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Hoarder’s delight

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I don’t toss things that may become useful later. On the one hand I have a lot of stuff squirreled away, but my hoarding habit just let me make the fastest router-storage drawer ever.

Remember when I did my shop rebuild a couple years ago, and created a pair of built-in cabinets along one wall of the shop? I did one with doors below for random storage, while the other has a series of drawers. At the time, I made a “bad” drawer that was 22" wide, but what I needed was a series of 21" drawers.

Now, I honestly don’t remember if that first drawer was a simple measurement goof, or if it was indeed correct but after making it I changed the parameters of the cabinet. Either way, I put the bad one aside and made new ones of the correct width. Once the cabinets were done, I tossed random odds and ends into that bad drawer box, and slid it onto a shelf in the cabinet with doors.

Flash forward to a more recent clamp rack project, which displaced my router-bit cabinet. I still hadn’t gotten around to finding a more permanent home for them. (They’ve been in a tray I’ve been moving all over the shop.) While rummaging in my cabinets last weekend, I noticed that bad drawer I’d kept, but now used only as a junk collector inside the cabinet. I looked at the drawer, and then I looked at my outfeed/assembly table.

No way. Couldn’t be.

I grabbed a tape measure and verified the drawer width at 22", then measured the opening just under the worktop at one end of the outfeed/assembly table – the end right next to my saw’s router table extension – and was stunned to find that it was exactly 23". My favorite style of drawer slides, those inexpensive epoxy-coated bottom/side mount kind, require 1/2" clearance on each side. That hoarded “bad” drawer was a perfect fit.

It took just over an hour, including a trip to get a couple slides, to retrofit that end of the table to accept the drawer. My router bits have a new home just inches from the router table now. When I have time, I think I’ll enclose that end of the table, and maybe add another drawer or two under the router-bit drawer.

Lesson learned: Hoarding isn’t necessarily a bad habit.



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