Build a Tool Rack for Your Tool Wall

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About: Patrick Waters is an award-winning educator who brings the Maker Movement to new audiences. He founded The STEAMworks, a makerspace for individuals with neurological differences at The Monarch Institute in ...

This Week in the Shop we build tool holders for my recently installed tool wall. An organized workspace is a functional workspace, especially in community shops. When everything has its place, every part of the shop seems to work quicker. So this week, I put together a few tool holders to put up some screwdrivers, chisels, pliers and nail sets.

There are tons of storage solutions out there. I prefer tool walls, both in my personal shop and at community shops. The plywood provides a solid anchoring surface and custom tool holders can be rearranged as needed. Tool holders can be customized for each tool and can be made from small scraps for next to nothing. Lastly, they can be painted, stained, chalkboarded and more. A tool wall fits any work are, whether craft, machine, woodworking, leather or whatever else.

I have used pegboard, hanging tool-o-dexes, tool chests and more to help organize my workspace. Pegs fall out, hanging tool-o-dexes cost too much for their value, and tool chests attract clutter. Commercial systems never seem to be worth the bang for the buck (nor are they as much fun to install as designing your own tool holder).

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Step 1: Materials & Tools

3 Tool RacksMaterials:
  • 7” L x 3” W x 3/4” T Ipe or other hardwood
  • 5” L x 3” W x ¾” T Maple or other hardwood
  • 1-¼” construction or pocket hole screws
Tools:
  • Bandsaw
  • Drill with 2 drill bits, for pilot holes & ½” brad point or Forstner bit, & countersink bit
  • Impact drill with driver bits
  • Drill press or corded drill
  • Marking gauge or calipers
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pocket Hole Jig with stepped bit and square drivers
  • Hot glue gun with hot glue.

Step 2: Screwdriver Tool Rack

Assembly:

Screwdriver Tool Rack:

      1. Mark two lines on the ipe center piece, 1” in front each long edge.
      2. Mark the hole locations, about 1” apart.
      3. Mark the two ends of the tool rack off on the maple board. First, walk off a board thickness, then a width, and finally another thickness. Split the square in the middle diagonally. Mark two notches, coloring them in to indicate waste. Measuring your board like this enables you to utilize any width of wood.[gallery ids="5966,5967,5968,5969" columns="2"]
      4. Cut out the ends on the bandsaw.
      5. On the drill press, use the ½ brad point or Forstner bit to drill holes in the proper location. Remember to clamp down your workpiece. You can also use a hand drill or powered hand drill.
      6. On the drill press, use the smaller bit to cut pilot holes, then use the counter sink bit to countersink them. You can also use a hand drill or power drill here.
      7. After properly setting up the pocket hole jig for a ¾” thick work, drill a single pocket hole in each end.
      8. After clamping or firmly gripping the workpieces, use the impact drill & construction screws to fasten the ends to the ipe center.
      9. Attach to the tool wall using pocket screws. Use a small torpedo level to check for level.[gallery ids="5974,5962" type="rectangular"]

Step 3: The Slotted Rack

The Slotted Rack

      1. Mark two lines on the ipe center piece, 1” in front each long edge.
      2. Mark two lines on the ipe center pieces locations, 1” from each short edge. Mark the center as waste.
      3. Mark the two ends of the tool rack off on the maple board. First, walk off a board thickness, then a width, and finally another thickness. Split the square in the middle diagonally. Mark two notches, coloring them in to indicate waste. Measuring your board like this enables you to utilize any width of wood.
      4. Rip the center board at 1” on the bandsaw. Now cut out the waste. Reassemble with hot glue.
      5. After properly setting up the pocket hole jig for a ¾” thick work, drill a single pocket hole in each end.
      6. After clamping or firmly gripping the workpieces, use the impact drill & construction screws to fasten the ends to the ipe center.
      7. Attach to the tool wall driving in pocket screws with the impact drill. Use a small torpedo level to check for level.

Step 4: The Small Parts Rack

The Small Parts Rack

  1. Mark the small parts shape on a square piece of wood. Make sure to mark two tabs to attach the small parts to the wall.
  2. Mark the holes location. Make sure there is no overlap with bits.
  3. Cut out the small parts holder on the bandsaw.
  4. On the drill press, use the ½ brad point or Forstner bit to drill holes in the proper location. Remember to clamp down your workpiece. You can also use a hand drill or powered hand drill.
  5. On the drill press, use the smaller bit to cut pilot holes, then use the counter sink bit to countersink the holes for attachment to the wall.. You can also use a hand drill or power drill here.
  6. Attach to the tool wall using construction screws. Use a small torpedo level to check for level.

Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you for visiting my blog. To support for this site, please like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook or follow me on Instructables. Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

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    3 Discussions

    0
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    uncle frogy

    6 months ago

    I have made some racks for a cabinet door for tool and it was difficult to make so things wood fit and fiddly to use. I never thought of a slot !!!!

    now to figure out how to change the holey one for a slotted one without making a huge f'n mess in the process.

    uncle frogy

    0
    None
    Kink Jarfold

    6 months ago on Step 4

    Great tips for my new shop. I may just extrapolate some of these ideas for my new shop.

    1 reply