Easy Store Flip What??
I originally got the idea for this from an old Make Magazine, but I never got around to building it. Then one day while looking at the state of the toolboard down at my local hackspace, I decided to put one together. However, I didn't like the idea of using pipe rather then a hinge. One of my concerns was that tools would fall off as the pages of the board were turned. I was chatting to some of the folks that have been working on the MakerMoblie, and they mentioned that they often use elastic chord in pegboard to keep things from moving around in the bus. I decided that it would be cool to integrate the two ideas to make the Easy Store Flipboard.
Great, so what is it?
It's a storage system that mounts several sheets of pegboard on hinges so the pages can be turned like a book. It's then mounted on a wall. This is a great way to maximize storage space and to keep things organized. The one I'm building will hold tools, but you can use them to store anything, especially with the elastic chord method.
Parts (italic items are optional):
- 2 pieces (2'x4') of 1/4" thick Peg board $15 ($7.21 each)
- 1 set of pegboard tool holders $13.99 (I had some lying around)
- 12 x 3" hinges $24 ($1.99 each)
- About 70 or so wood screws around 1 1/2" depending on the thickness of your plywood
- 36 bolts (3/4") Make sure they are sized so they fit through the holes in the hinge, but don't wobble around too much (at all ideally). I used M6 - metric!! ($0.35 each). Add another 12 if you want to make bookmarks.
- 36 nylon locking nuts for above bolts ($0.42 each). Another 12 if you want to make bookmarks.
- 5' or so of 2x3 or 2x4 for the risers
- Sheet of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood. You need at least 2' x 3' if you just want to build the flip board. Or a larger piece if you want to include a shelf for drills. This is for the backboard which will mount to the wall. (free - likely because it's been underwater for a while)
- Elastic cord. I got 20 metres of this at a fabric shop ($0.70 / metre)
- 3 small shelf brackets if you want to build a shelf on the bottom of the pegboard ($0.70 each)
- Some 3/4" screws to screw into the above bracket without going through the plywood
- 1' x 1.5' 1/8" birch plywood if you want to make the bookmarks
Tools (italic items are optional):
- Circular saw, hand saw, or Dremel SawMax - something to cut plywood and pegboard
- Chop saw, hand saw, radial arm saw - some way to cut 2x4s
- hand drill
- a drill bit slightly larger diameter then the bolts
- another drill bit slightly smaller diameter then the wood screws
- A larger drill bit for staring the jigsaw if you want to cut a hole out of the backboard
- a screw driver bit for the screws, or a good old fashioned screw driver
Step 1: Cut the Pieces
Cut the risers
Cut the 2x3 into 3 1/2" sections. We'll call them risers. You'll need 12, one for each hinge. This are used to raise the pegboard off the backboard (plywood) so each page can open further. They don't have to be perfect, but try to get them close so they look ok.
Rip the pegboard
Cut the pegboard into three equal 16" pieces along the 4' side. When finished, you should have 6 pieces of pegboard, each around 16" x 24". Again, the cuts don't have to be perfect. If you really mess them up, you can cover up the outside edge with some sort of strip of plastic. I used my Dremel SawMax. As an aside, I absolutely love this tool. It's like a small, one-handed circular saw. The only down side is that the dust that comes off it is very fine. You should really wear a mask.
Step 2: Build the Pegboard Pages
Attach the hinges to the risers
You have two options here, the right way, and and the quick way. Generally if you have too many deep screws in a piece of 2x3 all in line with the grain, you risk the piece splitting. The 'proper' way is to drill them out first. Do that by centering the hinge on the riser, and marking each hole in the hinge. Then drill the riser, but not all the way through. Use a drill bit that's smaller in diameter then the screw so it holds well. Then make sure you have the hinge attached the right way. How do you know? The hinge should fold closed on itself. If it doesn't, the pages won't open all the way. See the fancy annotated diagrams above.
...or you can just screw the hinges into the risers and hope for the best. I won't judge you.
At this point, you should have 12 hinge/block pieces.
Now we will attach the other side of the hinge to the pegboard.
Because the 1/4" peg board isn't strong enough to screw the hinges to, we will bolt them on. But first we have drill out holes on the pegboard where the bolts will attach. The important thing to remember here is that the two hinges on each pegboard must be kept in line with each other. If one hinge is slightly askew, the board won't swing freely.
