We grew tired of the "Tool Drawer of Doom" gobbling up just the tool we needed at the moment we needed it. So we created a tiny, powerful, magnetic tool holder to store tools on walls and other vertical surfaces any way we wanted.
This instructable shows you how to build, install, and use Tool Dots. Be aware that safety is your responsibility. Please read our Safety Warning and Disclaimer before you start
Step 1: Parts and Tools
- Magnets: 1/2” X 1/10” N42 Neodymium.
- Adhesive Discs: 1/2” x 1/32”. Permanent. Double-sided. Foam adhesive is best since it bonds nicely with uneven surfaces.
- Rubber Bumpers. 1/2” x 1/16”. Cylindrical, Flat Top, self-adhesive on one side.
- Assembly Template: Download and print (STL attached). No 3D printer? Here are some options to get it printed.
- Cleaning Supplies: We like to use Isopropyl Alcohol and lint-free cloths.
- Door Hinge Pin (or similar): Used as magnet applicator/extractor. (Optional: We covered ours in vinyl tubing to make it easier to handle.)
- Tweezers: Curved, fine tip. Used to apply adhesive.
- Flat Metal Surface: Has to have iron in it. For curing adhesive. We are using a section of tin angle flashing. (Optional: We covered ours in clear vinyl sheet to prevent marking of the Tool Dots.)
Step 2: Assemble Adhesive and Magnet
Affix the template to a work surface. Remove an adhesive disc from the sheet and apply it into the template adhesive side up. (PIC 2-1)
Pick up a magnet with the hinge pin. Press the magnet into the template and apply pressure for 1-2 seconds to bond the adhesive. (PIC 2-2, 2-3)
Pull the hinge pin out with the magnet-adhesive assembly and place the assembly onto a flat metal surface, adhesive side down. (PIC 2-4, 2-5) Let it sit for at least 5 minutes to securely bond the adhesive to the magnet.
Step 3: Assemble Bumper and Adhesive-Magnet
Remove a bumper from the sheet and apply it into the template adhesive side up. (PIC 3-1)
Slide magnet-adhesive assembly off metal sheet and place on hinge pin, magnet side up. Press the magnet into the template and apply pressure for 1-2 seconds to bond the adhesive. (PIC 3-2. 3-3)
Pull the hinge pin out with the bumper-magnet-adhesive assembly and place the assembly onto a flat metal surface, bumper side down. (PIC 3-4, 3-5) Let it sit for at least 15 mins to securely bond the adhesive to the magnet.
Step 4: Install
Clean and dry surface with Isopropyl Alcohol or other approved wall cleaner. (PIC 4-1)
Peel off the protective sheet on the adhesive. Press the Tool Dot onto the surface. Apply firm pressure while rocking your finger back and forth for at least 10 seconds to bond the adhesive with the surface. (PIC 4-2)
Clean the Tool dot with Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any oils deposited by your fingers. (PIC 4-3)
Carefully place your tool on the Tool Dot to test the hold strength and position. (PIC 4-4)
Heavy or odd-shaped tools may require more than one Tool Dot to hold it properly.
Repeat as desired.
Step 5: Use
To use a Tool Dot simply move your tool slowly towards the Tool Dot until it grabs the tool and pulls it to the surface. (PIC 5-1) Some notes:
Weight Limitations. The Tool Dot has been tested to hold up to 1/2 lb (0.23 kgs) continuously with a symmetrically, balanced tool. Heavier or odd shaped tools may not be held as well with a single Tool Dot. You can determine this by looking at the tool from the side. If the foam adhesive backing is sharply angled, then the tool is trying to pull the dot off the wall. (PIC 5-2) This may lead to premature failure. To fix this you need to distribute the weight across more Tool Dots. Add Tool Dots in strategic places to support the tool. (PIC 5-3)
Temperature Limitations. Tool Dots are designed to operate indoors, from 0 - 105º F (-18 - 41º C). Temperatures outside this range may weaken the adhesive.
Cleaning Tool Dots. A Tool Dot may have trouble holding your tool if it gets too dirty. To clean the surface use a 50/50 solution of Isopropyl alcohol and water and dry it off with a cloth.