Category Archives: Storage

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


Ghosts of pegboard racks past

Now that I’ve got more pegboard up, I realised that I don’t have enough tools that fit on normal hooks to go on it so started looking for pegboard rack designs. I’d made some before but gave most away when I built dedicated racks for those tools.

Funnily enough when I was searching a few of the ones I’d made came up on the first page of results. They actually looked pretty decent, and they did their job well.

Here they are on the old mobile pegboard wall. Looking back at it this was actually a really good solution, I wish I’d kept it around. It lives on in other projects though, the pegboard is on the walls and parts of the frame have been used in the drill press stand and in that mighty Roubo workbench I was building at one point. I wonder if they guy who bought it ever finished it?.

Back to the point. I find it interesting how you sometimes end up revisiting your own work. I’ll be using these as a reference for the new tool racks I want to build, and I’m also considering adding pegboard above my workbench again if there’s enough scraps of it to do so. I’d done that then pulled it down when the cupboards came off a month or two ago, but I think having the tools to hand would be useful.

Moral of the story?. Document your work where possible, you never know when you’ll want to use the idea again!

It’s the final pegboard (dah dah dum dum dum!)

Forgive the terrible title of this article, I just can’t get that song out of my head.

For a good year now I’ve had a stack of pegboard sitting stacked against the wall of my small garage workshop. It originally came from my dad’s garage, leftovers from when he did his workshop, and then it spent some time on a mobile frame housing my tools.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to finish the frames for it in an effort to clean up that corner of the workshop, and I’ve finally finished what I think will be the last of them.

This one’s a bit different, it didn’t need to be a deep cabinet as it’s out of the way in the back corner under the saw till, so the sides weren’t needed to stop tools being bumped.

First I marked up the wood for the frame


Then I cut it to length, making sure the pieces ended up the same size


Next I cut my piece of pegboard to size using my jigsaw. Be careful not to wander into the holes, the blade will slip sideways if you do.


I turned my pegboard over as this is the side I’ll attach the frame to


Next I laid out my frame making sure it all fit properly, this is important to do before gluing up as it allows you to make any adjustments.


Then I made sure the frame fit, and glued each piece into position with PVA glue, making sure I got some on the sides where the next piece would meet this one so that they were joined to each other not just the frame


Once this was dry I turned the frame over and nailed the pegboard to it for extra strength


I already had holes with masonry plugs in them from a previous project so worked out where I needed to drill to match those and screwed the pegboard to the wall.


It all fit well, but because the pegboard wasn’t as wide as i would have liked and because I wanted to use the already drilled holes it sat lower in the space than it could have, leaving a wide gap above it that looked odd. I thought about it, unscrewed the frame from the wall and added a narrow shelf to the top with glue and nails.


There it is, all finished and ready to be put to use. I ended up giving it a light sand and the shelf a coat of boiled linseed oil later to match the rest of the workshop.

It never hurts to have more storage in the workshop, and this made good use of what otherwise is wasted space

Light and shade

In comparison to Saturday’s relaxing time in the workshop, Sunday was stressful. I wasn’t feeling great to begin with so took it easy in the morning, but my better half was going out in the afternoon and I wanted to try and finish up a project that’s been sitting unfinished for some time. 20130303_150753

I’d made this second pegboard cabinet early on, not long after the first one, but had never bothered to finish it. I’d tried once and had a router bit slip and gouge a chunk out of the top rail so had to replace that to start with.

I was rushing, trying to get this done and hung on the wall in under two hours, so decided to use nails instead of screws. Not a good idea at all, the wood split. I fixed that, then put the new piece on properly.

Next issue – I’d sized it to be the same width as the other cabinet, but when I went to cut the pegboard to fit I found the pieces I have left are all too narrow. I ended up attaching it top and bottom and the sides are sitting unattached, it seems rigid enough to work though so that turned out ok.

Next problem? Because the pegboard was fastened to the back of the cabinet, I couldn’t install the locking cleats like on the top one. Instead I put spaces on the back and screwed it directly to the wall.


I gave it all a light sand and it’s done, it needs a coat of oil but that can come later. I sat back with a cuppa to take a look and all I can see are mistakes, but when my partner came home she thought it looked fantastic.

I’ve started loading it up but need to think through where everything goes first, but it does add valuable storage I didn’t have before and at the end of the day it works and looks decent. It’s only us woodworkers who know where the problems are and I think I need to focus more on appreciating the final result instead of worrying over small imperfections only I can see.


Finishing the plane till

There was a slight change of plan on the plane till. I was going to do three horizontal braces across the back with the magnetic bars mounted on them, but finding more of these bars is proving near impossible, all the stores locally have sold out with no idea when they will have more.

Rather than deprive my chisel rack of a second bar I decided to make do with two instead, so this meant a redesign. What I decided to do is put a plywood back on the cabinet, and have one bar just up from the bottom to capture the smaller planes and one diagonally to support the longer planes.

I’ve not really worked with plywood previously, except for a scrap here and there, as I’ve always opted for the cheaper MDF. I think I’ll be using ply more often as it was nice to work and the grain looks really nice in the cabinet.

I used the cabinet frame to mark the size of the back then cut it out with my trusty jigsaw. I glued it up then added nails for extra strength, I don’t want this coming apart and spilling my planes on the floor.


