Category Archives: Storage

Another day, another mobile tool stand

Not long after I finished the mobile mitre saw stand I decided to make one for my scrollsaw. Same method and my phone was broken so I didn’t take photos during the build but here’s the completed stand. It’s build to the perfect height for me when seated on my shop stool.

Now I just need to clean the rust off  the table…



Making a Mobile Mitre Saw Stand (Part 2)

The previous weekend I’d finished with the stand having a frame, top and bottom. I’d always planned for this to have wheels to the next step was to put them on. Having learnt my lesson about placement when I totally screwed up the casters on the drill press stand I carefully marked the location so the holes wouldn’t end up trying to share the same space as the frame uprights!


What I hadn’t learnt yet was that nails into MDF just don’t work. I flipped the stand over and the entire bottom just fell off. A slight detour to drive screws in solve the issue and then I was able to finish adding the wheels. Then I gave the parts that would be visible a coat of linseed oil to seal them. I didn’t do the bottom or back panels but may do those later on if I get time.

I also realised that there was a lot of spare height so added a frame and a shelf giving me somewhere to put cut pieces or my safety gear when not in use.


The next step was to line up and mount the actual saw to the stand. I set the depth so it can comfortably sit against the wall and used the fence line as a guide for making sure it was straight. I underdrilled the holes to begin with so had to fix that before I could bolt it in place with washers on either side.


I knew before I added the shelf that my shop vacuum wouldn’t fit unless I took the wheels and the posts they were on from off the bottom so did that using my trusty portable bench and a cutoff wheel in my Dremel.


Once this was done I put the vac into place and clamped my support stands to the side to see how things would look when it’s completed. The plan is to mount them properly to the sides so they are always there if needed but in a way that I can lift them off for longer cuts.


I locked the brake on two of the wheels and did some test cuts. It’s nice and stable and exactly the right height for me since I actually remembered to factor in the bottom panel and wheel height.

There’s still a little work left to do but I’m very happy with the result so far.

A shelf for parts bins

I’ve been making a concerted effort to make my workshop as tidy as possible and to keep it that way. A huge part of that has focused on getting rid of tools and wood that I have no use for, but I’ve also been trying to add storage where possible.

I already had a shelf under the saw till, but it was too narrow for the parts bins I wanted to put there, so I edge glued another scrap to the front, rounded the corners to make it look neat and added a couple of support pieces underneath for added support.


Once the clamps came off I gave it a light sanding. It will need a coat of linseed oil to match the old part, but that can come later. I tend to build first, finish later!


Here you can see the parts bins in place. I originally had about 40 of these full of ju…tool related items, but I’ve managed to clean those out. I did need a few though for thinks that wouldn’t store nicely elsewhere like sanding blocks.

Total project cost was three bits of scrap, some glue and about 20 minutes work.


A few more tool racks

Given how happy I am with the screwdriver rack, I decided to make a few more. I still have lots of tools that could use a better home than a badly fitting pegboard hook. I have plenty of offcuts of pine and plywood in the woodshop so worked out the sizes of a few racks, cut them to size and glued them up. You’ll notice that I remembered to use masking tape to stop the glue spillage that was a problem last time.

A pile of tool racks in waiting


I wanted to make a shelf for my surform tools, which despite having been on the pile of ‘tools to sell’ a few times have managed to make their way into project after project, for my marking gauges, which are a pair of nice old Australian made ones that dey attempts to hang on any conventional hook, and for my Gimlets, which actually do get some use for starting pilot holes.

The rack for the marking gauges was actually quite interesting to make. I got to cut a mortise and use my hole saw, which I don’t often find a use for.

Surform Rack
Marking Gauges

Here you can see them on the pegboard. It’s starting to look more tidy already

Making a difference already


A New Screwdriver Rack


That was the censored version of the sound I made after getting out of the car last week and again knocking a screwdriver down onto my foot. My workshop is also my garage, and there’s not much room separating the two so I tend to knock things over quite a bit if they aren’t secured to the pegboard properly.

I’ve been through about racks for this particular set of screwdrivers in the past 4 years. The first was a ugly red plastic one from the hardware store where nothing fit properly. The second was a metal rack built for screwdrivers, but it didn’t fit into the pegboard properly and since it was a lot heavier when it hit my foot it went as well. The latest attempt was the metal pegboard screwdriver hooks but nothing sits properly in those.

I had some time on the weekend so decided to build a custom fitted rack instead. This is my only screwdriver set and it’s still got all its pieces after 7 years somehow and I’d like to keep it that way.

First I measured up some scrap pine to see how big the rack needed to be. I ended up starting the leftmost hole 4cm in, then there’s 4cm to the next all the way across except for the two thin screwdrivers, those are 3.5cm apart.



An awl is a handy thing to have in the workshop. This one was my dad’s and would be probably close to 50 years old and still works fine. I used it to mark the spot where I wanted the drill bit to center on so it didn’t wander.


While I have a very nice drillpress, I was enjoying the quiet in the workshop so decided to do this by hand. This old Stanley brace made short work of the holes. I was drilling into a dog hole each time so I didn’t cut up my bench, but this left a bit of blowout on the exit side of each hole so next time I’d use a backing board.


I used a hand held countersink to chamfer the holes top and bottom. Again, a useful little handtool to have around.


I test fit the screwdrivers to make sure everything wa the way I expected


Then I marked up and cut a piece of plywood to use as a back. The reason it needs a back is I want this to hang on standard pegboard hooks.


I glued and clamped it for about half an hour, then added some nails for strength


I gave it a sand and rounded the corners over to make it looks a little more finished. It also helps if I do drop it on myself again!. I also measured where the hooks needed to go through and drilled those holes



A coat of boiled linseed oil was added to protect it, though next time I’ll remember to put masking tape on to protect it from glue spillage.



Here it is finished and working. I’m pleased to say I’ve not yet knocked anything out of it 🙂


Drawers for the drill press

My drill press stand has been the focus of the little time I’ve had in the workshop lately. I’m trying to make the stand itself as useful as the machine that lives on it, plus I don’t really want to have to keep unbolting it and putting it back on so I’m trying to get all the work out of the way in one go!

I’d originally had shelves on it, but they don’t really help when it comes to storing small things like drill bits and accessories so decided to try making my first drawers. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on the project, so used up some more scrap pine for the frames and some MDF left over from my attempt at wooden Christmas decorations for the bottoms.

I wanted to have these done in an hour so went the cheap and nasty method of making them. I measured the space I had for the drawers, cut the sides to size, cut the MDF to just oversize and glued and clamped it all together.


Once the glue dried, I put some nails in for strength, used a flush trim bit to clean up the overhang on the base and gave the edges a cleanup with the roundover tool


With these built I used them as spacers while I cut and fitted some hardwood rails to the frame, and then slotted them in.


They still need guide rails on the drawers themselves but it’s starting to come together quite well. These two shallow drawers are for small bits, then I need some deeper drawers for Forstner bits and other accessories. It’s not the prettiest work around but it should do the job and add quite a bit of storage space to the workshop, as well as keeping all my drilling items near where they are used.


More work on the drill press stand

I have a bad habit of getting a project to the point where it’s usable then not finishing it off. More often than not this just means the work is done and just needs sanding and finishing, but with the drill press there is more work than that to be done.

Last weekend I managed to get some of this work done. The first job was to get the edges of the MDF top flush with the sides, so I got out my router, put a flush trim bit in and cleaned it up.

The second thing was to round over the top edges to protect the MDF from getting damaged. The router did this well too.

I don’t use my router much. It’s a useful tool but a lot of the time it’s just too much effort to get it set up so I end up doing the job another way instead. This time I decided it was the way to go and it did a really good job.

