Shim Box

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Project by FirehouseWoodworking posted 1373 days ago 1881 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While I enjoy building projects and furniture as well as cabinets and remodeling work, I find some of the greatest pleasure from building rather utilitarian projects that I use around the shop or on jobs. This is one of those projects.

My Shim Box is probably 15 years old now. I built it to hold the shims I cut from leftover scraps of plywood. You have to understand that I tend to be a packrat who hates to throw out anything that “I might be able to use” at some later date.

While I do still use them in certain applications, I prefer not to use the traditional tapered wood shims when installing doors and windows. I did not like the way they offered so little wood bearing surface. Roofing shakes work fine but they are expensive and there is so much waste.

Instead, I took scrap plywood, masonite, and OSB and cut them into 3”x5” pieces. I used 1/8”, 1/4”, 7/16”, and 1/2” predominantly for my shims. Then I needed some way to keep them organized. Hence, my Shim Box.

It is made from scraps of various hardwood (cherry, red oak, and ash) that I had “packratted away”. The openings in the sides allow for easy removal of shims. It was finished with two coats of water-based polyurethane. The bottom plate (which you can’t easily see in the photos) is champherred at 45-degrees which keeps the sides up off the floor. This has prevented any splintering. It has held up well all these years.

Keeping the shims at 3”x5” makes it easy to cut when I generate any scrap. Anything that is too small gets trashed. If the thickness is already full in my Shim Box, then I just store them for later refills. Helps to keep the packratting down.

Now, if I can only figure out what to do with all those sticks I’m now using for stickering . . .

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

11 comments so far

View mrg's profile


519 posts in 1597 days

#1 posted 1373 days ago

That is a neat little shim carrier.

-- mrg

View Sodabowski's profile


2001 posts in 1431 days

#2 posted 1372 days ago

You can always use the stickering sticks for turning pens, or glue them up into boards :p

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View rivergirl's profile


3198 posts in 1436 days

#3 posted 1372 days ago

Only a seriously organized person would come up with this idea! So many talented TOOL and workshop type designers are on this site! You guys amaze me. This shim holder reminds me of the basket I use for picnics- it has dividers for napkins, forks, knives etc. But I use it rarely. I imagine your basket holder has been productively used zillions of times over 15 years. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1713 days

#4 posted 1372 days ago

great little box for the Diy person :-)
thank´s for sharing it


View NormG's profile


3987 posts in 1602 days

#5 posted 1370 days ago

If it works, then it is worth while to have

-- Norman

View SgtSnafu's profile


957 posts in 1869 days

#6 posted 1347 days ago

Now that is a good idea – they are easy to transport, always close & handy, and well organized…

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View Blozo  's profile


146 posts in 1242 days

#7 posted 1240 days ago

that is a neat idea. I always find myself cutting different thickness of wood to use as spacers. i sure can put this idea to use and keep my spacers for future use the design is awsome too, definately was not just thrown together

-- eat crap

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1856 posts in 1159 days

#8 posted 1155 days ago

When I first looked at it I said great I can make my wife a Napkin holder for the table. Well I was almost right.
Great work and finish

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 1705 days

#9 posted 1155 days ago

I gotta do something like that. I have shims stacked every where and I’m always knocking them over. That looks to be as handy as a third hand.

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days

#10 posted 790 days ago

Nice Idea. More importantly. Thank you so much for your service. For giving so much to this country!

Very Gratefully,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


622 posts in 1871 days

#11 posted 790 days ago

Right back at you, Nate!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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