Introduction: 9 Unusual Tool Storage Methods for Your Workshop

Picture of 9 Unusual Tool Storage Methods for Your Workshop

Your workshop, Is not a workshop, When it is a mess.

That's why I've put together an Instructable showing 9 unusual methods for storing your workshop tools, Guaranteed to hold every tool has ever existed on planet earth!

In September, 2015, I built The Ultimate Magnetic Pegboard, But since then, I've collected many tools. That means that I had to make another tool holder for them. Here I'll show you some of my favorite holders that I made on my new "Pegboard" holder!

Let's get to work!

Step 1: Kitchen Paper Towel Dispenser? Clamp Rack!

Picture of Kitchen Paper Towel Dispenser? Clamp Rack!

My Grandma gave me a plastic "Kitchen Paper Towel Dispenser".

Because the dowel that holds the paper towel was made out of plastic, It wasn't strong enough to hold the clamps, So I found a metal rod that I salvaged from a printer, Cut it to the right size*, And glued it tightly inside of the holders that were on the side with Epoxy.

I also added some wood to make it a bit farther from the board, Which makes it a lot easier to mount and unmount the clamps.

After that, I screwed everything onto the board, Clamps can be pretty heavy so the more screws you use, The better

I think I can honestly say that this is way easier to use than other "fancy" clamp racks

*I cut the rod to about twice as long as I needed to leave enough space for more clamps because I want to buy a couple more clamps, I'm also going to make a couple soon!

My "Kitchen Paper Towel Dispenser Clamp Rack" holds:

3 6" Spring Clamps

A 4" C-Clamp

A 2" C-Clamp

And a lot more to come soon!

Step 2: Zip-Tie Tool Holders!

Picture of Zip-Tie Tool Holders!

Zip-Ties are great for many different uses, Why not use them as tool holders?

I drilled two holes in the board and fastened a Zip-Tie (Size of Zip-Tie depends on tool) through the hole, And slid the tool in. That Simple!

You can also hang a Soldering Iron, A Rotary Tool and many more! Though if you want to hang a heavy tool (such as a drill), A Hose Clamp might be better for the job because it's made out of metal

My "Zip-Tie Tool Holders" hold:

Big Metal Tweezers (Because they can't be magnetized)

Small Plastic Tweezers

Step 3: Heatsinks

Picture of Heatsinks

I came up with this idea back in November, 2015, And I've been using it to store my Plastic Tweezers on the wall right over my Magnetic Pegboard. I mounted the heatsink onto the wall in a vertical position with Double-Sided Tape, And put the tweezers onto the Heat-Sink, Using the fins as dividers!

I salvaged this Heat-Sink from a Play-Station 2, And I even have an 'Ible about it: What's Inside? #6: Sony Play-Station.

My "Heat-Sink Tool Holder" holds:

5 Different Kinds of Plastic ESD Tweezers (I left out the SMT Tweezers from this $1 set of 7 Tweezers because I don't use SMT)

Step 4: Magnets!

Picture of Magnets!

You might have seen my The Ultimate Magnetic Pegboard Instructable, If not, Go check it out!

For my new tool holder, I used Magnets that I salvaged from speakers, And Hot-Glued them onto the board, This is pretty easy to do, But it takes ages to plan where each tool with go on the board

My Magnets hold (Only on the new tool holder, Not including The Ultimate Magnetic Pegboard):

A Big Rasp Planer

A Small Rasp Planer

Big Needle-Nose Pliers

Wire Cutters

Toothless Needle-Nose Pliers

Curved/Bent Needle-Nose Pliers

Regular Needle-Nose Pliers

A Woodworker's Punch

Step 5: Square Screw Hooks

Picture of Square Screw Hooks

I prefer using Square Screw Hooks than regular Screw Cup Hooks:

They hold bigger tools better, For example: The big Rasp that is shown in the picture has a big handle, And it doesn't even let even big Cup Hooks hold it.

With a Square Screw Hook, It is way easier to hold tools, Try it yourself, You'll see what I'm talking about

Although not pictured, I added more hooks the the bottom part as locks, Which prevent the saw from falling No-Matter-What!

My "Square Screw Hooks" hold:

A Paintbrush (Not for painting, I use it for other things)

A Big Rasp

A Big File

A Hand-Saw (These have a million different names)

My Homemade Microscope

Step 6: Styrofoam

Picture of Styrofoam

You might not believe it, But I used styrofoam to store my Drill-Bits on the wall, Styrofoam is soft, Lightweight, And easy to cut, So it's great for hanging small tools such as: Drill-Bits, Files, Small Screwdrivers, Pencils and more!

