Inspired by Adam Savage’s shop organization (As seen on Tested) I have been using these Stanley organizers for a while now for organizing my hardware, cutting tools, electronics, and robot parts, but they’re always had a fatal flaw; While they stack well, it’s really tough to get to the second-from-the-bottom one without removing the entire stack above it. I was thinking about making a rack out of wood, and while an elegant solution it would have cost $70 in materials and a whole weekend to make.

I needed to grab some stuff for home at Ikea and I was tipped off by a fellow FamiLAB member that the Ikea Antonius wire racks were a near-perfect fit for the Stanley organizers I like. I came home with a bookshelf, some meatballs, some lightbulbs, and 3 Antonius racks (2 for me, one for Dave C.). The next day I set out to assemble my new racks.

The racks go together easily with a quick mallet tap, in contrast to most Ikea furniture, and I was pleasantly surprised to find both leveling feet and clips for stacking multiple racks in the hardware bag. Once assembled, I tried to insert a bin. Nope. Wouldn’t fit. Turns out, near-perfect is not the same as perfect. I separated the corner pieces from the horizontal tubes by about 1/8″ and voila, perfect fit. The corner pieces stay put pretty well in this state, but I have plans to weld on a small reinforcement just in case, especially as this rack gets loaded down with tools.

With two racks I can hold 16 bins (2 on each side). I can open each organizer most of the way to retrieve parts without pulling it out, or I can remove it and open it all the way. I added a piece of scrap wood on top to act as a shelf for this exact purpose. If I wanted additional capacity I could weld additional rails in place, but I would sacrifice the capability to open the organizers in place.

As I was admiring my 15 entire minutes of handiwork, I realized it didn’t have wheels and I REALLY wanted to roll it around to wherever I was working. Quickly looking around the shop, I located a furniture dolly. Wouldn’t you know it, the footprint of the racks is a perfect fit inside the dolly. I couldn’t have done better if I had tried. 4 zip ties later and the rack was quite secure.

I will update this post with any improvements to the setup I come up with, but so far I’m really happy with it. This is an extremely low-cost alternative to Sortimo-type systems, and while not quite industrial grade it will serve quite well for dragging screws, robot parts, and drill bits around the makerspace.

As an added bonus, the Stanley bins are so popular people have designed 3d printable replacement bins for them, including custom shapes and sizes! That only increases the versatility of this particular combination. I’ll be printing my own soon, and probably designing some to fit my specific parts. Thingiverse 3D Printable Bins

A bill of materials for those interested in replicating this: