idea was developed from the necessity of using materials that were easily obtainable. I don’t own a truck so anytime I need lumber I usually have it cut to rough specifications, tie it to my roof and make adjustments when I get home. A 4’x8’ pegboard seemed a bit fragile for tieing to the roof of my car and expecting to make it home in one piece. On the same token, the pegboards I’ve had in the past seem flimsy and liable to break under the weight of a heavy tool collection. I think that stronger pegboards are for sale somewhere out there but I didn’t want to spend more than a few bucks for this project.
What is a pegboard anyways? A piece of particle board with holes right? I figured I could mount some boards and drill the peg holes where I needed them. So where can one get cheap (if not free) planks of sturdy wood? Pallets of course.
This entire project took an afternoon and cost me about 15 dollars. 2.17 per each of the 4 2x4’s I believe, 4 dollars and change for a box of 1¼” screws. I already had pegs for the board that were left in my garage from the previous owner (Awesome right?), as well as assorted drill bits for pre drilling screw and peg holes.
The end result looked much better than I had envisioned and was exceptionally strong. I haven’t hung all of my tools yet but even things like bolt cutters, hammers and large wrenches don’t shake the board when dropped onto a peg. The awesome thing about this is that the board is completely customizable. If you don't want to use traditional pegs, use your imagination to affix tools to the board. I've been trying to come up with ideas for storing files and other similar objects that don't have a good point to hang from so any ideas people come up with should be posted!
Step 1: Materials
Circular saw or Table saw
1 1/4" screws
Assorted drill bits
Pegs for pegboard
4, 2"x4"x7' studs
2-4 Pallets, depending on how gently you can take them apart
Optional: Spray paint
Step 2: Step 1: Build a Frame for Your Pegboard
I used 4 2x4’s and mounte the frame to the back of my workbench so that the frame sat flush against the wall. You could mount the board directly to the wall but I chose not to.
I started by screwing two 2x4’s to the back legs of the workbench, they extended about 40” above the bench and dipped about 2 feet below for added support. The 40 inches will be the height of your pegboard, I chose this height because it’s what would fit under the duct that runs along the top of the wall where my bench is. Plus I believe the pallets I used were about 40” long once they had been dismantled.
For the cross pieces I cut two 2x4’s to fit between the upward posts. Then just glued them and drove wood screws in at an angle. Stainless brackets may be a sturdier option but I was happy with how strong it felt. Alternatively you could just mount the frame to the wall but I chose not to do this. Something about drilling into walls in a basement makes me feel uneasy.
*If you have an outlet with conduit piping that runs through where your frame will be, notch a section out of the 2x4 so that the pipe can run behind and the stud will be flat against the wall.
Step 3: Step 2: Dismantle Pallets
This was the most time consuming portion of the project. I had a pretty decent system but I still ended up with a lot of broken boards (which is fine because they aren’t treated and can go into the fire pit).
I started by running a circular saw up the sides of the pallet as close to the outer edge as possible without running into the cross beams. This will leave you with the planks attached to the middle beam. At this point I used a hammer to pound the planks loose then when they were a bit loose I pried the nails out.
Hammering the planks loose broke about half of them…. leading me to believe that this process could be improved upon. After you’re done taking the pallets apart though you’ll have a stack of (I think they’re about the same dimension of 2x4’s?) of support pieces that need nails pulled from 2/3’s of them. If you’re like me, you won’t want to waste them and you’ll pull the nails out and save them for another project. And if you’re really like me, you’ll get sick of prying nails out and hammer them in so that their flush.
Step 4: Step 3: Cut Planks to Size, Drill Pilot Holes, Attach Boards to Frame
Fortunately for me, the planks that I had cut to break the pallet apart fit perfectly on the frame. If you’ve got extra overhead room they can always extended upwards.
Measure and drill the pilot holes for the 1¼” screws that will be used to attach the boards to the frame. The pallet boards will almost always split when you drive screws near the ends without a pilot hole. I measured one board, drilled, then eyeballed the rest by laying them next to the first board. I also have an outlet on the wall which required me to cut a few notches out of some planks. 3
Screw the boards to the fame. Easy, repetitive. Make sure the first board is straight using the level. I just made sure that the first one was level and put each board directly next to the previous one in order to minimize gaps between boards.
*Set the torque pretty low to keep the boards intact. The small screws should have no problem going through white wood studs without a pilot hole.
Step 5: Step 4: Drill Peg Holes, Insert Pegs, Hang Tools
I neglected to take into account the thickness of the pallet planks at this point in the project. They are a good deal thicker than a typical peg board so your pegs may have issues getting behind the plank. The pegs I had a dog leg in them to rest against the back of the board to prevent it from slipping out when a heavy tool was placed on it.
I started by eyeballing where I wanted a particular tool to hang, then measured where the peg would insert. I drilled a hole straight back with a 13/64” bit, then drilled at an upward angle through the same hole to accommodate the top of the peg.
*The pegs I had where a bit rusted so I sprayed a coat of blue rustoleum on them. I also figured that the blue color would be a good contrast against the planks and allow for quick visualization and tool placement.
Then I dipped the tip of the peg in a dab of gorilla glue. As the glue cures, it expands and seals the peg tightly in place. With enough force you can pull the peg out but its best to make sure its in an appropriate place before putting them in.
That’s it! Hang your tools, step back and admire your new rustic, cheap and exceptionally strong pegboard.