If you want to know how I made my Styrofoam Drill-Bit Holder, I made an Instructable about it. You can view the 'Ible through this link

If you want to make this out of wood, Styrofoam can work well for planning prototypes too

Step 7: Mini Shelves!

Picture of Mini Shelves!

I think French Cleats are pretty cool, But I don't have the tools to make them.

I decided to take a small piece of wood and connect it to the board with a small 90° shelf bracket

My "Mini Shelves: hold:

My Homemade Magnetic Silicone Vise Soft Jaws (Because I've decided that I don't want them on my Vise anymore)

2 Different Sharpening Stones

A Nail Clipper (Though Snips might be better for cutting nails...)

A Credit-Card Sized Multitool

A "Phone" Flashlight

Step 8: Toilet Paper Roll!

Picture of Toilet Paper Roll!

I have to admit that this is a really weird idea...

I drilled a hole into a paper towel tube, Cut it in half, And screwed it to the wall.

I now use it to hold onlyMy Homemade Plywood Mallet. This is a really lightweight mallet so the tube barely even moves, But this wouldn't be good for heavy tools, Obviously...

Step 9: Mini "Hole Shelves"

Picture of Mini "Hole Shelves"

This idea was inspired by an article that I saw recently.

I drilled small holes into thin MDF, Widened them with a file, Cut them to size with a Hand-Saw , And hung them on the bottom part of my pegboard.

It can be used to hang Screwdrivers, Files, Chisels, And many more tools!

My "Mini Hole Shelves" hold:

6 Different Types of Files

4 Different Sized Chisels: 16mm, 10mm, Small 7mm, & Small 5mm


Thanks for watching! Make sure to let me know if you make one of these ideas!

Don't forget to Follow me on Instructables, I have over 60 Instructables that I'm sure you'd like!


Yonatan24 (author)2016-03-17

Although it wasn't originally planned, Part 2 is coming soon!

For my followers: "9 Unusual Tool Storage Methods - Part 2" will be in your feed email in a couple of weeks!

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-06-30

Or maybe a bit more than that... Who knows :)

Yonatan24 (author)2016-02-23

A couple minutes ago, An anonymous member clicked on this Instructable, Which brought it to 100K views...

Thank You! This is my first project to reach 100,000 views!

asaneie (author)2017-09-28

I don't love bokeh :)

Yonatan24 (author)asaneie2017-09-29


It is the best for me in many places where I need the background to be blurred because it's distracting (like in this instance).

You can't not like pictures like these!:


asaneie (author)Yonatan242017-09-30

Umm yes you are right I like it but I mean it's little hard for me to make good pictures like you always made that's why I like your Instructables.


Yonatan24 (author)asaneie2017-09-30

It's all about the lighting :)

Vyger (author)2016-10-12

Just a thought --- While using strong magnets to hang screwdrivers is a nice convience you need to be aware that it can make the tips magnetic. This can be a nice thing but also a bad thing. I have magnetized some screwdrivers on purpose because it can really help with holding small screws while you try to manuver them into place. Most of the time this is not a problem. But there are some places that using a magnetic screwdriver can damage sensitive components. So you need to watch out for that. if a motherboard has directions that say not to use any magnetic tools around it you need to heed the warning.

Yonatan24 (author)Vyger2016-10-13

Good idea. I like when the tips are magnetic, and don't use them for sensitive components. :)

SherylinRM (author)2016-10-04

I love the zip tie idea. Very original :)

Also, as I take apart many computers, I tend to have a plethora of heat sinks [and other parts] left over.

I can now use them for tool holders :)

Just an idea for you though.

I have found that using elmers white glue [often the kind for children] I can spread it very thinly over paper [or in your case towel holder] and it will make it stronger.

I hope it helps :)

Thanks for this :)

Yonatan24 (author)SherylinRM2016-10-04

Thank you! I'd love to see pictures if you use them!

I haven't tried that. It would be similar to plywood, where the glue makes it stronger, but with only 1 ply. Thanks for the idea!

SherylinRM (author)Yonatan242016-10-05

You are very welcome :)

Morgor (author)2016-09-26

Thanks for these great Ideas !

