Introduction: Build a Peg Board Tool Cart (by Brad Justinen)

Picture of Build a Peg Board Tool Cart (by Brad Justinen)

Build a $500+ Peg Board Cart for $30-$50.

Peg Board Cart @

Are your tools completely out of control? Do you need a large organization system on the cheap? Then weld your own peg board tool cart for less than $50 (assuming you have a welder and some scrap metal). If you don't own a welder, go buy one. You can buy welders cheap at Harbor Freight and Sears for around $100-$150. You can also find amazing deals on Craiglist like me. I got my Lincoln Wire-Feed 140HD for $375 cash vs. $540 for the exact same welder at Lowe's, Home Depot, or Sears. Or better yet go buy a nice one with a warranty at one of those stores. It's a good investment and when your done you will know how to weld (kinda).

I purchased my welder about a month ago. In fact, this is my second real attempt at welding anything - so if i can do it, you can too. This welder cart was my first welding project.

This storage isn't for everyone. For people who need to lock up their tools, it won't work. But in my situation it works great.

Click here to view the cart in HD

1. If someone borrows a tool, or I loose one, I can tell right away and go track it down.

2. I have so many tools, i often forget to use the best one for the job because, quite frankly, I forgot that i owned one. With the pegboard i can make a quick visual scan and find the right tool easily.

3. I can easily roll my entire tool collection (mostly) right up to my car or any other project i'm workin on. No more walking back and forth between my toolboxes and work area (i have a decent sized shop).

4. I can brag to all my friends and fellow toolmongers about my creation.

5. No more searching for hours to find one misplaced tool.

6. I'm pretty broke so it's nice that it was cheap.

7. It takes up minimal floor space.

OK, sorry for the rant, let's build it.

Step 1: Visualize It!

Picture of Visualize It!

Take a good look, this is what we are going to build!

Step 2: Get Your Tools in Check

Picture of Get Your Tools in Check

For this project you will need:

Welder (Lincoln Electric Wire-Feed)
Wood Saw (Craftsman Radial Arm Saw)
Metal Saw (18v Ryobi Recip Saw)
Drill (18v Ryobi & Pnuematic Ingersoll-Rand)
Grinder (Variable Speed Makita)
Air Compressor (Craftsman) (optional)
Die Grinder (Harbor Freight) (optional)

Drill Bits
Screw Driver Bits (That match screws)
6" Hex Bit Extension
Wire Cutters (for wire feed welder)
Saftey Glasses
Welding Mask
Leather Gloves
Metal Grinding Wheel
Wire Brush
Clamps (bar, spring)
Spray Paint
Face Shield (optional, but highly recommend)
Respirator (optional)
Sandpaper flap disc (optional)
Bench Vise (optional)
Saw horses or or work bench (optional)

Step 3: Get Your Materials in Check

Picture of Get Your Materials in Check

For this project you will also need:

35 feet of steel
32 feet of 2x2 lumber
2 4'x4' sheets of peg board
4 heavy duty wheels
Approx. 40 1" wood screws
Approx. 40 washers (for 1" screws)
Approx. 20 2" wood screws
1 short piano hinge
8 3" wood screws

Step 4: Cut and Grind Your Metal

Picture of Cut and Grind Your Metal

Since the peg boards are 4'x4' the side supports don't HAVE to be any taller than that. I made mine about 5'6" so I could add a shelf at the bottom to store tool boxes. If you want to make yours exactly like mine use these directions.

Cut your metal. You can use any scrap as long as it is roughly 1-1.5 inches diameter. I used scrap 1" steel conduit for the longer side pieces and some cut up shelf tracking for the bottom pieces.

Cut: 4 pieces at 5 ft.
2 pieces at 18.5 inches'

Take two of the longer pieces and cut a sliver off the top of both of them (See Diagram). The degree of this cut will determine the angle of your pegboard. Use a sawzall or hacksaw to cut it off. Then Use a grinder to perfect your angle

Make sure you don't shorten the overall length of steel though. It should come to a point a 5 feet. Take your time and just remove a little metal at a time until you have the angle that fits nicely. Its better to make a smaller cut and grind it down than then have to cut another 5 footer.