Here’s a couple of before pics




and an after pic


$1 hot dogs and $2.49 spice racks

We had to take a trip past IKEA last weekend so stopped in for bit of a wander. We ended up leaving with a picture frame, a couple of hot dogs and a bag full of $2.49 wooden spice racks.

I’d been meaning to replace the white wire baskets that hang under my plane till for a while because they take up a lot of wall space and don’t actually offer much storage, but it’s been one of those background projects that isn’t important enough to actually start.

Here’s what it looked like before the weekend



When I saw the spice racks were just about exactly what I’d planned to build anyway and were cheaper than I could buy the raw materials for I grabbed a few.

I decided to mount them onto a frame so I only had to drill one set of mounting holes in the wall, and to give them a little more depth. I had two lengths of pine left that would fit nicely so glued and screwed four of the six racks I’d bought to them. I couldn’t fit the rest on as they would have been too low to the ground to be useful.



I mounted it to the wall with a couple of masonry plugs, you can see the ones where the baskets were but I couldn’t use those again as they were wider than the new rack.



A coat of linseed oil and a few minutes work and it’s all loaded up and looking good. Total project cost was under $15 including glue and screws, and the build and finishing time was a little over an hour. It looks better than the wire baskets did and give me a little bit of extra storage.


Rank and File

I don’t like to waste storage space. In a workshop that double as a garage, or possibly a garage pretending to be a workshop, space is at a premium so making the best use of it is a necessity rather than a choice.

The below picture shows one of my solutions. Brass hooks screw into the pre-existing end holes of my rasps and files, and then slide neatly onto a long pegboard hook. The handles stop the blades touching and damaging each other.


Tool Racks : The Next Generation

I’ve managed to make a start on the custom tool racks I talked about last post. Most of my tools fit fine on normal pegboard hooks but there’s a few that don’t, like my small carving chisels.

I used a similar process to last time, though with a drill press in the workshop now it was a lot easier to get the holes drilled accurately and to the exact depth I needed.

I started with a scrap of pine left over from the drill press stand. I like the look of the racks with a slight 45 degree angle on the ends so did marked that up at the same time. To get the length I needed I just laid out the tools on top of the scrap and left a bit extra at either end.


Over to the trusty miter saw to cut it to length and I have the makings of the tool rack. Chamfer the edges at this point as it both looks better and will stop the later cuts splintering the edge.


I decided that the best way to proceed was to drill the L-hook holes first and make sure they fit and it would fit on the pegboard, that way if it didn’t I wouldn’t have wasted a heap of time.


My drill press has a very advanced table and fence as you can see (MDF and clamps!) but it did the job fine. I drilled the smaller hole to full depth first for the thread to go into, then the larger hole for the washer on the hooks to fit in. It would have been easier if I could find hooks without the washer part but I haven’t been able to so far.

Once this was done I screwed the hooks in and tested it on the pegboard, where it worked fine and held nice and firmly in place. Something I forgot to mention earlier is that you need a 45 degree chamfer on the back edge otherwise you won’t be able to tilt it back to put on the pegboard.


I then started drilling my holes with a Forstner bit to match the size of the chisel handles I wanted to store. A pair of caipers comes in very handy for matching the tool size to the drill bit size right about now.


Once the holes are drilled it looked line this. I could have left it like this but that would mean I needed clearance above the rack to take tools in and out.


Instead I marked out a channel to be cut out of the front of each hole so that I could lift the tools only a little then slide them the rest of the way out


I cut these out with a Japanese saw but any small saw would work. You could also use a jigsaw or scrollsaw, which I didn’t think about using until after I was finished.


Here’s the finished rack on the bench


and here it is on the wall filled with tools. It got a light sand and a coat of linseed oil to finish it off.


There’s a few more to do but this is the first and I’m very happy with the result. If you’d like to see the article that inspired the use of the L-hooks to hang in on the pegboard you can find it here