Make a Wrench Organizer





Introduction: Make a Wrench Organizer

About: I am a construction worker and I like to make things.

Here is an instructable about how to make a wrench organizer. I bought one of these once and liked it but have more than one wrench set to organize. I didn't feel like spending whatever these things cost for each of my wrench sets so I decided to make one. I like the ones I made better than the one I bought. Mine is more comfortable for me to use and is more flexible in how it works. See it standing up in the image below. Oh yeah these work great for storing files too.

Step 1: Assemble Your Materials

Get together a set of wrenches, or files that you want to keep together and organized. Lay them out how you wish them arranged. Now get a scrap piece of 2x4 wood that is long enough to cover your set you want to hold.

Step 2: Make Your Organizer

Kerf angled slots into your 2x4 to hold each item in your tool set. I use a radial arm saw for this but any saw that can kerf the wood could be used I guess. I cut each kerf wide enough to hold the item it needs to hold and leave about a half an inch of wood between kerfs. I haven't had any holder "teeth" break out on me yet. On the left over wood at the top I cut out a handle so I can pick up the organizer, or hang it. I write in the spaces inbetween the kerfs tool sizes sometimes too. Socket holders are more of a pain to make and require a lot more expensive tooling than this project does. Well the one I made did at anyrate. This is so easy I can't believe I actually bought a wrench organizer once ugh!



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24 Discussions

These are cool and its good to see hard work and ingenuity.
For something on the go I would recommend the "Tool Keep" found on ebay. Easy to find by typing wrench holder tool keep or coping and pasting:
These stainless steel wrench carriers are designed to hold and arrange box end wrenches and other tools are possible (screw drivers as seen on picture). The 6 inch carrier will hold a small set of box end wrenches, ¼” to ¾” and the 8 inch carrier will hold a larger set from ¼” to 1 ¼”. They are made out of 3/16” round stainless steel rod for durability and strength. They are strong enough to keep tools organized wherever stored. They are easy to unlatch and will stay locked because of the spring action on the fasteners. They uses are only limited to one’s imagination. These product are made in a uniform manner with a CNC machine and made out of high tensile stainless steel so they will not bend or rust or break.
They help organize your tools, make locating your tools easy, convenience of handling many tools, makes great gifts. They don't break and get ruined like the plastic and rusty metal wrench holders. They work for more than just wrenches. Used by mechanics, farmers, handy-men and wives!
I met the inventory and patent owner and thought this was cool but wondered why they were sold everywhere.

2 replies

You could make these from heavy gauge welding rod, or wire.I would think 3/16" would work well. Spring wire would work better (If you can find it).

I hate having to fish for tools on a line. I like to be able to access each tool randomly. My wrench holder is mobile too. Notice the handle on top. I often carry it to where I need to use it.

Very neat and clean, Fred. You save a lot of time with these porta-tools.

I've an update for this project, I just made a bunch more for some other wrench sets I put together and I didn't feel like angling my radial arm saw, so I used a speed square and a hand circular saw. needless to say this was all less than accurate so I made some slots too big and wrenches were loose. So I drilled little holes in the angled flats and put some spots of hot glue into those holes to form little glue pips. They hold the wrenches like fingers. I like it better than my electrical tape fix.

Many times MAGNETIC holders are a NO-NO...
They place just the "correct" amount of magnetization to the tools to pick  up some metallic dirt and release it at the slightest shock, exactly where it fall and will cause the most damage! (Murphy's Law in action!)  Not only files get a mess with magnetization, but other tools as well.  When assembling engines for amateur racing (one of my hobbies), ANY metallic particle inside the engine is going to cause some damage, thus you will never see any kind of magnetic holder in use in truly professional teams!

BUT the proposed wood organizer (and several commercial ones made from plastics, like those from Sears Craftsman) present a limitation being one-piece organizers, which are unable to "hold" the wrenches in place, because the wood or plastic "fingers" are too rigid or too flexible to keep theproper grasp of the wrench, which is either too free to slide to either side, or even fall if the carrier, holder or organizer is handled quickly; or too rigid to allow easy wrench insertion with only one hand. The Craftsman one is my favorite example of bad design: it has three too-wide slots and two that are too-tight! (so much for their "good" engineering)...

Thus my solution was to make the "separator-fingers" as sliding ones!
My wrench carrier has a frame made of wood, in which a pair of routed slots
where the wooden separator "fingers" can slide up and down.  A long piece of flexible spring is installed at both sides of the fingers, where is is attached to every "finger" with an staple, after pulling the spring just enought to keep a reasonable tension, which allows one to push the pair of fingers away the others easily and insert the wrench with one hand. The "fingers" have a small beveled edge to make it easier to find the separation by feel, even when not looking directly at the contraption.

