I have a lot of small tools and supplies that don't have a great storage solution. I decided to make my own storage container that looks like a Lego brick. I wanted to make my own so that I could have the size box that I wanted and be able to customize it.
My goal for this design was to test my design skills in Fusion 360 and try making my own locking mechanism. I love the way it turned out. It was a great learning opportunity that I'd love to share with you.
PLANS AND CUT FILES
- 1/4" MDF and 1/8" MDF
- STARBOND CA GLUE (USE CODE: MAKER10 to save 10%)
- Neodymium Magnets
- Spray Paint
- Wood Glue
- Art Knife
- Shop Towels
For this project, I used my laser machine.
- Laser specs: 60 watt Epilog Fusion M2 40
- Vector Cutting: 5% speed, 100% power, 625 frequency (25%)
- Cutting time: 1 hour 30 minutes for all pieces
STEP 1: Designing the Lego Brick
To design this project, I started by modeling a regular Lego brick model in Fusion 360. This became my reference for creating all of the individual panels and joints. This was a pretty tedious process, but it gave me more control over the design and how it will function.
There were a couple of features that I wanted the design to have. The first feature was to have drawers inside for storing all of the small tools and pieces. The second feature was to have a locking mechanism integrated into the cover. This part was a challenge for me to design. I wanted it to be something fairly simple, but easy to make on a laser. The last feature was for the top cylinders to be magnetic storage containers.
STEP 2: Cut All of the Pieces
This design was created for a 24" x 36" bed size. The parts can be changed to fit different bed sizes. I used a laser cutter to create all of the parts for this project. This was by far the easiest tool to use to cut the tight corners for the assembly. If you'd like to paint it, you can do it after laser cutting or after the full assembly has been completed. NOTE: The paint thickness may affect the overall fit.
STEP 3: Assemble the Drawers
The easiest section to assemble are the drawers. For this project, there are two drawers that are identical. It's best to assemble them at the same time and set them to the side once they are finished.
When assembling, I put CA glue on the joints where the two pieces mate together. Be careful not to get glue on the wrong surfaces. Once the drawer is assembled, I use clamps to hold everything in place.
STEP 4: Assemble the Front Cover
The next part to assemble is the front cover of the container. This can be done later, but I find it easiest to assemble this piece before the cover is put into the full box assembly.
This part is what contains the locking mechanisms for the box. When assembling these parts, make sure to only glue the small circular pieces and the pieces that go into the plus sign cutout. Otherwise, you may accidentally glue these pieces to the cover and they won't rotate.
STEP 5: Assemble the Box Housing
The most complicated part of this project is assembling the box. The easiest way to do this is to assemble the box one panel at a time and glue them into place. Do your best to keep everything square.
I started by gluing the bottom, middle, and top shelves in. This is the easiest way to assemble these parts due to how the cutouts are designed.
After the shelves and top are glued in, assemble one of the side panels. Only attach one side panel at this point.
After one side is assembled, install the front cover that has the locking mechanisms. This part has two small circular pieces that get glued to the sides that fit into the circular cutouts in the side panels. To install this, slide one side into the attached side panel and then attach the other side panel. This will contain the front panel and keep it locked in place.
STEP 6: Assemble the Top Storage Containers
The top circles are designed out of both 1/4" and 1/8" material. I ran out of 1/8" material while making this and substituted 1/4" material. The drawback of doing this is that the magnets that will be installed, won't be as strong.
The cover has engraved marks on it for placing the circular pieces. Make sure to pay attention to the stacking order as the circular pieces with the holes for the magnets have to be in the right spot for the magnets to work.
When installing the magnets, be sure to check the polarity. Otherwise, the magnets won't be attracted to each other.
For the box that I made for my shop, I also added the Lego letters to the top.
STEP 7: Enjoy Your New Lego Storage Container!
Along the way, you may need to tweak some parts to get a good fit. Overall, I am happy with how it turned out and love my new storage container!