Quick, Cheap, and Easy Tool Organizer

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About: Craftsman of fortune. Less is more, and simpler is better.

Intro: Quick, Cheap, and Easy Tool Organizer


While in the process of setting up my new shop, I needed some way to organize and store a bunch of small hand tools. A length of PVC pipe and a few screws solved the problem.

Comments/suggestions and ratings are always welcome, and almost always responded to.

Step 1: Fabricate Components

Using PVC (or ABS) pipe of a diameter appropriate for your storage needs (I used 1-1/2") cut sections with one square end and one sharply angled end.

I cut the sharp end at 62 degrees because that is the steepest angle my saw can be set at.

Making small tick marks on the base of the saw itself and aligning the pipe to them (rather than measuring every individual piece) greatly speeds up the process. Cut each end of your pipe at the angle, reset the saw to square, and then cut off the sections. Repeat.

A note on using salvaged pipe- if the pipe has been around for a while, it may be a little brittle. When you are cutting pipe with a power saw, it may shatter. Take appropriate precautions.

Step 2: Assemble


Using a punch, nail, or awl, make a divot about 5/8" up from the point of the pipe section and start a wood screw into it.

Make a level mark on the wall to align the points to. Screw each piece to the wall, snugging the screw up firmly.

Step 3: Utilize


Fill er' up!

A few notes:

Experiment with sizes.

If you are putting anything edged in the holders, you should cram a piece of foam in the bottom of them, as part of the screw is exposed inside.

I did this against a fairly rough wall (painted OSB). Smoother walls may require a dab of hot glue at the top of the angled cut to keep the holders from rotating. On the OSB, even with some heavy cold chisels in them, mine stay put well.

"Nesting" the holders against the row above adds a lot more stability, too.

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    46 Discussions

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    gwairbrush

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I absolutely detest pegboard. I installed it my garage (before i knew better). Hooks would come out with the tool you grab and invariably get lost. Plywood and a screw...BOOM done! PVC can be cut to hold darn near anything.

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    W MichaelC

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I came across the pvc idea on pinterest - i must say it is far superior to pegboard and rings. i wanted to further this idea by color coding the pvc sections for easier to type identification - perhaps paint them or use colored tape around the top

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    soubal

    5 years ago on Introduction

    For something a little safer & cleaner to cut the PVC with, use a cutting disk designed for metal or masonry in your mitre saw, rather than a timber blade.. ie use an abrasive disk (like a big version of what you'd normally use on an angle grinder) rather than a toothed sawblade. That way there's nothing to 'catch' on the brittle PVC and break it up.

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    aeraysoubal

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Agreed. If I had a dedicated metal-cutting chopsaw, I would use it. I don't want to use an abrasive blade in my saw, though, because I don't want to get abrasive bits all over the same saw I use for trim/finish carpentry.

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    aerayArtsyFartsyGirl

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I think you are looking at the chalklines, which are shaped like plum bobs, but don't work well for that purpose. From left to right: Thick black, for heavy permanent lines, like on concrete foundations; thin black, for precision permanent lines (used most frequently); red, for permanent corrections of black lines; blue, for temporary lines that need to be erased eventually (like wall lines on a concrete slab that will be exposed, or on beams and logs); white, for lines on tar paper for roofing, or for handrail lines on staircase walls that already have the finish paint on them (it wipes right off).

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    ArtsyFartsyGirlaeray

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I used to paint commercial signs, sometimes on walls and i've used those chalklines, but I guess my old instructor probably referred to them as plum bobs and it stuck. I have used it to make sure of a vertical line too. My instructor said everyone has some astigmatism, and I know I surely do. I can look at the edge of a building sometimes and see a curve! Guess I'd make a horrible carpenter! lol!
    Caio

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    Bosun Rick

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Like most DIY'ers, I have multiples of most tools, and thought about using PVC pipe to store my surplus sockets in. making a pipe for each size, I could just cut a small opening at the bottom, (sort of like the picture of the dowel rod storage)and pull out the desired socket, use it, then drop it back in the top of the tube when finished.
    Taking it a step further, connect the tubes in a circular pattern, and set them up to rotate like a 'lazy susan' type thing. This would take up less wall space, but more benchtop area. Has anyone tried this?

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    twilightrider

    7 years ago on Step 3

    Have you noticed any issues with the top of the holder pulling away from the wall due to the weight of whatever is in it? (No screw keeps it against the wall at the top, only the bottom.) Either way, this is a great idea and much more efficient than merely hanging tools from a pegboard... I'll be sure to implement it. :)

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    bvsmanya

    7 years ago on Step 3

    good storage idea.better if mounted on 3/4" plywood board and attached to the wall.

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    guy90

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea, somewhat heavy duty as well- which will definetely come in handy for storing craft blades!

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    up_creek

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I've been trying to think up a way to store my screw drivers in a neat and convenient way (besides drilling holes in wood and sticking them in, which makes them top heavy and wobbly). I'm going to implement your idea, but on a large piece of plywood, to make it movable. I'm constantly rearranging my garage layout so I rarely attach things to the walls.

    Again, great idea!

    2 replies
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    aerayup_creek

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. If you made an A-frame out of the plywood (like a sidewalk sign, but bigger) and figured the angles correctly, the pipe pieces would stand straight up. Just a thought.

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    up_creekaeray

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Good thinking. Could then use some hinges and string (hemp) to make the A frame fold-able/collapsible, with a handle (hemp again), for even more move-ability (even storage, if you're not using them constantly). I like it.