Introduction: Triple Your Tool Storage Space!

Picture of Triple Your Tool Storage Space!

My workshop was a mess and I needed to organize the tool storage wall behind my work bench. I had too many tools for the space available and had to juggle tools from the front to the back of overloaded hooks.

Step 1: Add Tool Storage Doors

Picture of Add Tool Storage Doors

If the wall is too small, perhaps I could triple the space by adding doors. Tools could be stored on the front and back of the doors as well as the wall.

Step 2: Lay Out Your Tools

Picture of Lay Out Your Tools

So I pulled all the tools off the wall, sorted the ones I wanted and used the most. Then using some scrap wood I tried different arrangements for each group of tools. The front of the door would hand hammers, the back saws and the wall would have the levels and straight edges. To have the strength to hold the tools I used 3/4" plywood. It also has the thickness to hold the pegs. Don't skimp on the hinges, with all the tools this door will be heavy so I used 3.5" house door hinges. Plus the pins are removable!

Step 3: Ready for Paint

Picture of Ready for Paint

So I put a top shelf with notches for each mallet, the hammers each received a hole with a Plexiglas notch to hold the head. The saws have wood pegs or screws to hang on, as do the levels and straight edges. Don't stop here with bare plywood, go ahead and put two coats of white paint on everything. It looks sharp and with brighten your shop.

Step 4: With Paint

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So the paint is really worth the time. Makes it look nice.

Step 5: Pliers and Wrenches

Picture of Pliers and Wrenches

The next area was a mess, jumbled drawers of wrenches and nut drivers in rotting pouches. So wood pegs for the wrenches, 2x2 wood strips for the nut drivers and a slot rack for the pliers.

Step 6: Files and Screw Drivers

Picture of Files and Screw Drivers

More 2x2s to hold the screwdrivers. The lower rank has spacers behind it so the longer drivers have room. The white paint makes it easy to mark each location. It is so wonderful to know where to put each tool when I clean up! Four cabinet hinges to carry this load.

Step 7: Vice Grips

Picture of Vice Grips

Vice Grips get their own door. Slots with a Plexiglas front makes it easy to see what is stored.

So I hope you can use this idea to make your shop just a little nicer!

Good Luck, Carl.


DaveH127 (author)2016-11-19

Carl, you need a 4-foot pipe wrench, because it's a 4-foot pipe wrench.

Vyger (author)2016-07-26

Keeping organized while still working on things has always been a challenge to me. I suppose it's partly due to not wanting to put things away until I finish a project and then not finishing the project right away. Having better storage would help with that. The one big problem I have had with custom storage is that as soon as I get it done then it get more tools and out grow the custome space. I have never found a solution for that.

carl5blum (author)Vyger2016-07-26

Hello Vyger:
Peg Board is one option, but somewhat clumsy. I keep thinking!
Thanks, Carl.

Vyger (author)carl5blum2016-07-26

One idea I had and am still kicking around is to make peg board pull out "shelves". Use some medium duty drawer glides but stand the drawer up on its side instead of laying flat and put the peg board in the middle so you can get to it from both sides. I also thought of using door hinges like what you did, somewhat like the displays of various paneling that you see in stores. But this idea might take up less space. With the drawer idea you could basically make a cabinet that the drawers pull out of, kind of like a sideways drawer unit. In computers its called rack mounting. You have rack unit that is a cabinet and the "blades" just slide in and out.

However there are drawbacks to every idea. I can just see myself trying to open a jammed drawer because something fell off, went to the bottom and got stuck between the back of the drawer and the front. Yep, and I will wonder, "why did I ever decide to try this?" Probably will try it anyway.

DaveH127 (author)Vyger2016-11-19

I have a bunch of mounting slides from servers that would make great drawer slides. They're designed to hold a server at full extension, so they should support drawers full of tools with no problem. If I line the drawers with rubber mats they shouldn't move around. hmmmmm

devineDIY (author)Vyger2016-08-17

Sounds interesting, but that is a lot of hardware $$, no? What do you think of a carousel instead? Peg board could be attached to both sides of a 2*2 frame and just mount half of a hinge on the top and bottom with a chunk of ready-rod running through them. Now make as many as you need and just flip them back and forth like looking through a pile of vinyl records or like when there is a poster display like this

carl5blum (author)devineDIY2016-08-17

Hello Devine: Well except for time my cost was zero: Scrap plywood, handles and old door hinges from the bin and a few screws, also salvage. My problems with pegboard are keeping the pegs in place and the overall thickness. I have thought of the poster stand type display, but I'm happy with what I've done.