You will also need to grind the bottoms of all four of the longer pieces - so they will sit straight on the bottom piece. See Diagram

Step 5: Weld the Trusses

Picture of Weld the Trusses


Weld everything together. I laid my pieces on the ground to fit everything. I use the first frame as a template to make the second one exactly the same.

If you are worried about the look of the final product (which you should be) you should paint the trusses now. This is so you don't have to worry about painting them once the peg boards have been secured. Don't paint within a foot of the bottom though because we have some more welding to do.

NOOB ALERT! Please don't make fun of my welds. I know they suck.

Step 6: Drill Holes for Attaching the Peg Boards

Picture of Drill Holes for Attaching the Peg Boards

Now drill some holes where we will attach to the peg board in Step 4.

Drill a hole at about 13 inches from the top and add 5 more holes down to 47 inches.

Do this on each side of both trusses. 24 holes in all.

Step 7: Make the 2x2 Peg Board Frames

Picture of Make the 2x2 Peg Board Frames

Cut your wood. You will need approximetally 36 feet of 2"x2" lumber and 2 4"x4" sheets of peg board - you can get the peg board at any Home Depot or Lowes.

Cut: 4 2x2's at 48 inches
4 2x2's at 45 inches'

NOTE: I always like to drill pilot holes for my screws. This is to ensure that I don't spilt the wood.

2. Screw together the frames using 2 1/2 to 3 inch screws. See Diagram

Step 8: Screw the Peg Board to Their Wooden Frames

Picture of Screw the Peg Board to Their Wooden Frames

Lay the frame flat (either on a table or on the ground) and lay the peg board onto it. Make sure its square. Clamp it if need be.

Using the 1" screws and washers. Fasten the pegboards to their frames making sure everything is square. See Diagram.

Step 9: Fasten the Two Peg Boards Together

Picture of Fasten the Two Peg Boards Together

Once you have finished assembling both peg boards its time to fasten them together.

Place the first peg board face down.

Place the second peg board on top of that face up. See Pics

NOTE: I always like to drill pilot holes for my screws. This is to ensure that I don't spilt the wood.

Then fasten a couple hinges along one side. This will add stability and make the rest of the project and future repairs easier. I used a piano hinge and cut it up into 5 hinges. You could use and old door or cabinet hinge.

Step 10: Clamp and Screw the Peg Boards to the Frame

Picture of Clamp and Screw the Peg Boards to the Frame

With the peg boards on their side (See Pics) clamp the first truss into place.

Taken some screws (2 inch in my case) and fasten the frame to the pegboard. Again, try to make sure everything is square at all times.

NOTE: You may need to use either a stubby screwdriver, 6"+ hex driver extension, or 90 degree drill driver to get a couple of the screws in - because of the close quarters towards the top of the truss. See Pics.

Once attached, turn it over attach the other frame to the other side.

Step 11: Weld the Two Trusses Together

Picture of Weld the Two Trusses Together

Once both side trusses are attached you can you can weld the entire thing together.

See Diagram

Cut your metal. You can use any scrap as long as it is roughly 1-1.5 inches diameter. I used some scrap 1" steel tubing for the side pieces and some donated, cut up shelf tracking for the middle pieces.

Cut: 2 pieces at 4 ft.
2 pieces at 18.5 inches'

Weld the longer pieces in between the two trusses (1). (See Diagram)

Then weld the two shorter supports in (2).

Step 12: Add Wheels

Picture of Add Wheels

Once everything is welded together its time to make it mobile.

Do yourself a favor and buy new wheels. I used wheels from an old cart and I regret it every day. It's not as smooth riding as i'd like. So splurge and spend $10 on some new wheels. You know where to get them...........right?

Clamp a wheel - one at a time - to the bottom of each corner of the cart (i used vise-grips) and weld 'em on.

