How to Build an Under Bed Storage Box that Rolls

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:

Now say, have you looked under your bed lately? Perhaps there's nothing under there. But if you're like me, you'll find a dozen or so boxes storing everything from board games to irreplaceable snapshots.

Well, today, I'm going to show you a better way to use that space with the help of a young friend of mine, Jonathan McCleary.  Hi, Jonathan, how are you?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
How you doing today?
RON HAZELTON:
I understand that you're quite a do-it-yourselfer. You've done quite a few projects on your own, haven't you?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Mm-hmm [AFFIRMATIVE].
RON HAZELTON:
Like what?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Well, I put the gardens in the backyard. And I put a pond in the middle one. Inside, we made the entertainment center, the model mahogany boat and my desk.
RON HAZELTON:
You did all these by yourself?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Me and my dad did 'em all.
RON HAZELTON:
So you're pretty handy with tools, aren't you?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Mm-hmm [AFFIRMATIVE].
RON HAZELTON:
And I also know that you are quite a Legos guy. You've got a lot of Legos in your collection and you build a lot of things with them. So I was thinking about building an under-the-bed storage unit that you could just pull out when you wanted to get at your Legos. How does that sound to you?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
I would like that.
RON HAZELTON:
You'd like it?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Yeah.
RON HAZELTON:
Come on over here. I want to show you the sketch I drew up, see what you think about this, alright? Basically what we've got here is a big box to go under your bed. Do you know what the, the dimensions are? How much room do you have top -- from the floor to the bottom of the bed?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Six and a half inches.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay. So we've got to make sure that the whole thing is not any higher than that, a little bit less for clearance.

Jonathan takes to my power miter saw like he's been using it for years. He's cutting all the 1 x 6s that will be used for the sides of our storage unit.

All righty. Well, we've got our sides cut to length now. What we've got to do is cut next, the joints on the end. And this is the joint that I'd like to use, Jonathan. This has got sort of a rabbit cut on the ends of both pieces and it's going to interlock, just like this, okay?

And I'm going to have you cut these on the table saw. I've set this up -- you know what this is, right?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Mm-hmm [AFFIRMATIVE].
RON HAZELTON:
What is it?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Dado blade.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah, you know -- you know a lot, you know that? This is actually three blades that are, as you know, stacked up together to make a really wide blade. And we're going to pass the lumber over it like this and that's how we're going to make that cutout.

After cutting the rabbits on the ends, we switch to a narrower blade and cut grooves along the length of each board. Later, we'll slide the bottom section of our storage unit into these grooves.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Well, Ron, we're going to glue this thing together and make it happen.
RON HAZELTON:
We are?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Yes.
RON HAZELTON:
I'm going to be out of a job here in a few months, you just watch this.
[JONATHAN LAUGHS]
Okay, so you've got your glue brush. We got our joints all cut over here.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
You got your glue brush?
RON HAZELTON:
I got my glue brush and what we want to do is, we want to paint glue on this rabbit joint that we cut here. All right, now we're going to tip this up. Okay, now this one goes to the outside. Put this clamp -- put this right on the joint there.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Right on the joint?
RON HAZELTON:
For the moment. Now we're going to nail this joint closed.

With the three sides attached together, it's time to install our quarter-inch plywood bottom.

And just slip this right into that groove that we cut earlier. See it? I'll hold it and you can slide.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
I think it's in all the way.
RON HAZELTON:
Ahah, I like that. It sounded good to me, like it was solid. All right, now we can put our last side on here. It's beginning to look like an under-bed storage unit.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
You want to put a little glue in here?
RON HAZELTON:
No, I'm not going to glue the bottom. I don't usually glue my bottoms in. And sometimes they expand and contract --[JONATHAN LAUGHS] do you find that funny?
[JONATHAN LAUGHS AGAIN]

Okay, now we're going to cut the wheels. And to do that, we're going to use this machine called a drill press, and this tool here called a hole saw. You know why they call it a whole saw?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
It cuts holes in one.
RON HAZELTON:
Very good.
[MUSIC]
Okay, ready to do this?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
[LAUGHS] Yeah.
RON HAZELTON:
Here's how we're going to do it. This is an axle right here, this is a cap, okay. So I want you to drive the axle into the cap. Put a couple of washers on there. While you're doing that, I'm going to put some -- this is very fast-setting, five-minute epoxy right here. Okay. Just on the end, about a quarter of an inch back from the end.

There you go, nice and generous. Now, we're ready to put the wheel in that hole right there. Shove it all the way in. Put this piece of tape like a clamp and just hold it there. That epoxy will set in about five minutes.

