Step 1: Step 1

Used 1/2" ply panel to form racking, hinged to ceiling set off from wall about 4inches ,this allows further storage behind and prevents board hitting wall.I used piano hinges for strength and they also help prevent warping and twisting of panels.

Step 2: Step 2

Used nylon reinforced cord , from a boating shop as it has high breaking strain.This is threaded up to small pulleys, again from boat suppliers,mounted in ceilind timbers, I needed two but will depend on roof structure.The cord travels down thru self locking boat cleats , not sure if thats the correct name.
The cord can then be used to raise or lower panels, I lift mine to ceiling as it's fairly low but can be done purely with cord if needed.

Step 3: Step 3

Picture of Step 3

The panels can then be set out to accomodate your tools, simple screws hold a variety of tools but I also used some metal clips, from the garage roof tiles I had left over, to mount tool boxes, also small shallow box formed from ply at base of each panel for odds and ends.

Step 4: Finally

The previous pic shows a heavy tool rack which is strenghthened with timber along the edges to prevent it sagging when lifted to ceiling, only found this required when very heavy tools stored.Also used old cutlery rack from dishwasher to store smaller tools.


Starsword7 (author)2015-11-22

Great idea!

If you had the hing a foot or two from the wall you could have shelves behind it, so this would provide additional storage (maybe for less used items)

ChristopherJames (author)2015-10-11

Now if this were me and my garage, I would forget that I'd have things in storage in the ceiling after a while! Better to have things in plain sight where I won't forget that I've put them!

EricColbert (author)2014-12-02

For my storage shed, I maximize space by fully utilizing the walls. I build racks, shelves, and closed cabinetry to store all my items neat and tidily. I do not create any storage using the ceiling space because I have always thought it will not be as sturdy and durable enough to withstand much weight, and especially tools that I have in my garage. However, this pull-out hinged panels idea is still worth a try.

VTsikolia (author)2014-11-07

Hello, Thank you for Simple and good idea.

anasdad (author)2013-06-29

Wow! Simple and so good!
Excellent job!

RocKin40G (author)2013-04-16


MarkSindone (author)2013-04-01

The ceiling storage is a really smart idea and it saves a lot of storage space too! We have always thought the ceiling is a wasted area that is left un-utilized, but it is just not possible to fix shelvings or cabinets on it. Thus, we have fully (or over) utilized our walls so far. But I am a little afraid when it comes to hinges though because they mighy just come tumbling down should the load is heavier than they could hold. I guess I need to seek professional help on that.

Narlo11 (author)2012-12-06

This is awesome. The amount of tools I have is staggering and take up so much space. This is bar none of of the best storage ideas I have ever seen.

Blacksedan47 (author)2011-08-22

very nice, the Murphy Bed moved to the shop. i will definately use this for the goodies i dont use as much great idea

reddnekk (author)2011-05-06

I am always pleased to find new ideas and suggestions for use in my two-car shop. My wife wants to know when she can put her Ford marquis under cover; I am still teaching her that the ClearCoat paint is intended to take the place of a garage.

So all you fellows with ideas for making a two-car shop more efficient and friendly, please--Keep IT UP!!

bluedragonlotus (author)2011-04-28

You know, this really is so much more than storage space... it would be a great kind of home security for your garage tools too. In our neighborhood, we have a lot of problem with people breaking into sheds, outbuildings and garages. This system would make it that much more difficult for would be thieves to make off with your tools. Great instructable. :) Thanks for sharing.

chefguru (author)2010-05-27

A better idea to REALLY make it a space-saving work-space for a small garage would be to have the work bench surface hinged to the wall so that it could be folded up (or down) and out of the way to give you an almost flat wall.  You could just fold the bench surface down, and support with the legs at the corners, and you're ready to go.

If you designed a bench to fold up, and still had the tool racks spaced 4 inches out from the wall, then you could access your tools with the bench folded up against the wall in case you only needed a tool, but didn't need the whole bench.

I have a 2 car garage, but if I actually want to park 2 cars in it (or 1 car, and my 3 motorcycles), then I don't really have room for a work bench.  However, this might be a really good idea for having the option of actually having a work bench that I would be able to use with hiding tool storage.

Thanks, good idea.

acardboardllama (author)chefguru2011-02-27

theres an instructable thats what you just described

IdahoDavid (author)2006-11-01

Good idea. BTW the other day I heard about a guy who is actually able to park is car in his garage. What a crazy concept.

caarntedd (author)IdahoDavid2010-10-15

What the...? No way! My garage will hold four cars plus my motorcycle and tools. (when it's empty)
At the moment the only form of transport inside is my motorcycle. there may also be a skateboard in one of the piles.

xcoastie (author)IdahoDavid2008-02-09

My wife has the same silly idea, so I am the one getting up early to scrape ice and warm up her car to protect my valuable man-cave from her car.

leevonk (author)2006-11-01

how does that save space? the tools on the wall stick out about 3 inches.. Maybe if you have a multilayered system where you could pully-down different sets of tools over each other.

jeffeb3 (author)leevonk2010-05-18

I agree.  If I made something like this picture, I would just leave it down all the time.  Maybe you could space it away from the wall by 4", and then just put pegboard on the wall.  You could get twice the storage with something like this.

