About: I am retired and have been for 13 years. Love to fix bikes, golf, play pool, fish, bike ride, travel and build things. I have been married, to the same woman for 41yrs, have three boys, and three grandchil...

I bought two sets of professional wrenches. There are 14 wrenches in each set and they came in a plastic holder. The first time I took out one of the wrenches, one of the little plastic tabs that holds them in, broke. I had already had bought some magnetic holders for my stubby wrench sets, but they were no longer available, so I decided to make my own.  Here is how I did it and they work great.


64 - 1 " L-brackets (8 for optional handles)
56 - Rare earth magnets
2 - Pieces of 3/4" plywood cut to size to fit your tool box drawer (Mine were 6" X 14")
Wood screws
2 - wooden dowels from foam paint brushes (optional)


Power drill
5/16" drill
Plastic head hammer


This entire project is dependant on the number of wrenches you have and the size of you tool box. The basics are the same and you will have to determine your own measurements. I purchased the rare earth magnets from a local store called Princess Auto. The L-Brackets from home depot.  

To start with you have to drill out one of the holes in each L-Bracket to 5/16". The magnets are just slightly bigger than 5/16' so the magnets have to be tapped into place and then pressed into the hole in your vice and they hold very firmly. Once you have all the holes drilled and the magnets installed, you will have to bend the L-Brackets to a bit of an angle.  Place the L-Brackets in a vice, put your ruler on the top of your vice jaws and squeeze the L-Bracket until there is 1/2" between the jaws. This gives you a great angle on the L-Brackets so that your wrenches can be stored and easy to read the size.

Now  that you have all your brackets ready,  get a piece of scrap wood and layout the pattern for your wrenches. Screw the brackets onto the piece of scrap wood so you are happy with the layout. Once this is done, take your good piece of plywood, cut to size to fit your wrenches and tool box drawer. I painted mine, but this is optional.  

Now you can transfer the brackets from the scrap wood to the final piece of good wood. Once this is done, place all your wrenches in the holder. You can fine tune the brackets with a pair of pliers to get all the angles just right. On mine, I opted to put a couple of handles on the tray to carry them if need be.  I used the same L-Brackets and the wooden dowels from foam paint brushes. Screwed all of these together, one on the end of the tray and one on top. (See photos) For these L-Brackets, I rounded the corners to eliminate the sharp edges.  

Although this is a easy project, it is labor intensive, but the results are great.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me and I will answer any questions or concerns you might have.  Enjoy.



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    HI, Thanks for looking and commenting. I appreciate it.

    Do Do,

    Some comments already on the topic... I have found that epoxy is working better for me affixing magnets. I've broken a few trying other "creative" methods. Also as mentioned earlier - Harbor Freight is a good place to get some of the small strong magnets. Really low cost and they have great store hours. The tools are not exactly German make - but many can work for light use...

    1 reply

    Hi, thanks for the comments and the note. Epoxy will surely work on the magnets, but I like the friction fit to get a smooth surface. Pressing them in with a vice is also a great way to seat the magnets. If you want a really secure magnet, you can epoxy them from the back and they will never move. Thanks again for the comments and looking.

    You may laugh, but remember that magnets repel as powerfully as they attract. If you shatter a powerful magnet (and neodymium ones can be very powerful) there can be a dramatic and high speed explosion of pieces of magnet due to repulsion between particles.
    It's probably safer to fix magnets with epoxy glue rather than risk slivers of glass-like material penetrating your eyes!
    You can drill them with a ceramic (diamond) drill and use screws to fix them.

    1 reply

    Hi, Thanks for looking and the comments, you are correct and although I used a plastic head hammer for most of them, I had to use the vice on a few. I have edited the instructions to read, "you have to tap them into place and then press them in with your vice." Great call, thanks. has rare earth magnets of various sizes for cheap, and free shipping.

    Do you have issues with metal filings getting attracted to the tool or the holder?

    2 replies

    Hi, some metal filing were attracted during the building, but I haven't noticed any problems since, although it may occur. Thanks for looking and commenting.

    Probably not that they're aware of but yes :)

    You suggest hammering the magnets into the holes. 
    This could crack the magnets and/or reduce their magnetic force.  
    (Magnets really don't like being hammered.)
    I would suggest using the vice to press them into the holes.

    1 reply

    Hi, I used a plastic head hammer to put the majority in, but a few were a little off and I did press them in with a vice and it worked great, it may be the way to go, thanks for looking and commenting.

    Another way to easily know which wrench goes on which bracket is to use fingernail polish with a matching color on wrench and bracket. I have about 20 different colors I have picked up at yard sales for this type purpose..

    1 reply

    Love your nails!

    Harbor Freight has them for $3 for 10. Don't know the strength yet but repost when I buy some

    Like this a lot. I can see this is a lot of work and I'm sure there are commercial versions but if you use your tools a lot a little extra effort goes a long way.
    I like that you put a handle on it so you can stay organized where your working.

    are the magnets are strong enough that this could be hung on a peg board without the heavy wrench's falling off? i really hate having to fish stuff out when it falls off the peg board behind my work bench.

    i'm usiing the standard peg hooks with the wrench's lined up so whenever i do something i grab a bunch of wrench's so i'll have whatever size i'll end up needing. then when i'm working i have to sort thru the loose wrench's to find the right one and then it's a pain to put them all back. More often than not i'll grab an adjustable wrench just to avoid the hassle.

    think you should probably mark your rack so you know which wrench goes where. another thought is that you can number each wrench and slot. use red numbers for standard wrenchs's and blue numbers for metrics. color coding will make it quicker to put them back in the right spot without having to sort thru the different sizes. along with that idea, if you keep the standard wrench's on the red rack then you can paint the metric rack blue.

    2 replies

    There are different sizes and strengths of neodymium (rare earth) magnets, so you could definitely find magnets that would hold your wrenches on an upright board. Just know how much weight will be on the magnets so you can choose strong enough ones. I like buying mine from

    Hi , thanks for looking and commenting, as for the heavier wrenches, you could add one or two more L-Brackets with magnets to hold them, the smaller one you should have no problem with. As for making the different wrench sizes is a great idea. I was thinking of putting little tabs on the L-Brackets for the size, and the color coding is a great idea that I will incorporate. Thanks again for the comments.

    reclaimed hard drive magnets will hold big wrenches on peg boards, just mind your fingers when the wrench snaps on.