The people over a Make Magazine feature this cart on their blog. They said they would have welded plates to the cart and then bolted the casters to plates. NO BRAINER. I should have done this. It would have made changing a bad wheel much easier.

Step 13: Paint

Picture of Paint

Painting is 95% preperation and 5% spraying. A little prep will save you from a ruined finish.

Grind and sand everything nice and smooth.

Wipe all the metal down with soapy water or solvent.

Spray paint it. I used flat black Rustoleum.

Step 14: Stock It Up!

Picture of Stock It Up!

Its all about the layout, aesthetics, and ergonomics. Don't be afraid to pull every single hook off and start all over.

It has to look as good as it works. IMO!

Note: You can get peg board hardware at pretty much any hardware store. I needed about 6-7 multi-packs to stock my cart. I like to wait until they go on sale at Harbor Freight. You can get a big box of hooks for $4.

The hooks can be the most expensive part of the project if you don't shop smart.

Step 15: Add More Accessories

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Because the pegboard has a wood frame I can screw all kinds of hooks, handles, and holders onto the side.

My buddy thinks i should screw a power strip to it and add an extension cord. I think i'll do it!

Why not?

Step 16: Update

Picture of Update

Now that I have used the cart for 3 months I can give you an honest toolmongers opinion about the cart.


Yes, I lose a hook every now and then.


It helps me stay organized.

It's saves me time.

It's super sturdy.

It has room for expansion.

It holds 90% of the tools I need for any given project.

It may not meet the needs of an automotive or aircraft mechanic, but it's more than enough for a hobbyist like myself.'


More photos at my Flickr Page
or this Photo Set

Brad Justinen (sensoryhouse)

Here is the tool cart via:
Instructables Jan 8, 2009 Newsletter
Make Magazine

Here are some cool peg board videos:
The Pegboard Shelf Solution
Installing a Pegboard in a Workshop


uzro (author)2016-08-31


dough51342000 (author)2015-11-03

That is a great idea if u cant afford a tool cart for home. One thing for viewers to remember coasters can be expensive. Best deal on coasters buy furniture dolly and take the wheels

Yonatan24 (author)2015-09-29

Hi, I've added your project to the "Awesome Pegboard Projects! You Must Have These!"

bruce.desertrat (author)2015-08-06

A good source of angle steel really cheap are bed frames. You'll often see them just being tossed out at the side of the road. A little time with an angle grinder lets you cut off the rivets holding them together. I used them to make this BBQ stand, this was my first welding fabrication project.

QiH (author)2015-08-01


aswinsharif1412 (author)2015-07-31

I think this is a kind of board that all hobbyists are dreamed about. Very good, systematics and detailed explanations, answered almost any questions before they raised!
Thanks a lot for sharing the idea!!

cleber.inaciomorais (author)2015-07-31

gorgeous design , manufacture will surely thank you - cleber - Brazil

lclaiborne (author)2015-07-30


Building one this weekend.

Kathys Smokin (author)2015-07-30

I LOVE THIS!!!! I have a lot of trouble finding my tools, too, and often get stuck trying to make the wrong one do the job.This is BRILLIANT!!!

pastime106 (author)2015-01-28

Thanks for this instructable- I have at least 10 workbenches or "work surfaces" in my shop. This was a great idea you came up with. I have about 12 bucks invested. I use everything from a Stanley 55 planer to a cnc milling machine to a 3d printer. I took some of the basic tools I use "everywhere" and put them on this board that is based on your design. I used some 1980s rollerblades for the base. The extra wheels made it very stable! Thanks for the inspiration

JAREDFREY (author)2013-07-10

This has made my life easier! Thanks for all your work

yeemeng (author)2012-11-01

Thanks bro for the idea...

i made mine with shelve unit.

Slumlord (author)2012-07-26

I want to thank you for all of the time and effort you put into creating the mobile tool rack, Brad. I sincerely appreciate it. I used your well documented, step-by-step instructions to recreate your idea and added/tweaked it a bit for my situation.

I also photographed and documented the entire process and put it on my blog here:

Thanks again!!