While we wait for the epoxy to dry, Jonathan drills some holes in the front of the storage unit so that we can install drawer poles.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
There we are.
RON HAZELTON:
That's a couple turns. Let me know when it's gotten started.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
It's gotten started.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
RON HAZELTON:
Okay. Now I'll put the second one through.
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
I think so.
RON HAZELTON:
You got it?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Mm-hmm [AFFIRMATIVE].
RON HAZELTON:
Very accurate drilling, you were right on the money. Ready for a test run?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Yes Sir.
RON HAZELTON:
Hey -- I like this, huh?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
That's fun.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah, it works really great. You know, I got to tell you something, I think we did a darn good job. Does it meet your quality standards?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
I like it. It does meet my standards.
RON HAZELTON:
Good. Can I help you carry it outside and load it on your bike?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
That would be a big help.
RON HAZELTON:
[LAUGHS] Great. Okay, where are you parked --right out here?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Yeah.
RON HAZELTON:
That's the, the two-wheeler, the red one?
JONATHAN McCLEARY:
Yeah.
  RON HAZELTON:
All right.

Learn how to build an open box that rolls under the bed to reclaim space from the dust bunnies.

Building an open box on rollers to fit under the bed is an easy way to reclaim that unused space from the dust bunnies. The box storage unit offers a great place for children's toys. In the parents' room, little-used but necessary items like small suitcases and seasonal clothing in storage bags occupy the box out of sight until you need them.

Plan the Roll-out Under-bed Storage Unit
Step 1

Plan the Roll-out Under-bed Storage Unit

Determine under-bed clearance and allow for additional height required by the diameter of the wheels. Plan the depth of the roll-out box fractionally lower. Select a method of joining components. This project uses locking rabbet joints.

Cut Four Sides of the Under-bed Storage Unit from One-by-sixes
Step 2

Cut Four Sides of the Under-bed Storage Unit from One-by-sixes

Cut one-by-sixes to length for the four sides of the roll-out under-bed storage drawer with a power miter saw or chop saw. In this stage, each of the four sides is simply straight-cut on the ends.

Notch Side Pieces of the Under-bed Storage Unit
Step 3

Notch Side Pieces of the Under-bed Storage Unit

Install a three-blade stacked dado set on the table saw and notch both ends of the four side pieces. In a later step, the sides will join as a four-sided drawer for the roll-out under-bed storage unit.

Change the Dado Blades to Make a 1/4 Inch Groove
Step 4

Change the Dado Blades to Make a 1/4 Inch Groove

Use a different set of dado blades to make a 1/4-inch grove along the bottom length of each side panel. The bottom of the under-bed storage box will slide into this groove later.

Assemble Three Sides of the Under-bed Storage Unit
Step 5

Assemble Three Sides of the Under-bed Storage Unit

Brush carpenter's glue on the rabbets on both ends of one side piece and only one end of two other pieces. Fit them together as three sides of the under-bed storage drawer. Clamp them and secure the joints with nails.

Slide the Plywood Bottom into the Under-bed Storage Unit
Step 6

Slide the Plywood Bottom into the Under-bed Storage Unit

Guide the 1/4 inch plywood bottom into the groove along the bottom of the three assembled sides of the under-bed storage unit. Tap it with a block of wood to seat it in the groove.

Attach the Fourth Side of the Under-bed Storage Unit
Step 7

Attach the Fourth Side of the Under-bed Storage Unit

Brush glue on the rabbets on the last side and fit it to the under-bed storage box. Do not apply glue to the bottom panel anywhere, because it may expand and contract with temperature changes.

Cut Four Wheels from Scraps of One-by-fours
Step 8

Cut Four Wheels from Scraps of One-by-fours

Cut wooden wheels from one-by-four scraps for the under-bed storage unit. Use a large hole saw on your drill press and, if necessary, knock the cutouts out of the hole saw by tapping gently with a hammer and nail set.

Assemble and Mount Four Wheels on the Under-bed Storage Unit
Step 9

Assemble and Mount Four Wheels on the Under-bed Storage Unit

Assemble axles and caps for each wheel along with double washers to space them out from the sides of the box. Add epoxy to the free end of the axle and insert into predrilled holes on the rolling storage unit.

Mount Drawer Pulls on the Front of the Storage Unit
Step 10

Mount Drawer Pulls on the Front of the Storage Unit

Mark drawer pull positions on the front of the rolling storage unit and pre-drill a pair of holes for each. Insert screws from the inside of the drawer into the back of the pulls and snug them with a screwdriver.