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How to Make a Sorting Pan and Funnel

A sorting pan is a great help to those who keep all sizes of screws and bolts in one can. Follow these step-by-step instructions and never waste another minute searching for the perfect screw or bolt.

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sorting pan is great help for workshop
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Create the Box

Use a router to cut a 2-1/2" U-shaped opening in the center of one of the 12" x 3-1/2" x 1" boards (Image 1).

The four boards (two 12" x 3-1/2" x 1" boards and two 16" x 3-1/2" x 1" boards) will form the sides of the box. The 16" x 12" sheet of 3/8" plywood will form the bottom of the box. Use 2" nails to nail the boards and plywood together to create the box (Image 2).

Step 2: Make the Funnel

Using a miter box and saw, cut both ends of the two 6" x 3-1/2" x 1" boards at a 45-degree angle. Using a hammer or nail gun, secure these two boards at the corners surrounding the U-shaped opening. They will act as a funnel for screws, nails and bolts.

secure two boards at corners

Step 3: Cut and Attach the Water Bottle

Cut about 4" from the bottom of a water bottle. Cut 1" slots at the open end of the piece of the bottle you just cut (Image 1). Cut a large circle from the other end.

Glue the slots of the water bottle to the outside of the U-shaped opening. For a secure fit, drill small screws into the slots to hold them in place (Image 2).

Step 4: Use the Sorting Pan

To use the sorting pan, dump the jar of screws, nails and bolts into the box. After finding what you need, pour the rest through the funnel back into the container.

using the sorting pan