Workshop Storage





Introduction: Workshop Storage

About: When I was a boy, I was amazed how my grandfather could make flotsam and jetsam into useful things. I am proud that I have inherited some of his skill.

Sufficient and workable storage in a workshop is always a consideration. When I was working out of my garage, I never really got it right. When I purchased a 12x24' shed, I took the time to build in plenty of storage.

Step 1: Plenty of Bins

In your workshop, you need plenty of places to store nails of all kinds, screws, nuts and bolts, assorted hardware... All kinds of things. The easiest way of having enough storage is to build it in between the studs. I cut 1/2 inch plywood to 3 1/2 inches wide, long enough to fit between the studs. For my Instructable, each vertical column of bins was offset higher or lower than the one next to it by half an inch. That way, I could nail into the end of every bin bottom. (I glued around all four sides, as I wanted it to be able to hold the weight of the nails, etc. Plus, I couldn't nail the back of the bin bottom, as I would be nailing through the side of the building.) The front of each bin was made of a strip of paneling, cut to 2" high. I just nailed it straight across, despite the fact that some of the bins were half an inch higher. It just looked better that way.

Step 2: Pegboard

Any of the wall space in the shop not made into bins (and I have over sixty of those) was covered with pegboard, where I carefully arranged the tools for the most logical arrangement, as well as to maximize my space.
( Don't pay any attention to the electrical outlet - I hadn't completely finished wiring when I took the photos.)

Step 3: Miter Saw and Tool Storage

I wanted to have as little in the way of flat surfaces in my shop as necessary. If it is flat, I lay stuff on it. I made my miter saw table just barely larger than the saw, and on either side, I added power tool storage shelves. The top surfaces are covered with plastic laminate.

Not shown are the roller stands I move into place when I use the miter saw.

Step 4: Tool Buckets

I have arrived at the practice over the years of using five gallon buckets to hold specific purpose tools: Electrical tools, carpenter's tools, plumbing tools, sheetrock and tile tools, and masonry tools. It causes me to buy duplicates in many cases, but I like to grab a bucket and go, not having to sort through various drawers looking for what I need.

In order to store the buckets, I made a rack to hold them vertically. I cut four D shaped pieces of plywood a couple of inches bigger than the bucket. I screwed a 1x12 piece of 5/8 plywood to a stud, and added cleats to hold the back of the D. I screwed 1x6 pieces of plywood to each side to hold it rigid.

Step 5: Radio/Chargers

In this area, I built a shelf for my big DeWalt radio/battery charger, and other shelves for my tool batteries and chargers. I made sure to have enough electrical outlets.

Step 6: Overhead Storage

To add more storage, I added ceiling joists in several locations, then put a plywood floor on top of them. I found that covering just two joists gives me plenty of place to put stuff, but allows me room to reach it.

Step 7: Part Sorter and Shelves

These oddly shaped shelves allow me to see what is on each shelf when looking down. The top shelf is covered with a piece of plywood, having slits cut in the top that line up with bins in the shelf. I use the slits to short nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc. When I remove the top, the hardware is all nicely separated.



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    I have always used the peg board which I regard as my best friend in the storage shed. It does help to organize things especially the little tiny bits that would often go missing faster than you can search for them. I think I might try building one of the ceiling joists which you mentioned since I am really running out of wall space.

    This is a really neat and organized storage solution in getting the storage shed sorted nicely. When things are in order, they become more accessible hence saving you time and effort during retrieval while working on a project. I think the same storage bin concept can also be used for other purposes around the house like the kitchen for condiments and such.

    Tools are not something that I use on a regular basis so I have decided to conveniently dump all of them in a storage box and stowed away for good in my storage unit until further need arises. However, as time passes by, their physical condition deteriorates as their metal pieces get in contact with one another to produce rust. This workshop idea would definitely help me solve my issue with my tools and have them within sight for easy retrieval.

    Another idea for buckets.....
    Power Cords
    I drilled a 1" hole in bottom of the side..ran male end of power (extension)cord..
    Makes neater/tangle less... .
    Holds 2 100' cords...
    Little longer to reroll, but more convenient for transporting to/job, without worrying about someone grabbing them from back truck/trailer while in store or elsewhere....

    Something I have been wondering about---

    While it is a great time saver to have everything organized and on display doesn't it also make it easier for a thief to go midnight shopping making it a lot easier for them to grab the specific items they want, say like the high priced router bits and such?

    1 reply

    could be, therefore:

    Keep your shed locked

    Paint a colored band on your tools for quick ID. I use black at home, green at work

    Engrave your license number on expensive tools

    Use solar lights to light up the inside AND outside

    Video everything and keyed it securely stored.

    Nice instructable. I'll be building a shed soon and I'll use some of your ideas. I'll put those shelves between the studs. I really like your idea of buckets for different types of tools.

    1 reply

    Thanks, enjoy your shop.

    I love this, I am going to duplicate everything I can. I already do the bucket thing as you, but the storage for them is a terrific idea. And my main objective I see now is to rid the flat space. I made a collapsible work bench I can use should I need it.

    1 reply

    Thanks! The No Flat Surface policy is working out pretty well. I don't have anywhere to sit things, so I have to hang them up where they belong. It forces me to be neat(er).


    That sounds like a nice bench, but I would have it buried in stuff.

    I really like the bucket shelf and the parts sorter!
    I can relate to the problem of 'flat surfaces' collecting stuff - I made the mistake of making my main workbench too large (3/0x7/0 re-purposed solid door).

    Ahh, to live somewhere where the space between studs can be viable storage. Nice idea. Up here in Massachusetts, my only thought about that space is wishing it were deeper so I could get more insulation in there!

    Thanks for the kind words!

    The next step - the one I didn't mention here - is to put the sorted hardware into one of a dozen quart peanut butter jars (plastic) that I have screwed to a plywood panel between the ceiling joists of my shop.

    I wanted to make a sorter that I loaded everything - brass and zinc, screws and bolts, washers and nuts, etc.- into and it sorted it into the appropriate type. (Preferably, by size) However, that was beyond me.


    Thank you for the part sorter idea. That is genius. I have to make this short 'cause I need to go make one. Great Instructable.

    Cool idea for the buckets, might try that. Thanks!

    Not bad yourself. I still have a ways to go with mine, but we are currently renting, so I don't want to get so far into it yet.