During one of my recent garage cleaning sessions, I stared at a pile of scrap wood and wondered what I could do about it. The pile of wood scraps was a real eyesore. Yet, I frequently dug through the pile looking for wood scraps for various projects.
Eventually, I came up with a solution for my pile of wood scraps. I would make a scrap wood storage bin in the corner of the garage.
Here is a picture of one of the scrap wood piles (yes, there were multiple piles) and its lack of a good storage spot:
Planning the Scrap Wood Storage Bin
I didn’t put too much extra thinking into the wood bin design since I had a general idea of what I wanted of storage pen to look like. And, I had enough extra scrap wood lying around to make it.
I always like to keep an inventory of 8ft 2x4s on hand, stashed away somewhere in the garage. They are very useful for all sorts of woodworking projects.
Even among random cutoffs, I almost always lean towards the 2×4 ones. The cutoffs are especially useful for building impromptu shelving mounts in the garage.
So for the scrap wood pen, I had the idea of erecting an L-shaped fence in the corner of the garage, and I would only use only 2x4s for the fence.
Constructing the Scrap Wood Storage Bin
Working within my available space of about 36” x 18”, I first attached some 2x4s to the wall studs for this scrap wood storage bin. These were going to serve as the wall mounts for the fence.
Then branching out from those mounts, I just kept cutting and attaching more 2x4s (via deck screws) until I had a basic fence frame, with upper and lower railings.
Next, I connected the railings with vertical 2x4s, approximately every 3 inches. This created a sort of picket-fence look, which would be perfect for the scrap wood storage bin.
Here’s a picture close-up showing how the 2x4s were coming together for the wood scrap bin.
Adding Scrap Wood Storage Bin Sections
To get the most functional use out of the scrap wood storage pen, I decided to divide the wood bin into 3 sections. The different sections of the scrap wood bin could be used for organizing various lengths of wood into small, medium and large.
At first, I thought I could get away with just running 2 pieces of wire at the top to make simple dividers. However, it turned out to be very ugly. Also, the wood scraps started to mix together below the wire, rendering the wire useless.
So I looked around the garage for more scrap wood storage ideas for dividers.
My eyes settled upon some scrap wood ¼” paneling sheets. They would be perfect for the storage bin. I quickly obtained some inside measurements of the wood bin and cut 2 rectangular panels using my table saw.
The panels fit perfectly into the scrap wood pen to create 3 sections. To secure one end of the panel to the wall, I attached some scrap wood to some wall studs. Then, I screwed the panels onto these mounts. I did the same to attach the other end to the fence.
Here’s a picture showing the 3 compartments in the wooden storage bin:
The divided sections via the scrap paneling really added a nice touch, and would prevent smaller wood pieces from getting mixed up with larger sizes in the wooden bin.
Last, I have a folding table (soon to be replaced with a custom-built organizing workbench) next to the scrap wood pen where I tend to work on smaller projects.
The last thing I would want is pieces of wood leaning over too far and getting in my way. So to better accommodate the larger lengths of wood towards the rear, I extended the height of the wood scrap storage bin at the back.
After a few hours of work, here is where the day led me. Not bad for scrap wood storage, right?
Extra Scrap Wood Storage Shelving
All my scrap wood was now beautifully organized and in storage. I even got creative and added some shelving above. This would store the extra small scraps that would easily get lost in a wood pen:
The storage shelf was a last-minute addition to the project. Looking at all the organized scrap wood had my mind racing with ideas, and so I freestyled a shelf.
I made the storage shelf mounts with two L-shaped shelving brackets, reinforced with 2×4 scraps. I then attached them to wall studs using some lag bolts. The storage shelf platform was just some particle board I had lying around.
To maximize the storage shelf potential, I even made a sub-shelf right below the main shelf. It would be great for containers of wood putty, stain, etc.
Garage Ceiling Storage
My scrap wood storage bin accommodated 90% of the scrap wood in my garage. The remaining 10% of wood was placed on two storage U bars attached to the ceiling, as shown in the picture below:
As you can see, the U bolts hold my valuable 8ft 2x4s, and other large wood pieces that either don’t fit in the scrap wood storage bin or would be too awkward to store.
I’ve even got two doors up there – maybe I’ll turn them into a workbench!
Time & Cost
This scrap wood storage bin project was very cheap to build – it cost me nothing. I used all scrap or surplus wood leftover from previous projects. Even if I didn’t have any wood scraps, I estimate about $20 worth of 2x4s was used to make the scrap wood storage bin.
You can make your own scrap wood storage box too using scraps in your garage. It doesn’t have to be a picket-fence style like mine either.
Depending on what you have lying around, maybe just erect a simple fence frame, and wrap it in paneling, or even a chain link fence. The possibilities are endless for storage bins, especially when you have scrap wood and other scrap materials.