A Better Socket Organizer




About: I'm an aircraft mechanic, and I recently got into woodworking. I'm learning, so comments are appreciated.

If you're like me, you have a drawer in your toolbox dedicated to sockets.  Sometimes finding the right one takes longer than you would like.  Also finding which one will fit your bolt/nut can be hard.  I'm an aircraft mechanic, so if it's standard I can eyeball it, but how can you tell the difference between 3/8 and 10 mil? 

I made this guy because I saw similar products at the hardware store for ten bucks.  Not expensive, but its more expensive than the two dollars I spent on wooden dowels.  Plus, I couldn't find one with metric AND standard, so my setup would be twenty bucks. 

Advantage of my setup over the hardware store analogs other than price:
  Metric and standard are represented, and close sizes are under/over each other
  The dowels mostly stop inside the socket, allowing you to just hold the bolt head up and try each socket, without taking them out.

I keep that drawer, but now they're only spares for lost/broken sockets.


3/4in Ply 18 x 6
3/8in dowel 4'
1/4in dowel 4'


Drill press
Wood glue
Woodburning Kit (optional)


1.  Mark out the ply to include all the sizes you want, keeping the similar standard/metric sizes near each other
2.  Drill your holes with a 3/8 bit or 1/4 bit on the drill press.  I put a 10 degree slant on the holes to point the sockets up a little, although this isn't necessary. 
3.  Cut your dowels in 1 3/4 inch sections, sand the edges, dip one end in glue and hammer into drilled holes.  Wipe excess glue with damp rag.
4.  Label your dowels with pencil.  Be sure to have the sockets in place when you do so you don't cover the numbers with the sockets (like I did!).  I went back over with a woodburner, but a pen will work fine.

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    12 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I like it.


    3 years ago

    Great stuff! Cheers


    3 years ago

    very cool


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I really like this one. To bad I had already bought the organizers from Sears. Think i will still make a set for at home though.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    i was inspired to use an ice cube try, i even found one with a lid. Thanks for helping me get the wheels turning.

    3 replies
    Bill WW

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like it! Tools now all come with a big plastic carrying case which to me is not very often useful. Need to get stuff out there so we can see it all.


    Nice job, maybe woodburning the numbers in would be even better? I almost bought some at the store the other day, then thought noooo that's $60.00 to organize my sockets. Thanks.

    1 reply

    Yep. Thats what I thought. Check direction number 4. I did go over with a woodburner, but I'm not that good yet so it just looks like pen.