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Sometimes you need rags, if you don't want to ruin your good towels, wash cloths, shirts or pants. If you have a shop, you may need a lot of them, be it for wiping up oil, applying stain or just cleaning up some spilled finish or chemical.

Like many, I have a lot of rags (it seems I make new ones every day, which my wife will vouch for). Storing them was a problem. Especially since I'm stingy with my shop space. Up until recently, my solution was to pretend I didn't see the big, open boxes of rags, except when I needed one. As you might guess, that has disadvantages. Especially if you want to pass off as organized and kept.

For whatever reason, as I picked up a rag the other day, my mine went to the bag holders I'd made for the kitchen, then to an "ah hah!" moment focused on a five gallon bucket, of which I have several.

Step 1: CONSTRUCTION and USE

To build this, all you need is a bucket, a felt tip, a straight edge and a jig saw.

To make it, just grab a bucket and a lid, then draw a square on the front. The square should start about one inch (1") from the bottom and be about six inches (6") tall by about ten inches (10") wide.

To cut the hole, you can stand the jig saw on end and tip the running blade into the bucket, until it breaks through, then cut your hole. I used a fine scroll cutting blade, but most would get the job done.

My rag bucket has slightly rounded corners for the hole. This was only so that I didn't have to go to the extra trouble of cutting a square.

When the cut is done, grab a piece of coarse sand paper and knock off the burrs around the cut.

Once the project is complete, cram the rags into the bucket. I was pleased to learn the bucket held the entire contents of the fairly large box.

Tap the lid on just enough to hold it in place, to keep the dust out.

If you want to suspend your bucket from your ceiling, drill a hole in a ceiling stud and install an eye hook (the open type), then hang the bucket by its handle.

When you need a rag, just pull one out. Of course, new rags can be fed into the top.

With this in place, all my rags are near where I work, still not in the way, and they don't take up valuable floor real estate.

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