Yonatan24 (author)Morgor2016-09-26

Glad you liked them! :)

milesfromneihu (author)2016-08-25

Instead of styrofoam for drill bit holders, I recommend low-density polyethylene foam (LDPE). It is easy to work, but tough; it does not crumble or flake away like styrofoam does. LDPE foam makes great tool holders. Good for decades. Often found as shaped packing filler for products and equipment.

pfred2 (author)milesfromneihu2016-08-31

I just made a drill index out of some HDPE here. I am pleased with it too.

Yonatan24 (author)milesfromneihu2016-08-26

Sound like a great idea. A sheet of that could work really well for something like this.

Thanks for the tip!

pfred2 (author)2016-02-12

In my workshop I generate a lot of dust using various power tools.
Trying to contain that dust while I am making it is not realistic either. Sometimes in the summer I'll run an exhaust fan out the window, to draw a lot of it out. But the fact remains that the fur is still going to be flying on a regular basis in my workshop. That being the case tools left out in my workshop will get dusty, and dirty. Dusty, and dirty tools quickly turn into rusty, and crusty tools too. That is due to the galvanic nature of metals in contact with contaminants. Now periodically wiping off every tool I own would be a Herculean task in itself. So, I just keep most of my tools protected in drawers.

In my old workshop I had tools hanging on the walls and they just got so junked up. Who wants to try to use a tool with a thick layer of dust, and crud on it? Not me.

So I'd say that your method really does not scale well. It might be working for you now, but if you acquire more tools, and start doing heavier work it will not hold up.

FlorinJ (author)pfred22016-08-25

You can build (or buy) and run a dust collector. It really works. Here's from a guy who seems to keep a very tidy shop:

Yonatan24 (author)FlorinJ2016-08-26

I haven't watched the video, but I can recognize that Matthias made that. :)

bruce.desertrat (author)pfred22016-02-16

You should really consider building a dust management system; accumulations of sawdust and other materials isn't just not good for had tools; it's pretty rough on lungs and the insides of power tools, too. Lots of good instructables on making dust collectors here.

pfred2 (author)bruce.desertrat2016-08-25

I have considered a dust collection system and have rejected it based on cost, space it would consume, and a general lack of usefulness due to the kinds of things I do. Even people with dust collection systems have dust in their workshops. Because nothing is 100% There is a load of incredibly bad information on this site too. Some posts so ill conceived I don't even know where to begin with them.

Yonatan24 (author)pfred22016-08-26

My workshop is "dust-less". All of my woodworking projects are completed in my balcony.

I have an AMAZING (seriously...) air filter in my room and a car vacuum cleaner (that is powered by an ATX power supply) which I use to keep my room "dust-free". I believe my air filter thingy has a HEPA filter in it, And I also do most of the "Dirty" work outside, So I don't get a lot of dust in my room...

Thank you for your concern :)

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-02-24

bruce.desertrat, Thank you, You gave me the idea of bringing our home Dyson vacuum cleaner that is amazing in my room! I put it in my room a couple days ago and I've been using and enjoying it everyday, Thank you!

for some reason the link didn't stick. :-(

BAR3R (author)pfred22016-06-29

I Think His Idea Is PERFECT For Him & Many Others Too, It Is Very Creative & We Need More Creative People In The World These Days!! If It's Not A Workable Idea To You- Just DON'T USE IT; But You Don't Have To Criticize His Idea Cause It Wouldn't Work For You!! I Have An Idea For Ya, Why Don't Ya Just Say "Hey NICE JOB Man, That's Really Using Both Ur Mind & Items You Already Have Around You, I'm Glad It Works For Ya" Instead Of Saying It Doesnt: "Scale Well"!! There Is No Need For You To Piss On His Instructable Because It Won't Fit Ur Needs!! I Don't Understand Why A Few People Have To Do This To Others When They Are Actually Taking Time To Make A STRONG Effort To Reach Out & Share Their Ideas; They Are Just Proud Of Their Accomplishments[As They Should Be] & Want To Share It With Others!! I'm Sorry If You Had A Bad Day & Didnt Like His Idea As Much As I Did, I Hope The Sun Will Shine On You & Brighten Ur Day So You Can See How To Enjoy Others Creativity!!!!!

Yonatan24 (author)BAR3R2016-06-30

Thank you, and I agree with you, BAR3R!

This is the internet, and unfortunately, many people aren't very nice. I understand what you mean that saying "Nice job" is better than giving 20 reasons for why it wouldn't work for him. I guess he assumes that we do the exact same projects and tasks in our "workshops", which we definitely do not :)

pfred2 (author)Yonatan242016-08-25

I can say the exact same thing. Others are assuming to know what I am doing in my workshop, and offering me solutions based on those false assumptions.

