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Garage Storage Project: Shovel Rack

This compact rack is strong and simple to build. You can store shovels, rakes, a sledgehammer—any long-handled tools—conveniently up and out of the way.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Garage Storage Project: Shovel Rack

This compact rack is strong and simple to build. You can store shovels, rakes, a sledgehammer—any long-handled tools—conveniently up and out of the way.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

How to build this compact shovel rack

If you have more tools than a handful of 16-penny nails pounded into a 2x4 will accommodate, this shovel rack’s for you. It looks simple and it is, yet this is a serious storage rack that will put its store-bought counterparts to shame. It will hold more than 14 items—ranging from shovels and rakes to sledgehammers and pick- axes—with room to spare. It’s constructed from a 16-in. x 48-in. chunk of 3/4-in. plywood with 2x6 supports and lag-screwed to the wall. Take an early morning break from your yard chores and put the rack together in a couple of hours for less than $20.

After cutting your pieces to size as indicated on the materials list, lay them out and cut the slots for the handles. We’ve made some suggestions about spacing, but feel free to customize the spacing to fit your tools.

Tip: Make your slot wide enough to fit the “flare” where a handle meets a blade. The flare is usually wider than the handle itself.

Use a circular saw to make the straight cuts, then a jigsaw to finish out the inside curve (Photo 1). We used the bottom of a spray paint can to mark the curve on the inside of the slot.

Next tack a 2x6 ledger board to the plywood with a couple of 2-in. drywall screws, and then attach the supports (Photo 2), centering them between the slots. These short pieces of 2x6 reinforce the plywood and keep it from sagging. We knocked the ends off at a 45-degree angle so the sharp corner wouldn’t catch someone’s noggin.

Position the rack about 6 ft. off the floor and attach it to the wall studs with lag screws (Photo 3). Don’t skimp on the lag screws. You need their holding power to support the weight of the rack and the tools.

Caution: If you have young kids or toddlers, attach an eye screw and hook to secure each slot so the tools won’t accidentally fall out (Fig. A).

The rack is now ready for use. Load off-season items at the back and frequently used ones in the front. Unless you own a small farm, you should have some spare room to store new items as the need arises.

Figure A: Shovel Rack Details

Figure A: Shovel Rack Details

This illustration shows all of the parts of the shovel rack. See the Materials List in Additional Information below.

Additional Information

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Circular saw
    • Drill/driver, cordless
    • Jigsaw

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

See Compact Shovel Rack Materials List in Additional Information at the end of the Step-by-Step section.

Comments from DIY Community Members

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June 03, 8:43 PM [GMT -5]

Grate project. I also made mine wider,72". Painted the supports and inner shelf cut outs orange. Haven't installed ithe safety chains...trying to figure something more elegant then hanging chains. Thanks for the project!

May 21, 2:20 PM [GMT -5]

I built this very same project several years ago from directions provided by Handyman Magazine, and I have used this rack successfuly ever since. I have added hooks underneath to hold other items such as yard blowers, etc. I have had many people admire my handy work (and believe me, I am no carpenter).


May 21, 12:44 PM [GMT -5]

Takes up to much wall space

March 19, 8:09 PM [GMT -5]

I like this shovel rack quite a bit. In fact, when I moved it was definitely coming with me.

Recommend making it a bit longer than the picture suggests and with less slots for tools. I would consider making as long as 72 inches with 4 inches per side for the overhang. The plans here are a little too crowded for the wider items such as rakes and pitchforks. I used 4.5 inch lag bolts to attach to the wall and I used a piece of MDF for the top shelf. I did attach small chains on the front of each slot that are perfect for keeping everything in place. Very nice design and will hold all of my tools. One last finsihing touch would be to cut the corners on the back 2x6 to make it look just a little nicer. Every person that has been in my garage asks about this garden tool rack.

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