Chaos Theory – 144 Style (Part One)

There’s a semi-famous video, at least in the Festool circles, starring Guido Henn. I don’t subscribe to all of his ideas, but some of them are genius. He’s a German woodworker, and I must confess I don’t know his background completely. His work has been featured by Festool, and a German magazine called HolzWerken. Check out his insane MFT-style workbench for example.

I’m seriously considering replacing the Holtzapffel with this, it’s so well done. Of course, that would have been a better choice before I bought the MFT, but that happens.

That video is relevant because of what you notice in the background (you did watch it, right?). That’s his Chaos Theory wall (chaostheorie). It’s organization to the next level, and it’s based on the 32mm system. It’s hard to find a picture online of the full wall, so I’ve included all four videos in a playlist. The wall can be seen around the :35 mark of the first video. Pretty cool, right? Now, the Euro way to do things (it seems) is to use particle board, connectors, and vinyl drawer slides. I much prefer full extension slides, and I’d much rather use plywood and Dominos or some other connection. 

Now, as should be obvious to anyone who has read my blog before, I can’t do this. Not the whole thing, anyway. Doing portable units (sysports) doesn’t make sense either, so I’ve decided to do a mini version of chaos theory. Here is the render.

chaos theory

It took a little while to determine exactly what form my systainer storage would take, and I think this meets my needs best. It is two stacks combined into one unit, just over three feet wide. The plan is to build at least two, however the timing of when the second one will be done is TBD. I am probably only going to get enough plywood to make the first set.

The bottom four feet of each unit will hold multiple systainers, the exact amount undetermined – I haven’t done the exact math as to what will fit. I will be using the 32mm system to drill 5mm holes for the drawer slides to fit to. This will allow for maximum versatility and the ability to move things around as time goes on. This may leave a little bit of space at the top and bottom of each stack, but I need the stacks to function efficiently – things on top that get used the most. The systainers will be on plywood drawers, which will eliminate having to unstack them to get to something on the bottom.

The top 30” of each stack will be shelved storage, perhaps with doors eventually. I would like for there to be a drawer at the transition, but we shall see. A drawer would be awesome for small pieces and accessories. Having a drawer for router bits would be nice. The top of the drawer will hopefully be below my eye level so I can see into it without a step. Depending on how high it actually is will determine if I use feet at the bottom or just sit on the floor. I’m only so tall.

The top section will be removable from the bottom section thanks to the use of Dominos. I’ll glue them into the top section, and if I reorganize the shop those can be attached to the wall above something else. Building them in three foot wide sections also allows for them to be in different spots depending on future layouts.

The plans are pretty much set, and I picked up a 5mm bit for my shelf jig today, along with 250 feet of edge veneer for the exposed ply. Also, a cheap travel iron to heat up the glue – cheaper than a banding iron from the woodworking store. This morning I pick up some euro screws to evaluate ahead of the drawer slides arriving, hopefully middle of next week. I have one set of drawer slides on hand that I will use to find where the holes need to go, and get accurate width measurements for the drawers.

Hopefully, I will have time to put some short updates on here or Twitter later.

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