radiorental (author)leevonk2006-11-01

good point, however I can see this beeing useful to secure your tools if you have kids or sticky fingered neighbours

neorazz (author)2009-12-13

im thinking ...good idea heres how i might improve it
(when i do this i'll post my instructable ) 
hinging look at attic retractable stair hinges
ease of use  needs spring system to help with retracting
latching  twist handle in center of panel with offset pull rods that would lock panel in place and act as hinge pins  if these were on both ends the panel could open front or back of work area if items on panel were mounted appropriately
or just reverse the hinge so the panel would open up  behind the walking area of your work area  then its never in the way of  your project

klynslis (author)2008-09-11

This is a thing of beauty! Not only would it be awesome in my garage, but it would be an incredible asset in my basement studio! Thank you so much!

Bighead (author)klynslis2008-09-12

Glad you like it.

pepitosbazzeguti (author)2008-08-02

Yeah ! I've seen something like this in a film of Buster Keaton ! Great work

kaste (author)2008-05-24

One more project to add to my list!

smokehill (author)2007-10-26

Very nice -- I did something very similar in my basement when I was running out of room to hang tools. Being too cheap to use hinges, I just made loops of "plumber's strap" -- the roll of 1/2"-wide metal strapping with little holes in it -- at the top of the plywood rack, and the whole thing rotated on a piece of old iron pipe left over from replacing our primitive plumbing system. Originally I planned on holding the pipes up there by drilling holes in the floor joists, but at the last minute I had a brainstorm and just drove big nails thru the beams, into the end of each pipe. I had to offset each pipe from its neighbor, of course, to drive in the nails. Since I had a low ceiling I could just move the racks by hand, securing them with an old barrel bolt or a cabinet latch, depending on whatever was handy in the junk drawer at the moment. I always planned on counterweighting the heavy ones with some old sash-weights, but never got around to it. I like the safety feature of your automatic cleats, however. Nice work!

smokehill (author)smokehill2007-10-26

One other method I used for one rack with very light stuff in it -- screwdrivers, etc Since it weighed so little I didn't even put a latch on it, but just rigged up a couple of Bungee cords that held it up in place. All I had to do was reach up and pull the rack down, grab the screwdriver, and let it go back up by itself (though obviously not just letting go of it and letting it snap back up!). Over time I've had to move the nails the Bungee was attached to, to keep it up in place neatly, and eventually I'll probably have to replace the Bungee. However, it's real handy for tools you use all the time. There are probably a lot of neat variations I never thought of, and maybe someone can expand on this a bit. Another minor stunt I liked was hanging a couple of extension cords overhead, with the female plug hung from a Bungee, similar to the rack. When you need a quick plug-in for the drill, you just reach up & pull it down, and when you're done it goes back up out of the way. The big commercial factories have setups like this on assembly lines, but they cost a LOT of money. And we are MUCH smarter than they are.

kaste (author)smokehill2008-05-24

Excellent ideas.

Bighead (author)2006-11-02

radiorental --indeed some of the racks have additional timber support , but only for those holding heavy tools, most are fine as is.The cleats cost £6 [i'm in UK] about $10.leevonksays--they save space because they are not hinged at the wall edge but away from it allowing other items to be wall hung behind them, just havn't used wall space as yet.Caspar_s--they do not require any latch the 'cleats' [not sure if thats there correct name] are self locking so hold the flaps tight to the ceiling, they also prevent them falling, if you let go of the pully as they descend, they immediately lock.

clam cleat - it's a rope cleat that's used primarily in sailing applications - excellent choice for use on this cool project.

kruts69 (author)2007-01-28

Awesome solution to age old problem. Try using gas struts from old style hatchback car boot. Cheap as chips at auto-wrecker and saves from having string pulley, etc in the way of work space.

Bighead (author)kruts692007-01-29

The pulleys also lock the door shut, gas struts would not do that and would be too weak on some heavy panels.The nylon pulleys are safer as they lock if the cord is accidently released.

679x (author)2006-11-02

yeah im goin to have todo something like this so i can put my pool table in my garage and my other 2 tvs

theRIAA (author)2006-11-01

how bout a in wall revolving tool panel selector... like in overboard

Caspar_s (author)2006-11-01

Good idea - do you have anything on the ceiling to latch it once it is up there? Like a deadbolt or something. Also maybe something to slow it down when it is released (I just picture someone undoing it and then getting wacked on the back of the head by the falling board)

radiorental (author)2006-11-01

I would suggest to tack 2x1 along the edges to stop the ply bowing down under the weight of the hardware. And, are those $20 cleats you used?!?!

rimar2000 (author)2006-11-01

Nice job. In my case, before this I must do CLEANUP and ORDER.

Bighead (author)2006-11-01

Just a bit lazy, will take a few more pics and add info asap.

miketinte (author)2006-11-01

Maybe you think it might not need an explanation, but that pretty much leaves out the "instruct" portion of an "instructable"

keng (author)2006-11-01

Nice! I'd seen them to store things but never as tool racks...GJ!

JakeTobak (author)2006-11-01

i don't think I'd require any explanation, but one should be present, this being Instructables and all...

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