Introduction: How to Make a Shadow Board for Your Tools
Proper maintenance of tools includes keeping them in a safe place. A shadow board is one of the most common options you have for tool storage. With a good board, you will have easy access to tools, especially in cases of several workers under your employment. Easy access also comes with time-saving. When you want to use a spanner, for instance, and you know exactly where to find it, it takes you very little time. It will not be the same case if you start looking for it all over your workshop.
You will find it safe to have tools put away on a shadow board. Some items like saws and drills may cause accidents. Storing them properly puts them out of the way. You can also have a clearer and bigger workspace when you have a shadow board for your tools. If you are a trade person with your own workshop, you need all the space you can get, and scattered tools can take up much of it. You can build a shadow board to maximise the space you have available.
Step 1: Settle on Material and Size of the Board
Building a suitable tool shadow board is simple since you just need the right materials. The central feature of a shadow board is that it has outlines of different tools. If one tool is not on the board, then you will identify it easily.
The first aspect is to consider the space you have to work with. You will determine the size of the board depending on that area. Evaluate your tool selections as well. The types of tools and their number will also influence the size of the board.
After deciding on the size of the board, then pick the materials to use in its construction. There are few options that you can look at, but plywood is the most common choice for boards. You can also get some boards complete with pre-made holes. Besides the board, you need a drill, pencil and marker and paint
Step 2: Get the Layout
Once you have the board, you must now decide on the layout of the tools. For a shadow board to be practical, you must have an appropriate plan. Know which tools come first. For instance, the tools that you use quite often can be on the outside of the board. Tools that you seldom use can go to the furthest end. You should also consider the size and weight of the devices. The smaller ones can be at the bottom.
Step 3: Make Outlines
The next part of the process is tracing out the tools on the board. Working on the outline is the most important part of building a shadow board. To get it right, lay down the instruments according to the design you chose. Ensure the presence of sufficient space between each tool. Then carefully draw a tool outline with a pencil. Ensure that the orientation of the instruments is precise. After tracing the outlines with a pencil, look at them and see if they suit your requirements. If there is something you don’t like, erase the outlines and redo them. Take your time with this step. When satisfied with the outline, draw the shapes with a marker.
Paint the outlines to make them more visible. In some cases, you may want to colour code. If you have too many tools of the same kind, you can use different paint colours to distinguish them. After painting the board, you can then hang it on the wall. Ensure that you leave enough space between the wall and the board to allow for the placement of hooks and nails. After hanging, you can start drilling the points where the nails, pegs or hooks will go in. Use the outlines to drill the exact point on the board. Next, place the nails or hooks on the board since it is now ready for your tools. Hang the tools from their precise outlines.
Step 4: Tips for Effective Tools Shadow Boards
Instead of tracing the tool outlines with a pencil and marker, you can use vinyl cut outs. You can do this by placing a particular tool on vinyl and then cutting out its outline and sticking it on the board. The advantage of using vinyl cutouts is that they are not permanent. If you want to change your layout, you can just remove the plastic. There are also different types of vinyl that make shadow boards better. For instance, you can find reflective vinyl, which makes it easy to locate your tools even in low lighting. You can also find vinyl tapes in different hues, which are convenient when you want to colour code.
Take precautions when building a shadow board for your tools. Ensure that it is hung properly to avoid accidents.