I added the magnetic bars in and then loaded it with the planes to make sure everything fit. It did nicely, so gave it a good sand and a coat of linseed oil.

There was some room left over so I decided to add a short shelf for my block planes. I’m not sure where the photos of this part of the work went, I may have just been too busy working to stop and take any!

Here’s a photo of it on the wall, the shelf still needs some oil to fit in with the rest.


and here it is loaded up. All my planes fit with room for the router plane as well, held in place by L-hooks that just pivot to release it. My spokeshaves are hanging from hooks on each side and I will put a rail on top so I can safely store my rebate and plough plane there.


The planes are all held securely, I’ve bumped and shaken the cabinet to make sure. Even the smaller ones held only by one bar are locked in place. Trying to pull any plane forward is near impossible, the trick is to lift one side then the other side releases. I’m really happy with this solution.


Starting on the new plane till

I’ve been following through on my thoughts from the other night and started building a replacement for my old plane till. I did some research and saw that most people either sloped the till or used string to hold the planes in place, but the former takes up too much space that I don’t have available, and the later worries me – what if I bump the case and something falls out?

I was standing in the garage staring around trying to figure out where I could put a new till and my eyes fell on the chisel cabinet. It’s been working well and I love the magnetic racks that hold the tools in place, so why not use that same design for the planes?

I decided that I’d better see if the concept worked first, so emptied the bottom rows of chisels and loaded up some planes, one at a time and making sure they weren’t going to fall out. Turns out that one bar is strong enough to firmly hold the largest plane I have, a #7.


I decided to build a shorter cabinet than the chisel rack, just a few inches longer than the #7. I made sure it could handle a #8 if I ever happen to end up with one, as the last till couldn’t fit the #7 in, so I’m trying to future proof this one a little.

I’d bought the wood for this project ages ago so just marked it up and cut it to length on the miter saw (the new stand worked really well).


I used my z-vice to hold everything square, or so I thought…


I soon found out that I’d not lined everything up and the box wouldn’t come together it was so out of square. So far out in fact that I got a tape measure out to check that I’d cut the side pieces the same length. I had, so it was the connections causing the problems.

This is the point where I got frustrated and took it all apart so I could start over. I’d already drilled screw holes and they weren’t square so instead I resorted to nails. Not my favorite thing to use, and I split the wood in a few places, but I was just happy to have it together and once the cross pieces were on it was nice and solid.

I put one of the magnetic rails in to see how it would fit, and it’s good. I just need to find another, as I only had one spare and can’t seem to get them any longer. If I have too I’ll take the bottom one out of the chisel rack for now.


Basically to finish it just needs a top rail and the second magnetic bar added, I’ll do that as soon as I can. After it’s finished and on the wall the extra bench planes will go on ebay.

Drill Bit Storage

After all the fun of getting the drill press shelves done, I decided to start building customer holders for my drill bits, like below


Now this will work for some of my bits, the ones where I actually have complete, matched sets. So basically, the five bits pictured.

The problem is, I seem to collect drill bits. I have bits from sets I got growing up, I have bits that got given to me, and bits I’ve bought because I still didn’t have the right size for the job. Right now they are stored in a bit plastic container, divided into types – twist, brad point, spade etc. I have three of some sizes and none of others, so building pretty little wooden stands for them just isn’t going to work.

I’ve considered magnetic rails like I did for chisels, but if I try to drill metal that could cause problems, plus I don’t really have the wall space left for this to work. I think I’ll have to spend some time with Google and see what other woodworkers have done to get some ideas.

Before you suggest that I get rid of all the duplicates and fill in the missing sizes, I’ll ask you a question – where’s the fun in knowing exactly where a bit is when you need it? The next thing I know you’ll be expecting me to actually build something…

Oh, and I made a similar holder for the flap wheels I got today. I’ll write something up about them later because they are pretty useful little things.


What can I get done in an hour or so?

My better half got me to drop her off at the shops on Sunday after we went out for breakfast. Coming home filled with bacon, eggs and thoughts of some workshop time, I was in a pretty good mood. What do do with that little window of time though?. It had to be something productive that would be finished and cleaned up in under two hours. I know, hang some pegboard!

I’m still in the process of using up all my scrap to make the garage neater and part of that scrap is a couple of large pegboard panels that originally came from my dad’s garage fit-out. I have plans for the two larger pieces, they still need frames built but will eventually go up on the walls. That left me one piece, and it was quite warped so I wasn’t sure it would work where I wanted it to fit. Shown below is the area above my workbench, it’s a bit bare and unused so I’ve been looking at it for weeks thinking that it needed a tool rack or some pegboard in it.

I got out my trusty sawbenches, which are actually starting to get a little wobbly (should have glued the joints as well as screwed them – will fix shortly!), and after measuring up the spot for it used my jigsaw to cut it to shape.

Then it was just a matter of fitting the piece in place, drilling a few holes with my old Millers Falls hand drill, and screwing it in place. I only had to make one trip back to the sawbenches, it was slightly oversize by about 3mm on one edge. Once I had it screwed in place the warp mostly went and so I got to hang some of my more frequently used tools on it. Hopefully this way I’ll hang them back up as I work rather than leaving them on the bench in the way!.

A little tidy up and I was all finished by the time I had to jump back in the car.