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
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How to build this compact shovel rack
Compact shovel rack
Keep yard tools up and off the floor with this sturdy rack.
Photo 1: Lay out and cut tool slots
Lay out tool slots on the plywood top piece and make the straight cuts with a circular saw. Finish the inside curve with a jigsaw.
Photo 2: Assemble the rack
Tack the 2×6 ledge board to the plywood with 2-in. drywall screws. Fasten the 2×6 supports to the 2×6 ledger board with 3-in. drywall screws. Then flip the rack over and anchor the plywood to the 2x6s with 2-in. screws spaced every 8 in.
Photo 3: Install the rack
Level the back against a wall and attach it to the studs with 3/8-in. x 4-1/2 in. lag screws and washers. Predrill holes with a 5/16-in. bit.
If you have more tools than a handful of 16-penny nails pounded into a 2×4 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 2×6 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.
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 2×6 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 2×6 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
This illustration shows all of the parts of the shovel rack. See the Materials List in Additional Information below.