GonçaloM7 (author)pfred22016-02-16

i have 20 years old tools in the wall outside in dust, humidity, oils, dirt, etc. No rust. sometimes when working with wood, in the end just use the compressed air and its enough to clean the toolwall. I believe your biggest problem is the materials that your tools are made. dont buy cheap. it gets expensive.

DDW_OR (author)pfred22016-02-16

I use old 4 or 5 drawer file cabinets for my power tools. I try to get the legal size cabinets.

braytonlarson (author)pfred22016-02-14

Way to rain on my dream shop I was building in my head after seeing this... oh well I guess a rolling toolbox us more portable anyway...

Per Adam Savage, 'drawers are where tools go to get lost.' Now, he has a *few* more hand tools than I do (well a few more orders of magnitude more hand tools than I do!), but this is a neat system he's been working on.

Yonatan24 (author)pfred22016-02-15

Yep, I've seen you write before on other people's 'Ibles that pegboards and hangers like that aren't for you because they collect dust, But that isn't a problem in my workspace:

The only power tool that I use in my room is a drill which the (most of the) dust goes down, Not into the air.

If I use a different power tool, I use it outside, So the dust doesn't get in my room, Because it's the room I live/sleep in, And it can't be too dusty.

I think I've seen before that people have different shops (Such as Darbin Orvar and Matthias Wandel) so they limit the dust...

cavalier19 (author)2016-08-25

very innovative ideas. worth copying

Yonatan24 (author)cavalier192016-08-26

Thank you!

Lovetra (author)2016-03-23

Discovered yesterday in garage project my first endeavor after moving a terrible, dilapidated wall cabinet will be to deal with termites (I think), and serious dry-rot.

I have to find an ible to suggest on that one!

Yonatan24 (author)Lovetra2016-03-23


Good luck with that!

Lovetra (author)2016-03-22

I AM TRYING TO "CLEAN" organize a 2 and 1/2 old garage (large enough to hold 2 cars and a golf cart. No driveway going to it anymore- thanks to change in city street and ordinances. It also was built in 1910 so it is old and full. I have to re-wire. This gives me so many ideas on how to salvage a treasure trove of what I was considering "old junk" and in-corporate with a a little imagination a lot of it into the organization rather than a couple of pickup trucks load to the local dump! Biggest mess is all of the rusty, saved, slotted, screws. They are everywhere!

Yonatan24 (author)Lovetra2016-03-22

Awesome! Glad to hear that!

I have a "Part 2" coming soon for this Instructable, But if you need anymore ideas, Google will definitely help you out...

It would be awesome if you share pictures when you're done!

atulsukersett made it! (author)2016-02-22

It costed me nothing. I used empty plastic beverages bottles , kept hanging

Yonatan24 (author)atulsukersett2016-02-23

Cool, I like the drill holder

TeleDex (author)2016-02-22

Uh, by "this" I meant the toilet-paper-tube hammer hanger. Should've said that the first time.

TeleDex (author)2016-02-22

This would also work with PVC pipe scraps. Turn the hole into a U-shaped cut.

jeanniel1 (author)2016-02-17

You've inspired me to clean up my workbench, and with those magnets, I can get quite a bit OFF the bench an in easy reach. I have plenty of magnets (somewhere in the mess). Great hacks for reusing parts from other sets. I'll put myself in that same mindframe as I go through my mess! Re-use, re-cycle, re-gain!

Yonatan24 (author)jeanniel12016-02-19

Bravo! Happy to hear that ;)


Cdn Sapper (author)2016-02-17

Your mallet holder is brilliant. I'm gonna be doing that in a number of spots for a bunch of hammers. Might use a bunch of short abs/pvc cut offs I have lying around for the mini sledge and mighty sledge.

Yonatan24 (author)Cdn Sapper2016-02-19

Awesome! Don't forget to share pictures!

Lee Wilkerson (author)2016-02-19

Great ideas. Nice work!

That 'hand saw' is actually called a back-saw because it has the support rib on the back side of it. It is used specifically as a miter saw in a miter box. Of course it does work great for other small work because it has fine teeth.

About This Instructable




Bio: 15 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!
More by Yonatan24:60+ Unusual Uses for Workshop Tools & Materials! the Ultimate Collection!Workshop Tips, Tricks, & Hacks to Save You Time & Money!My Top Instructables of 2017 - Yonatan24
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