How many times have you rummaged through your drawer just to find the socket you need? Do you want to find a way to easily determine the size of your sockets, whose engravings are a bit hard to read?
Well, a DIY socket organizer sounds like the perfect way to help you out. Socket organizers allow you to store your sockets properly inside your drawer, without worries of losing or misplacing them.
It’s certainly a bonus that socket organizers are usually labeled. The label allows you to conveniently see the size of the socket you’re getting without having to squint anymore to read the size engraving on the socket.
DIY Socket Organizers
Curious about how to make life easier with a socket organizer? Below are three types of organizers that will surely help you out.
1. DIY Two-Toned Socket Organizer
If you’re a fan of compact but pretty organizers, you certainly won’t go wrong with this one. This two-toned socket organizer can hold up to 20 sockets at a time, easily be carried around wherever you go, and fit in your tool drawer without any issue.
What makes it unique is the two-tone design it has and the inclusion of magnetic strips to help keep the magnets in place. While this DIY project uses more advanced tools like a laser cutter, you can still make it by substituting some tools or materials with ones available to you.
To create this project, start by preparing the following materials:
- ½” poplar board at 2 x 8”
- (2) ¼ walnut board at 2 x 8” each
- 16 inches ½” wide magnetic strip
- Laser cutter or drill press
- Epoxy glue
- 150 grit sandpaper
- Pencil and ruler
Here are the instructions for making this DIY two-toned socket organizer:
- Step #1: Create
Start by creating a guide on the holes you will drill into the board, where you put the sockets into. You can lay out your sockets atop the poplar board, measure the diameter of each socket, and mark the areas to place them at and the spaces in between them.
Remember to add 0.02” to the diameter of each socket so that they can easily fit into the holes you will make.
- Step #2: Draw
Draw a 0.54” rectangle around the socket holes for both rows. If possible, it’s best to make them the same size. This rectangle will correspond to the area where you will place the magnetic strips later.
Note: Make sure your guide will correspond to the size of the poplar board. This makes things easier for you later when you have to use the guide as a frame of reference.
If you have a laser cutter and are familiar with CorelDraw, instead of drawing a guide, you can simply create a vector that lays out the position of the holes and rectangles. Use red lines.
- Step #3: Duplicate
Create two copies of the guide you made, be it by hand or via CorelDraw. If using CorelDraw, fill the rectangle with black to indicate that you will engrave these rectangles and not cut them. If using a laser cutter, create another copy of the guide.
Create a text box at the center of each circle to indicate the size of each one. Then, remove the drawn circles. This will be your guide later for engraving the sizes into the final product.
- Step #4: Drill or Cut
Drill the holes or use a laser cutter to cut holes into the poplar board. Cut the same holes in one of the walnut boards, and ensure that they are perfectly aligned with the holes on the poplar board.
For the final walnut board, trace the rectangles made earlier and create an engraving on the wood. Make it deep enough for the magnets to fit well.
- Step #5: Sand
Sand all the boards, especially the areas recently cut. If using a laser cutter, engrave the sizes into one of the faces of the poplar board. You may also use a marker and write the sizes by hand.
- Step #6: Glue
Once done with these preps, it’s time to glue the pieces together. Use epoxy to glue the magnetic strip/s onto the walnut board, taking extra care that the glue doesn’t get into your fingers. Leave this to dry.
Then, glue all of the pieces together. The walnut board with cut holes goes at the bottom layer, then the poplar board at the middle, and finally, the walnut board with cut holes comes at the top layer.
When gluing the pieces together, make sure to keep them perfectly aligned.
- Step #7: Finish
Finally, it’s time for the finishing touches. You may want to sand the final product again once the epoxy has fully dried.
If desired, you may also coat the organizer with spray polyurethane.
2. DIY Organizer With Dowels
If you’re not a fan of drilling deep holes to place your sockets in, you can instead try using dowels to hang them on. This project is easy to make and doesn’t require many materials. It’s a quick and easy way to ensure your sockets are kept in place.
This socket organizer is best used within your tool cabinet or drawer. It will keep your sockets in one place, without the risk of some pieces getting lost among your other tools.
However, if preferred, you can also hang or mount this organizer on the wall with no problem.
To do this project, prepare the following materials:
- Two ½” boards at 18” each
- 3/8” dowel, 4 ft.
- ¼” dowel, 4 ft.
- ½” dowel, 4 ft.
- Ruler and pencil
- Drill press
- Wood glue
Here’s what you need to do:
- Step #1: Cut
Start by cutting the dowels into two-inch pieces. Cut as many dowels as necessary, corresponding to the number of sockets (in their size) you will store in your organizer.
- Step #2: Sand
Sand each dowel, paying careful attention to the round edges.
- Step #3: Mark
Prepare an 18” board which will serve as your base. Then, mark the areas where you will place the dowels.
You may opt to layout your sockets on the base to see how they will look once arranged on the board. This will also ensure that you can space out the sockets properly.
Note: Use a ruler and pencil to ensure your marks are equal and even. You must also note which holes will be ¼ inch, 3/8 inch, and ½ inch.
- Step #4: Drill
Drill the holes 1¼” deep. Use the corresponding sizes (1/4, 3/8, and ½ inches) in the drill press.
- Step #5: Sand
Sand the base and remove any remaining marks.
- Step #6: Glue
Get the dowels and apply glue to one end of each one. Place them in the corresponding holes in the base; if necessary, hammer the dowel in to ensure a snug fit. Wipe any excess glue with a damp rag after this.
- Step #7: Finish
Once the wood glue has dried, add varnish or wood finish to your socket organizer.
- Step #8: Label
Once the varnish dries, place the sockets into the organizer. Using a pen or a marker, write down the socket sizes in the free space below each dowel. If you need another organizer for your remaining sockets, repeat steps one through eight for the other 18” base.
3. DIY 45-Degree Socket Storage
If you want to avoid having to drill holes or hammer dowels to put your sockets into, you can try this organizer alternative which uses socket rails.
Socket rails have differently sized slots to put your sockets into, but they don’t usually come housed in a container. As a result, they tend to fall over when placed in drawers.
In this project, you can try your hand at building 45-degree socket storage with socket rails. The 45-degree angle is perfect for storing this inside the drawer. It allows you to see the socket labels right away, so you can pick the one you need in an instant.
Here are the things you will need:
- Socket rails (choose the size/s you need)
- ¾” plywood
- Optional: rare-earth ma?tag=projemanagtho-20gnets
To accomplish this project, simply do the following:
- Step #1: Measure
The wood’s size you will use on this project depends on the rails you will buy. Get your socket rail/s, place them on the ¾” plywood, and measure a ½ inch allowance on the top and bottom of the rail. For the sides, you may opt not to leave any allowance anymore.
- Step #2: Cut
Cut the wood corresponding to the size of your rail. Chop off the edges at a 45-degree angle using a table saw. Sand the wood.
- Step #3: Create a Groove
Create a groove across the middle area of the wood, where you will place the socket rail. The depth of this groove should correspond to the depth of your socket rail.
- Step #4: Secure
Once done, secure the socket rails using screws. You’re done with your first socket rail.
- Step #5: Repeat
Repeat the steps above for other socket rails you bought.
Optional: Place your socket storage in the drawer, then open and close the drawer.
If you find that it tips over, you may opt to place rare-earth magnets at the long end of each organizer to prevent it from toppling over.
Storing hardware tools can really be difficult, especially given the sheer number of tools we use for different purposes. With a DIY socket organizer, you can remedy this problem.
Now, you won’t have to look all over your drawer for that one piece of socket you need—you can conveniently reach for it without any worries.