Instructables
Picture of Magnetic Tool Hanger

In most workshops space is limited. So you need to find a way to utilize every bit of space that you can. One area that is often overlooked is the space underneath shelves and cabinets. But this can be a great place to store small tools. All you need is a magnetic strip that is mounted to the bottom of the shelf or cabinet.

In this project, I am going to show you how to make simple magnetic plates that you can use to mount small hand tools.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
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Materials:
Bar Magnet
Thin Steel Sheet Metal
Small Wood Screws

Tools:
Ruler
Pencil
Tin Snips
Needle Nose Pliers
Drill and Bit Set
Screw Driver
Hammer and Nails (optional)

Step 2: Select a Magnet

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First you need a strong magnet. I am using a 7/8" x 1 7/8" x 3/8" ceramic bar magnet. This is a very common style of magnet. You can purchase it at many hardware stores or at Radio Shack. Other magnets can also work. Just make sure that they are strong enough to support the weight of your tools. 

Step 3: Cut Out a Piece of the Sheet Metal for the Frame

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Using your tin snips cut out a 1.5" x 3.5" rectangle from your piece of sheet metal. We will use this to make the frame that will hold the magnet. 

You can purchase steel sheet metal at most hardware stores. Alternatively, you can just cut up scrap metal that you have lying around. 

Step 4: Mark the Outline of Your Magnet on the Sheet Metal

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Place your magnet face down on the center of the cut piece of sheet metal. Then using a pencil or a fine tipped marker, trace the outline of the magnet. When you remove the magnet, you should see a clear outline. Using your pencil (or marker) and a ruler extend the lines of each side of the outline so that they go all the way across the sheet metal. This will make a grid of nine rectangles on the surface.

Step 5: Cut Off the Corner Rectangles of the Grid

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Using your tin snips, cut off the rectangle in each corner of the grid. This will give you the shape shown below.
nexsad9 months ago

What is the INCH?? Haven't you ever heard about the Metric system?? It's much, much easier for 99% of the world.

FN641 year ago
Another option is to just glue the magnet to the underside of a shelf with some hot glue.
....c'mon... everybody's got a hot glue gun.
FN641 year ago
If you can get some junk hard drives, they have some serious magnets in them. There's instructions all over the web to recover these.
As they say... Cheap is good... free is better.
An alternative is to buy the same magnet- except with countersunk holes. Then you can just screw the magnets to the shelf or wall and be done. Be sure and get the high strength magnets- some are weaker than others. I got mine at grip-tite.com
They have industrial surplus ones for sale.
They cost $ 7.50 / 10 pc. If you want to double the strength, just stack two high.
My wall above the workbench is full of them.
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NotAPot2PN1 year ago
Good info, thanks. Question: can magnets be 'recharged' in any way? Have an old store-bought magnetic tool holder/bar, it's not as strong as it was (but who is ?) Would appreciate comments. Thank you.
It depends on the kind of magnet that you have. In any case, it would be much easier to just buy a new magnet. Sorry.
great photos
batonas1 year ago
How about a sandwich? Sheet metal plate screwed to the bottom of the shelf, then magnet/nets and another sheet metal plate. All in all both models would work in a same way, yours model looks better but with neodymium magnets mine would look awesome. anyways this stuff is for function.
MomentumV1 year ago
The holding power could be MASSIVELY increased if you engineered the sheet metal to provide an air gap bridged by the tool, instead of just coating the magnet with the metal. If I get a chance, I'll post an example.
That's really interesting MomentumV, any details would be great
nerd74731 year ago
cool I love magnets
Vincent6191 year ago
awesome idea!
Mielameri1 year ago
Very clever and simple. Nice!