If all your tools are stuffed in plastic buckets or jumbled together in a drawer, check out these simple yet clever tool storage tips. They'll help you organize your tools and your shop so you can find exactly what you need, when you need it.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:December / January 2011
Store router bits, drill bits, screwdrivers, awls, pencils,
Allen wrenches and hole saws in a chunk of 1-1/2-in.-thick
rigid foam insulation.
To make this pointy-tool pincushion,
just glue the foam to 1/2-
in. plywood sized an inch wider
than the foam. Be sure to use
foam-compatible adhesive (PL
500 is one). Then press the foam
into place and let it dry for a few
hours. Punch holes for the accessories
by rotating a small-diameter
Phillips screwdriver or an awl
at a slight angle into the foam.
The tools will widen the holes to
fit as you push them in. Screw the
plywood to a shop wall over your
workbench and load it up!
Recycle old garden hose by slitting
open a length and using
it as a blade cover for
sharp saws and other
Are all your wrenches stuffed in a plastic bucket? Here's a better idea. Screw a
tie/belt rack (available at discount stores) to a bare spot on the wall over your
workbench and hang the wrenches—SAE and metric—where you can swiftly nab
and put them away in an orderly fashion.
Ever had a plane, level or square get
dinged up after falling off the pegboard?
Never again. Bend an 8-in.-long pegboard
holder into a corner shape by holding it in
a vise and pounding it with a hammer to
make the series of right angles. Make one
corner to hold the left side of the tool and
another to hold the right. Now just hold
the tool up to the pegboard and insert the
corner peg so it clasps the tool's corner.
Build this PVC rack to store your tools on the wall. Use a
jigsaw to cut a 1-1/4-in.-wide notch down the length of a
2-in.-dia. PVC pipe. Cut several 3-1/2-in.-long sections with
a hacksaw or miter saw, and drill two 1/8-in. holes behind
the notch. Use 1-1/4-in. drywall screws to attach these
pieces to a 2x4 screwed to the wall.
Prolong the life of your saw blades with a short section of
1/2-in. PVC pipe. Hold the pipe tight against slightly
opened vise jaws, and saw a slit down the entire pipe (this
is a tricky cut, but it only has to be done once). Slide it over
the blade to keep the teeth sharp.
Screw cut-in-half pie tins and heavy-duty paper plates
to a shop wall and you've got space-saving storage for
the sanding discs, circular saw blades and abrasive discs
that like to hide in a drawer. Be sure to tape the sharp
edges on the cut pie plates to protect your fingers!
This is an oldie but goodie for
storing and toting table and circular
saw blades. Cut a 14-in. x
12-in. piece of 3/4-in. plywood
and drill a hole for a 2-in. x
3/8-in. carriage bolt.
Secure the blades
on the bolt with
a fender washer
and wing nut,
being careful to
stagger the carbide
they don't rub
a slot in the upper
end for a
handle and for
storing it on
This rotary-bit organizer may just inspire a
renaissance of rotary tool use in your shop.
Friction-fit a piece of 3/4-in. plastic foam in a
snap-lid plastic food container. Then poke
holes in the plastic foam with an awl to hold
shafted bits, and slice crevices with a utility knife
to hold cutoff discs. Using a spade bit at high
speed, drill sockets for larger bits and tube-shape
containers. Once your bits are in
order, you can rediscover how useful they
Here’s the Cadillac of drill bit racks. It comes with a sizing index to check round
work pieces and the bits themselves for drilling the exact corresponding hole.
The length of the rack is up to you—build it to hold all your bits in order of
size. You can either build it freestanding for tabletop use or without the base
pieces for wall mounting.
To build one, lay your bits—spade and/or twist bits—on a table with 1/2-in.
spacing. Cut two 3/4-in. x 3/4-in. strips of hardwood, then mark, clamp and drill
according to the bit spacing you determined. (Drill through both strips for
spade bits but only halfway
through the second strip
for twist bits.) Position two
2-3/4-in. blocks between
the strips and screw them
together. Use the bits you
laid out to drill holes in a
piece of 1/4-in.plywood for
the sizing index. Screw it to
the rectangle and get
those bits in order!
Mount an 18-in. Magnetic Tool Holder (No. 81281) to your drill press’s pulley
cowl for quick-change bit storage (available at rockler.com). The tool holder is inlaid with powerful magnetic strips
that tightly hold all sizes of bits, plus it’s easy to mount. Mark and drill a couple
of 1/4-in. holes through the cowl
of your drill press. Then use two
1-1/4 in. x 1/8-in.-diameter bolts
with nuts and washers to attach
While you’re ordering, buy a
few extra magnetic tool holders
and use them elsewhere in your
shop to hold chisels, squares,
router bits, metal rulers, wrenches
and all those easy-to-misplace
If you’ve ever suffered the indignity—and possible danger to
eyes and face—of a bandsaw
blade uncoiling as you’ve
pulled it off the peg you hung it
on, you’ll love this tip. Nest the
coiled blades into binder clips
and store them on your pegboard,
and they’ll never spring
out at you again. Apply labels to
the clip so you can simplify size
selection and storage.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
Copyright © 2013 The Family Handyman. All Rights Reserved.