French Cleat – Sandpaper Storage

French Cleat – Sandpaper Storage

Another week, another new french cleat storage system. With all of the woodworking projects that I’m building and planning, I have collected a large collection of sandpaper. The majority of it is circular sheets for an orbital sander, but there are also rectangular sheets for hand sanding. All of that sandpaper has been taking up too much space in my toolbox, so I was excited to store it more efficiently. As an added bonus, this sandpaper storage system allowed me to practice box making skills for the first time.

The design consists of a rectangular box with one open side. I used ½” plywood for the box. Within the box are multiple shelves to hold the different grit levels of sandpaper. 

To join each side of the box together, I used half lap joints. In order create the joints I had to use a router and guide. They were used to cut away half of the thickness of the long sides of the back of the box. 

Router with guide.
Back of the box after routing.

I did the same thing on three sides of the bottom and top of the box. The width of the routed half lap joints was ½” to allow for a full overlap of the sides of the box.

Back and bottom of the box laid out after routing

In order to allow for multiple grits of sandpaper to be stored at once, I had to make multiple shelves within the box. I did this by once again using a router to route thin lines at set intervals in each side of the box. The lines are ½ of the thickness of the sides. They are ¼” thick to allow for pieces of hardboard to slot into place and hold up the sandpaper.

With those routed, I could fit together the box sides and attach them using glue and pin nails.

I used clamps to hold the side in place while glueing and pinning the back to it.
Box assembled with the slots for shelves routed in the sides.

Once I added the top of the box and slid in the shelves, it was 97% complete (precisely 97%, don’t check my math). The last step was to add the cleat to the back of the box and hang it up on the french cleat system. 

The best part of the french cleat system – a simple cleat to hang it up.
Shelves in and sandpaper added.
Final placement of the new sandpaper storage system.

A simple project that I am very proud of. I made a box for the first time and it went well (with room for improvement in how precise my routed joints are). And now I have the perfect place to store all of my sandpaper!

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