To determine where the holes should be drilled in the pegboard, use one of the hinges as a test. Line it up near the top. Try to place it so the holes for the hinges are near the peg holes. Trace the holes with a pencil and take a look. Do the same at the bottom. Once you see roughly where the hinges will go, do the same to the rest.
Once you have the holes outlines, drill them out with a hand drill. Use a bit that is a bit bigger then your bolts. The attach the hinges to the pegboard.
Now you have pegboard hinged to the risers. Let's call them pegboard pages.
Step 3: Cut Out the Centre Out of the Backboard (Optional)
I decided to do this in order to keep the weight down a bit. Also, I have another project in mind for the middle piece. If you don't want to do this step, please carry on to the next step.
The most important part is that you ensure that after you have cut out the middle, you have enough wood left on the top and bottom of the plywood backboard to screw the pages to.
Mark the hole to cut out
Start by laying out the pegboard about an inch from the top of the backboard. Then mark about an inch from the bottom of the top riser. Then mark about an inch from the top of the bottom riser. Got it?? Basically, make two marks in between the risers. What we're doing here is marking the area that we can safely cut out. Be sure to leave enough so that you have something to screw the risers to.
The left and right sides aren't as important (because the risers will attach above and below them), so just measure in 4" from each side.
Now you should have a rectangle drawn on the backboard. Maybe just check it one more time to make sure those measurements were good.
If you want to get fancy (and hey, who wouldn't), you can round off the inside corners of the rectangle by tracing the outline of a can on the inside of each corner. I only did the top. Not sure why. Also don't make the radius too tight or it'll be hard to cut out.
Cut the hole out
Now we're going to jigsaw out the hole. Start by drilling a large hole on the INSIDE of the rectangle so that the edge of the hole just touches the rectangle. This will give you a place to start the jigsawing. Cut the rectangle out by inserting the blade into the hole and cutting. Don't forget to wear your safety gear! Also, take your time. It can be a little tricky to get a nice straight line with a jigsaw if you try to rush it. Remove the middle piece. We're not going to need it.
Step 4: Attach the Pegboard Pages to the Backboard
Measure and mark where the pegboard pages will be mounted
At this point, we need to lay out the pegboard pages on the backboard. We have a good idea where the boards are going to go up and down. Now we need to make sure they are evenly spaced horizontally. Measure your backboard, and divide by the number of pages (6 in this case). Measure these distances out on the backboard and draw lines from the top to the bottom (above and below the hole). Each riser will be mounted in the middle of the columns you've just drawn.
Clamp the pegboard to the backboard
Get your pegboard in place. Make sure the risers are in the right spot, then clamp each riser to the backboard. Take your time to get this right. If the risers are not aligned properly, the pegboard won't swing freely.
Screw the risers to the pegboard
When the risers are clamped in the right spot, drill a hole through the back of the backboard into the riser. It should go through the backboard and into the riser, but not through it. Again, this is to keep the riser from splitting. Then put the screw in through the back of the backboard into the riser. Just put one in for now until we're happy with the way everything looks.
Repeat the above process of clamping, drilling, and screwing each riser until all the pages are done. Again, just put a single screw in each riser. How do they look? Are they evenly spaced (I told you to measure twice!)? Do they swing freely? Excellent!
At this point, you have a fully functional Easy Store Flipboard! Pat yourself on the back! Next we're going to add a shelf to the bottom to store the drills.
Step 5: Build the Drill Storage (Optional)
The plywood I had was a bit longer then I needed, so I decided that rather then waste the bottom, I would make a shelf for the drills to rest on. This would have the added advantage of getting the weight of the drills off the pegboard. You could also use the extra to build regular shelving or maybe attach a magnetic bar or something.
Cut the extra off to use for the drill shelf
Measure how deep the shelf needs to be by measuring the length from the back of the handle to the tip of your drill. This will vary depending on the types of drills you have. I cut off about 8".
Mark out the slots for the drills
Again, this will depend on your exact situation, but I needed storage for five drills. Each drill needed a roughly 2" slot to hold it. I also decided to round the inside of the slots (and the corners of the shelf as well - hackspace chic!). Sketch out the slots for each drill. In my case, I drew a horizontal line 2" from the long edge of the plywood. Then I measured out the centre of that line. I knew that I needed each slot to be roughly 2" wide, so I measure out 1" from the centre point and drew vertical lines. This will be the middle slot. From here, I added another 2" slot, 2 1/2" to the left, then another. I did the same on the right. In the end, I had five slots, all evenly spaced. The I found a 2" pipe (the same one I used for to round the corners). I traced this to round the end of the slots.