NotaReelnom (author)2012-06-12

Thay sell something like this for over $1,000. Seriously, check the link.

sanernes (author)2011-11-20

Thanks , this is the mine .

toolcollector (author)2011-08-12

Adds to the cost, but Menards sells steel pegboard, It's the best pegboard i've ever used.

coweater (author)2009-08-14

The hooks I purchased came with little plastic clips to hold them in place. It forces the spacing to be wider, but I was able to work around it by staggering hooks and they never come off when grabbing a tool.

pfred2 (author)coweater2011-02-22

If you have plain hooks a dab of hot glue holds them to the board well. My back aches every time I see pegboard as all I'm thinking about is picking hooks up off the floor!

CementTruck (author)pfred22011-08-11

Bend a stiff wire into a U shape. From the front of the board slide the wire over the hook like a saddle. Push the wire through a pegboard hole and splay the wire outwards on the other side of the board. The wire can be removed if the hook needs to be moved.

sensoryhouse (author)CementTruck2011-08-11

I find it much easier to bend down and pick up a hook every now and then. If i used the cart at work it would probably be a different story.

pfred2 (author)sensoryhouse2011-08-12

A splat of hot glue is pretty easy. Though if you ever want to move hooks it is a little harder. But that is the whole idea so the hooks don't fall out so easily. I can still pull a hot glued in hook out with my hands cold but it takes a little effort. Then I hit the hook with a heat gun to stick it someplace else.

It isn't as big an issue as it sounds because most don't adjust their setups too much after they've been arranged.

Someone ought to invent the rubberized hot glue dipped peg board panel because the hot glue makes the board sort of grippy fleshy and that helps hold hooks in place even if the hooks aren't actually glued to the board.

The panels and hooks by themselves are just too slippery with each other. I know some hooks come with square protrusions on them that are supposed to bite into the round peg hole but that only works so so.

pfred2 (author)CementTruck2011-08-11

Sounds complicated.

kenbob (author)2011-05-30

Beautifully done instructable. I especially like the simple diagrams showing build steps.

I like the idea of adding a power strip and a cord, could put a retractable cord in the space between the pegboards!

Looks like there is enough room underneath to actually use this as your welding cart - i.e. put the welder on this cart - maybe a stationary grinder also.

well done!

snotty (author)2010-09-06

This is a great idea!

I just built mine today. I was going to use steel with the drill and bolt method. But wood was easier and lighter so I used an old pallet for the wooden frame. Also I made some simple screwdriver racks from leftover pallet wood.

BGreenHVAC (author)snotty2011-04-19

roll on a smooth surface and you are good. With a narrow base, a small bump could tip it.

Good luck

nesbear (author)snotty2010-12-27

any chance you could outline your method? i'm gonna prolly make it in wood too, any advice?

snotty (author)nesbear2010-12-29

Advice? Sure. Pretty much just follow the directions above. Be careful to keep the legs even. Mine was a bit wobbly so I had to put a shim under one leg. A bit of strapping diagonally between the legs makes the thing stiffer.

And importantly; make sure to place your castor wheels far from the center. Mine swing around and make the structure a bit too tippy because the wheel is almost directly under the centerline.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Cervantes (author)2009-01-20

Pretty good, super efficient. I think you could skip the welding, well if a person isn't confident in wielding that much power. 8gage punch angle can be purchased in 8 foot sections and bolted together like a huge erector set. You can get punch angle at almost all hardware stores. I don't think it's officially called punch angle, but you can find it in the welding section of most hardware stores.

BGreenHVAC (author)Cervantes2011-04-19

Good for those who don't have access to welding. Welding would make a more sturdy finished product though. Plus the aesthetic appeal.

pfred2 (author)Cervantes2011-02-22

One brand name I am familiar with is Versa Angle. One can always drill holes where needed and bolt as well. I find Versa Angle to be a little on the flimsy side and sort of sloppy looking too. I hardly ever weld projects together anymore. I got too tired of grinding welds apart years later.

BGreenHVAC (author)2011-04-19

Good idea. Add a drawer to the bottom for stuff like sandpaper, etc, and I'd use this device a lot.

