smooth out all air bubbles.
  2. Flip over and use scissors to trim excess, leaving a ¼-in remaining.
  3. Fold the remaining tape around the back edge of plate. Use included screws from wall plate to poke through tape covering holes for when you fasten it to wall.
  4. With plate still facing tape-side down, use tip of scissors to cut an X into the toggle hole. Flip over and peel off the 4 triangle shaped pieces and voilà – you’re switching in style.

Tip: Stick a paperclip where you tore off the last piece, and never lose your place again.

Show off your projects and creations  by tagging #MyOSHProject Series and we’ll share the best ones on our social media. Let’s get taping!