Finally, I bought a can of "liquid plastic called "plastisol", which was sold by Permatex to renew the rubbery plastic coating on well used tool handles, like pliers to improve the grip and handling.  I don't know if they still sell it, because with the present day economic crisis in Mexico vendors are reducing the available inventory of everything, and only carry the very basic items! (Bahhh!)...

I'm sorry of not being capable of attaching any pictures, but my Digital SLR is in the repair shop, where good technicians are still deciding if it is repairable or not (thanks to "modern" design and assembly techniques, which put robot assembly and fabrication above human work, which places repairability at the very end of the list... even my old Canon A1 35mm film camera was much more repairable and still works after more than 25 years). Enough rant!  good luck everybody.

1 reply

When I make them I make the slots so there is some grab nothing falls out. But if a slot gets cut too wide a spot of electrical tape tightens it back up.

Make tool holder as above:
1) Materials: free (just use scrap 2x4)
2) Time: Just a few minutes (let's call it 30 min for those who like to plan)
3) Usefulness: Can be custom-made to whatever tool/material/space needs you have, but there may be an upper limit as to weight of tool (although I have one that holds a 20-lb sledge)

Buy magnetic holder off eBay:
1) Materials: $8 (US) or more (cheapest I found that looked useful was $0.99 current auction + $7.50 s&h)
2) Time: a couple of minutes (if you hit the Buy It Now price) to several hours (waiting for the auction to end), then several days to several weeks waiting for it in the mail
3) Usefulness: Can only be used with ferrometallic tools (ie, those that can stick to a magnet)

Harbor Freight (many local stores and online) has the mag bars for tools $4 on sale til Jan 22 the reg price is $5. And by the way thank you pfred1- I'm glad you mentioned the down side to mag tool holders, it wouldn't have occurred to me until way too late. LOL Could your next design be like this for pliers- the small type like jewelers pliers? I can't think of a good way to orient them so I could still see the tip style. Commercial types are only horizontal blocks- I'd like a mobile design like your wrenches & files.

Well I do have a degausser for when I don't want things magnetized. I keep a lot of my small pliers in a soft shell tool case like this:


Yeah there's nothing quite like tools being magnetic when you don't want them to be. Especially files, I love my files magnetized! There's something about metal chips sticking to a file that really thrills me. No, wait, none of this makes me happy. Neither do wise assed comments like buy such and such.

Oh don't take it too personally, the riaa's comments are all always in that vein. I like it , but i'd probably use poplar.

Well so far scraps of regular old pine 2x4s have held up for me. Initially when I made one of these I thought one of the teeth would break out on me. The cuts do go the weak way on the grain, but so far it has not happened yet. Wood is a tough material to beat I guess. These are a fun hack sort of a project to do. Make a poplar one out of a scrap I'd like to see it! If you enjoy tools like I do and your name here suggests to me that you do you'll like making these for yourself. Everytime you pick up one of these holders I've made donno it is hard to describe the satisfaction. Like I stated in the original Instructable I have a wrench holder I bought, one of the stamped metal spring lock types. The handle is uncomfortable, and sometimes the holder doesn't hold all wrenches as well as I'd like it to. Plus those don't stand straight up and down either.

Good instructable, and these have one other advantage over the ones that come with store-bought wrench sets: most people that are serious about hand tools eventually accumulate some strange, "in-between" sizes that are seldom in the sets. Even though I started with a decent set of Snap-on wrenches, I later had to add oddball sizes like 19/32, 23/32 ... stuff you won't use very often, but need to be there just in case. Might be a good idea to allow for expansion and add a couple of extra slots, just in case. Long ago I started making little maple boxes to stick my wrench sets, etc., in, with slots like this -- good wintertime project when it's too cold to muck about with cars or motorcycles -- and I added a couple of extra spaces for growth. Unfortunately they all got stolen, and I've never gotten around to doing it again.

That is what the burning barrel is for. Them old organizers that don't organize anymore! I mean these things are so easy to make. Wooden socket organizers, now they're a pain to make. Well the way I've done mine so far they have been.

That wood be the peoples choice. (Sorry!) TheRIAA is always harping on about buying things. He'll be demanding design rights off us next...

A saw cut in wood is called a kerf, but a larger groove would be called a dado. Although I am not so sure if an angled groove can still be called a dado or not. Either way, when I made the first one of these I did not think it would work so well, or hold up particularly well myself. Being as the saw cuts go across the grain, weakening the wood. But so far I have never had a tooth break out on any of my holders yet. I suppose if one ever does break out I could simply glue it back in. Wood glue is usually stronger than wood.

Yeah one tooth has broken out years later. I simply glued it back in and it is fine. I use the wrench one constantly.