Introduction: Hitch Holder
Hi. Tonight I lose my Instructable virginity. And so without further ado...
Got myself a new workshop/tool shed recently and I was in the process of organizing all my stuff when I came across all my trailer hitches. Six of them to be exact. They had been just lying around on the floor of the old tool shed (now being repurposed for lawn furniture) and always in the way, being tripped over, toes stubbed upon, etc.
I had for years thought about building a holder for them all, and now was the time.
Step 1: Layout
Fortunately I had some 2x10 PT lumber lying around. I took the first board and lay it down flat on a surface strong enough to hold all the hitches. In my case that would not surprisingly be a trailer.
Start by laying the hitches on their sides along the board, leaving sufficient spacing between each one to slide it in or out without crunching your fingers on the hitch below. If you are like me and not all your hitches have balls on them at all times, allow extra spacing for the bolt that will extend under the ball plate.
When they are all laid out with the proper spacing, make pencil marks on both sides of all the hitch shafts. You only need to do this on one board.
Step 2: Cut the Spacers
All my hitches were of the 2" size shaft, so that made the cutting easy. And I have a 12" power miter saw... even easier. I set a stop on my miter saw table at 2 1/8" and started cutting off the required spacers off the the second board. 6 hitches x 2 spacers/hitch = 12. Right? Wrong. You will need one extra. I'll explain later.
Step 3: Assembly
Lay a spacer on the board at each mark; cut side down so the spacer is 2 1/8" tall. Now carefully lay the third board on top of all the spacers. Try to set it down as close as possible to being exactly over the bottom board. Carefully adjust the top board so the ends of it are exactly above the ends of the bottom board. As long as the sides are close, that will be fine.
Now adjust the lowest spacer to align with your pencil mark on the bottom board. I found light tapping with a hammer would easily move the spacers around without moving the much heavier top board.
This is maybe the most complicated part to explain. You are going to be screwing through the outside face of the top board into the sides of the spacers. Align the spacers to be flush with the edges of the top board. Don't worry about this where the bottom board is concerned; you can adjust that when you flip the holder over to screw the bottom board to the spacers on the other side.
Once the first spacer is in place, drive a screw in approx. 1 1/2" from each end. I only used two screws (3" deck screws) on each side of the spacer because I was worried about the spacer splitting with 6 screws in it.
Now take the leftover extra spacer, turn it on it's side so it is 2 1/8" wide and slide it up beside the screwed in spacer. Now slide the second spacer for that opening up against that spacer on its side (see photo), make sure the ends are flush, and screw it in place. Remove the middle spacer and viola, a 2 1/8" square opening! Repeat that process until all the spacers on that side are screwed in place. After the last two spacers are attached, you can discard the extra spacer.
Now flip the entire unit over, realign the free top board (used to be the bottom board) with the edges of the bottom board (used to be the top board) and put in all your screws.
Step 4: Attach to Wall
This puppy will be heavy when full, even if yours is only built for 3 hitches, so make sure you set it on solid ground or structure. I simply toe-screwed the back end of the two top boards into a gang of studs between the double door openings of my shop. It ain't going anywhere.
That extra half slot at the top makes a handy little place to keep the hitch pins.
Step 5: Fill 'er Up
For safety sake I put the heaviest hitches at the bottom, but it gives the unit a structured appearance as well. Even found a place for the draw pin off my tractor.