Jigsaw out the slots
Wear eye protection! Take your time. This piece will be easily visible. Make a lot of relief cuts so you can get the round part right. 2" was fairly tight for my jigsaw (and skills). Once I was done, I used a rasp to touch up the round part.
Attach the shelf with the shelf brackets
Here's my secret method for attaching shelf brackets. Line up all the brackets. Then put one screw in the bottom of the far left bracket, screwing it to the backboard. Then make sure the shelf is level, and put one screw into the bottom of the far right bracket. If it's still level, put a screw into the shelf on the left bracket. Then one more on the right. Now you're laughing. Screw in the middle bracket, then finish screwing in the left and right brackets.
Touch it up with some sandpaper. The rasp can make a bit of a mess.
You could end here, if you used a piece of plywood that you didn't find in a downtown east side dumpster. But this thing is still a bit ugly, even for hackers! Next, we decorate!!!
Step 6: Finishing (Optional)
If you have a nice clean piece of good-one-side plywood, you may want to just leave it plain. However, if you've used an exceptionally crappy piece of plywood, and this will hang in a location where you will be subjected to ridicule by your hacker peers, it's really best if you put some lipstick on this pig.
I opted for a primer and sealer all in one. It's good to cover water stains, and I happened to have a can around. I left the pegboard natural. I like the contrast.
One of the concerns that I heard was that not having all tools visible means that it's hard to find them. Since I have access to a laser cutter at VHS, I decided to cut out a few bookmark-style tags for the edges of the pages. This will give people a quick way to determine which page their tool is on.
I like to organize the board by category. I really like The Chart of Hand Tools style, so I went with that as a rough guide. The categories are:
- Tools that measure (squares, tape measures, calipers)
- Tools that stabilize (mostly clamps)
- Tools that divide (saws, planes, files)
- Tools that manipulate (wrenches, screwdrivers, ect)
- Tools that mark (pencils, punches)
The last page will be for stuff that doesn't fit the other groups. I've attached a DXF and a PDF of the bookmarks.
I also laser cut the holes (1/4" holes with 1" spacing). Then it was just a matter of bolting them on. I used some old bolts I found lying around the space, but you could also glue/staple them on.
Step 7: Adding the Tool Holders and Elastic Chord
With the paint dry and the bookmarks sorted out, we're ready to add the tool holders, elastic chord, and of course tools! Of course, before we do this, we must mount the toolboard.
Mount the toolboard
Due to the fact that we made this out of 3/4" plywood, lots of hinges, two full sheets of pegboard, it's heavy. And once we get all the tools (including our fancy hammer collection) up there, it's going to be even heavier! The means we've got to be careful as to where we mount it. In my case, it's pretty straight forward. I was lucky to have a whole plywood wall to screw to. If you're mounting it on a regular wall, make sure you hit the studs. Once it's up, test it by really pulling hard on it. Better for it to come off now, then to be trapped under an avalanche of chisels and saws!
Layout the board
With our categories determined, start placing tools on the board. Use the tool holders where required. There may be some tools that you can just secure with the elastic chord when we put that on. Play around with the layout. Think about the tools you'll use the most and make them the easiest to get. Some tools will require more then one tool holder. In other cases, you may be able to get two tools on one holder. Also, don't forget the black plastic locks that come with the tool holders. They'll save you the pain of having the tool holder pop out every time you remove a tool.
Add the elastic chord to stabilize
We need to protect the tools against any 'speed readers', so we'll start snaking the elastic chord between the holes. Once you have a rough layout, start threading the chord. Use a large double knot at the ends to keep it from slipping through. Try to find the balance between secure and easy to access. Once all the tools are on, stand back and admire your hard work!
And that, my friends, is the Easy Flip Toolboard!
Step 8: Troubleshooting
Ok, true confession time. When I got to the step about screwing in the risers, I only measured once. Anyway, what happened was that two of my risers were too close together. Consequently, the bolts from one hinge hit the riser on the next. This meant that the page couldn't open all the way. Fortunately, the fix was pretty easy. I just cut a bit off the risers that were getting hit. Make sure you don't cut into a screw!
Measure twice people!!
Finalist in the
Portable Workstations Contest
Second Prize in the
Spring's Coming Contest
Participated in the