Thanks for the bright idea.

OhMike (author)2011-02-08

Very nice! But will if fix breakfast :-)

sarawelder (author)2011-02-04

Although I am a welder I often use the" lazy" quick base of a furniture dolly...they hold very heavy items and already have the castors attached which swivel all ways.. I just fill in the gap at the bottom with a scrap piece of wood or MDF so you have a solid shelf to put things on. I usually buy several when they are on sale at harbor freight ( quite often). Just check the wheels roll well as some are better than others.

Mr Steve (author)2011-01-12

add a shelf on the bottom and load it up for ballast

gemtree (author)2010-12-03

Ohhh, I gotta have one of these but it will be wood. Can't afford a welder and I bet I have most of this already in wood. Just need the pegboard. This is sexy!!!! ☺

Ole-Grizzly (author)2009-07-06

Just wondering why is that 4th wrench lowered out of line? I kinda did something like that with a 15 mil. wrench. I own a bicycle shop and the 15 mil is used to take wheels on and off.. and therefore is used the most. So i Hung mine raised to easily see it and feel for it if not looking. Why'd you do your wrench like that?

sharlston (author)Ole-Grizzly2010-11-04

I also work in a bike shop and id say 15mm along with 8 and 10 must be the most used wrenches ever

jexter (author)2009-05-25

Nicely done! This is exactly what I need for a very cluttered garage. I've picked up a couple of old bed frames at yard sales (people practically give them away) to use for various welding projects. They already have rollers attached, so I'll just cut them down to size and the base is ready to go! I'm thinking I'll also to weld a number of hooks on the sides of the frame to hang extension cords, rope, etc. Thanks for the inspiration!

2 stroke (author)jexter2010-09-02

i garbage picked a lot of bed frame i have 20 in the trusses of my garage lol

2 stroke (author)2 stroke 2010-09-22

i got like like a hunded bed frames now i had to scrap some because my trusses started sagging lol

cirrostratus (author)2010-09-19

Very nice.

You definitely need to use more of that space down below, though. Lots of room there for more drawers, shelves, cubbies, or stacked pipes to hold more parts/materials/tools. :)

npinero1 (author)2010-02-23

I want to get into welding. Can anybody help me out?

2 stroke (author)npinero12010-09-01

to start ill get a welder if you have money ( around 100 to 200 bucks) get a flux core or mig welder you can get em cheap at places like sears harbour freight craigslist pawn shops etc ( if your in Canada like me get em from princes auto craigslist flea market pawnshop etc) since im a kid and i am broke and really wanted to weld i got a 70 amp stick welder on sale for 50 bucks its great for what i do

sensoryhouse (author)2 stroke 2010-09-01

Nice work dude, I was 24 the first time I welded.

2 stroke (author)sensoryhouse2010-09-02

thanks man i really cant weld with the 6011 rods i can weld really good with 6013 and 7014 5/64 rods i think 6011 is out to get me lol is wire feed welding hard i am going to ox acetylene kit from harbor freights website next summer saving up for it

crreed (author)2010-02-16

I recently constructed one of these using only wood.  I will post pictures shortly for anyone interested...(I dont know how to weld) 

crreed (author)crreed2010-02-18


pjryan (author)crreed2010-03-02

creed4545 - I really like your version. I work in wood, not metal, so the soldering is beyond me right now. Have you thought of inserting a few shelves inside to hold off-cuts of lumber, worklight stands, etc. ?
Can you share your instructions?
PJ Ryan

crreed (author)pjryan2010-03-02

Well, I actually considering putting shelves on but I didnt have the time.  I t def sounds like a good idea though.  As for the instructions,i just made two 4'x5' 2x4 squares, and added an additional cross beam at the 1 foot mark from the bottom, then attached 18" supports to join the two squares.  The rest is pretty much xactly the same as the original verison 

sensoryhouse (author)crreed2010-09-01

Nice design! How has it been working for you? I use mine every single day. Got any photos of it full?

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