Jesper75 (author)Vyger2016-07-27

Interesting ideas. Vertical tool doors or vertical pull out walls. Storage surface area increases dramatically, but I'm curious to know after a while if the tools tend to fall off accidently as you suggest. Shallow drawers is another option. That too increases the tool storage surface area. Many tools are no more than maybe an inch high, when laying in a drawer.

carl5blum (author)2016-10-20

Hi Gang:

Just re-read the post about multiple swing doors like they display poster on. What If you did it in a corner of your shop. The hinge points would be on a diagonal across the corner. Then all the doors could swing 90 ° both ways before hitting.


tytower (author)2016-10-20

Outlining with a black permanent marker helps me identify whats missing . 3 sons all with their hands in the pie .

JpsManCave (author)2016-09-09

This is awesome specially for those of us that have very limited space.

ElChick (author)2016-09-08

This is an epic idea. Thanks for sharing!!!

shamanic1 (author)2016-08-22

Geez...turn up the much-deserved praise a little bit, people! If you are saying "How about (blah blah blah), submit an instructable. :-)

Very well done, Sir! Bravo!

SoccerDadof22 (author)2016-08-02

I'd love to give this a try. But it wouldn't help my bigger problem: Every time I organize and create 'open working space', my dear wife decides to occupy some of that space with 'treasure'. In her mind, the broken Barbie dolls of 40 years ago are more important than a clutter free workspace. :-/

carl5blum (author)SoccerDadof222016-08-02

May I suggest a folding work surface? Only open when you are working and fold it as soon as you are done. Perhaps some shelves near by to store the Barbie Dolls?
Best wishes, Carl.

SoccerDadof22 (author)carl5blum2016-08-02

Thanks, Carl. The only 'folding work surface' I'm thinking of at the moment would double as the lid of a coffin. (And yes, I'm joking).

Katie5757 (author)2016-08-01

...and you still have a bench full of "stuff"....the big stuff...Good work, you are doing well.

fredellarby (author)2016-08-01

Just what I needed, a place to put more tools. My wife is going to kill you.

I like it though.

carl5blum (author)2016-07-31

Hi Gang:

What I didn't show are the drawers that are full of spare wrenches and screwdrivers. I keep them to cut up and adapt for special jobs. Plus they are really out of the way now.


bruce.desertrat (author)2016-07-31

The only problem with tripling your tool storage space is that you then quadruple your tools :-)

When is that a problem??

naught101 (author)naught1012016-07-31

(I agree that more storage space in general is not necessarily good, but more tools never hurt).

UncleEd (author)2016-07-31

Great job on the workshop and great instructable. The amount of guilt accumulated by people who read this and then think about the condition of their tools will be phenomenal.

Somebody mentioned magnetic strips for holding tools. The downside is using tools in conditions where there are iron filings and the dust from sawing iron and steel. Can be terribly annoying if the tools are magnetized and many of them get magnetized, anyway. However, they'd be great--most of the time--in a woodworking shop.

Okay. I'm starting on where to put the rack and how to support it. I'm
big on planning and your descriptions and pictures have done a
tremendous part of that for it.


carl5blum (author)2016-07-31

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. Carl.

nstg8tr (author)2016-07-31

You deserve a standing ovation for this project. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others to care for their tools. This idea can be utilized for gifting as well. This is the most beautiful tool storage idea I have seen yet! You have obviously spent a lot of time creating this tool chest. I have several tool boxes and a few doubles of tools because I am unorganized and so are my tools. I have also inherited tools from family as well. I am going to have to get busy now.

sarawelder (author)2016-07-31

this is really nice... going to try to make one!

Arty Marty (author)2016-07-26

That is awesome. You can never have enough tools, and never have enough workshop space. Unfortunately these two facts oppose each other. You have shown a solution to ease both problems. I've run out of wall space so I'll implement your door idea. ?

brian32768 (author)Arty Marty2016-07-31

I love the idea of cutting holes to hang the hammers. Good use of negative space.

You can definitely have too many tools. Wait until a few relatives die and leave you their collections... so many of my tools now have some sentimental attachment that working in my shop is like spending time with my family.

odellkevin (author)2016-07-31

Another idea for tools that don't have holes (screwdrivers, nutdrivers, pliers, etc.), is to use magnetic bars.

mikewor (author)2016-07-31

Reminds me of one that my uncle made. He was transferred from one place to another, so he just unbolted his tool cupboard from the wall each time he moved. He also had the left hand side twice the depth on the right hand side. Hung a door on the right and then another door on the left that closed over the right hand door. He only hung tools on the inside of the left hand door so got 4 times the storage.

ksjunto (author)2016-07-30

Excellent idea and design! Have to build one now.

pfred2 (author)2016-07-29

Yeah, you're starting to get there with your tool collection. There is no universal one size fits all solution for storing tools. Just wait until you have even more tools.

wes_van (author)2016-07-27

Great idea here, I particularly like your use of plexiglass for plier storage. This has given me some ideas, thank you for sharing :)

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