Leatherworkers Tool Carousel





Introduction: Leatherworkers Tool Carousel

About: a tv post-production editor who makes ads all day and leather bags at night!

a tool rack made by recycling an old wooden stool

Step 1: The Problem

I needed to improve my tool storage so decided to build a rack behind my workbench. I wanted to have all the tools close at hand but also safely out of the way, as many are very sharp! Currently they all get chucked into a variety of plastic boxes, which is not a good way to store them.

Step 2: Inventory Time

My first idea was to make the rack from scratch, so I laid out the tools on a piece of paper the same size as the area the rack was intended to fit. Then I spent some time deciding on the best arrangement. I drew around them all before taking a reference photo for when I came to putting things in place

Step 3: Being Flexible

The next step was to locate sufficient timber to achieve the desired result...unfortunately a quick rummage through the garage revealed I had not got what I needed. Then moving some junk I spotted the old stool I had bought four years ago for a project that never happened. Being flexible of mind and cheap of wallet I immediately changed my plans and decided to make a carousel for the tools.

Step 4: Legless

The location chosen was going to be at the adjoining corner of my two benches. The central screw of the rotating stool would remain to allow the carousel to swivel but I would need to remove the lower legs to get the rack at a usable height. A quick bit of surgery with a saw got the job done!

Step 5: Marking Your Territory

An engineers dividers were used to scribe several concentric circles onto the wooden top. Then radiating lines were marked out equally. The intersections would become the location points for drilling holes

Step 6: Holey Moley

The drilling was easy...just fit a bit and drill away! I made sure I used a scrap of wood to test the size of hole for each tool. Some of the tools were just steel shafts, such as hole punches and stamps. These are located in the centre of the plattern as there is a thicker depth of timber here so the holes do not go all the way through. The outer holes are larger and go all the way through to allow the handle tools to hang through. This also has the benefit that I can easily see what each tool is even though the handles look the same.
I also drilled two 22mm holes onto one of the legs so that I could insert a couple of magnets from the Sugru Magnet Kit. The idea here was to provide a safe secure place to hold my saddlery Round Knife.

Step 7: Quick Tip

To ensure the magnets were the correct polarity I used a sharpie to mark a dot onto one face of each after I had checked that they were oriented correctly. This way if I dropped one I would know which way up was right!

Step 8: That Sugru That You Do

Sugru is one of my favourite gadgets! So I used it to fix the magnets into place. Dead simple to use, and once cured the bond is really strong and durable.

Step 9: Spin Me Right Round

once the Sugru had cured it was okay to try out the holding power of the magnets...perfect for this job!
The carousel has been screwed to the benches to ensure it stays in place securely,and the knife holder is located behind one of the legs making it easy to use but safe enough that you would really have to try hard to get cut!

Step 10: Job Done

With all the tools in place I finally have a tool carousel that suits the way I want to work. All the tools are close to hand and quick to access.They are also less likely to get damaged as I no longer need to hunt through boxes each time I want one. Total project time was only a couple of hours but I reckon I will save much more in the long run when using it.



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    23 Discussions

    Best line in the whole 'Ible......"Being flexible of mind and cheap of wallet..."

    Excellent 'Ible, thanks! Definitely turned out nicely!

    Very nice. good solution to stacking up tools in a box.

    Do you mind me asking what the water based leather dye is that you mentioned on your bag tutorial?

    The only water based dye I've tried is tandys Eco flow, which is crap! I tend to use Fiebings spirit dyes, but really like the colour you used and want to see if I can get some in the UK.


    1 reply

    Great idea! I'm gonna have to reorganize my tool holder now. I especially like what you did with the head knife. I always set it down next to me and then dull up the edge by it bumping into other stuff. Definitely gonna do something like that with magnets.


    2 replies

    Thanks Phiske....My worry was always burying it under piles of stuff, then losing a finger whilst digging through !

    Feels a lot safer now.

    That too! Now that I finally know how to sharpen it correctly...I'm also always worried that my three year old is gonna pull it off my bench.

    What an elegant solution to clutter. I am inspired by the economical, spontaneous and creative way you dealt with is "problem"! Up-cycling something you already have, but haven't found a use for, is the way to go!

    I love it. Having all my own tools all over the place, I actually made a few leather pouches to have them in, but as I don't have a wall to hang it on currently, I'm not using it, I might just copy this idea!

    1 reply

    Go for it! Half the fun is in actually thinking of ways to repurpose stuff you already own to work for you.

    Good luck

    Excellent… being a multimedia artist and having a TON of different fine to larger tools, this is an excellent guide to working solutions for many of my tools and cleaning up the clutter from my studio and desk, drawers and allow me to actually honor and take care of my tools. I hate the way I have to store most of them due to lack of space and access to them when I am ready or need something. I am going to use this and, if it's alright, modify it a bit for a about 8 different tool sets. Including my dremel (for which I am always either ruining the bits, or loosing them). Thank you.

    1 reply

    Thanks...it's not shown on these pictures, but I have since added some hooks around the lower base to hang some other tools including my Dremel. I might even drill some smaller holes in that lower base to put the Dremel bits in...

    Great idea. I have many of the same problems with my tools and very little space. I like the shelf over your work space. I may do that first and see how everything else fits in.

    My initial thought was to make another shelf on the main bench just like the other...it was a lack a timber that forced a rethink and a much better solution.