The east side of my garage is divided by a pair of large shelving units. These are fairly heavy duty, measuring 6 feet wide, 18 inches deep, and standing about 6 feet high. They are spaced about 8 inches apart, and I used the space between them for storing my baltic birch plywood, and sheets of sheet metal. Originally I had just screwed a piece of 1/8″ plywood to these sides and used nails and magnets to store things I didn’t really have any better place for. Here is what it has looked like for the past several years.
While this has worked, it hasn’t worked all that well. Many of the items on here are seldom used, and it is hard to tell when something hasn’t been put away. I wanted to rework this area, with the following goals in mind:
- Dedicate this area to commonly used tools, or tools that I typically need unexpectedly
- Make dedicated holders for each tool so I can see when one is missing
- Neaten up the appearance
I am still not finished, but I am at a stopping point for now, and here is what I have. I decided on a light machine grey for my larger surfaces, and a dark machine grey for the individual holders.
I’ve got a lot going on here, so I’ll work my way around.
At the top is a rack I welded up from some rectangular tubing. I bent some 1/4″ rod to form hooks to hold my face shields for grinding and plasma cutting. It also holds a pair of ear muffs and my 3M WorkTunes. Below that is a small shelf that holds some drill Huot Drill gauges, one for each Fractional, Letter, Number, and Large (1/2″-1″) Fractional sizes. Each gauge has a slot cut in the shelf to keep it in place. Below that is another shelf with fitted slots for three Starrett Combination Squares (12″, 6″ and 3″), a Woodpecker’s 8″ precision square and 6″ triangle, and two Incra T-Rules. To the right of these, are a pair of metal holders, one for nitrile gloves, and another for facial tissue (I have allergies) that I formed up from some 20 gauge steel. Dangling from those holders are some zip lock baggies with a small magnet in the corner. The baggies hold safety glasses, a head lamp, and a cheap DMM. Below those holders are two small holders, one for my Starrett thickness gauges, and another for my favorite tape measure, a Hiltafors Talmeter.
The lower part of the left side has the pliers holder I detailed in a previous post, as well has holders for metric and SAE Allen (hex) sticks. Both of these holders are attached to the end cap with hinges so they can be swung out of the way to access the plywood and steel stored between the shelving units. Below those holders are some magnetic and fingered grabbers. On the left side are a pair of holders I made for my belt pliers. Depending on what I am doing I may use either the Knipex mini set or just a standard pair of Wilde slip joint pliers. A Hillman thread checker and a dust brush finish off this side.
The right side includes the side of part of my container grid, so it has a few more feet of height. Up at the top is a shelf for various spray bottles. Below that is a magnetic strip with various utility knives, scrapers, and putty knives. Below those is a paper towel holder made from some 1/2 steel pipe. I wanted something that was more durable and looked better than the cheap plastic holder i had previously. To the right of that is my Bosch Laser Measure held in place with a sheet metal clip I made. At the bottom of the photo is a strip of 16 gauge sheet metal offset about 1/4″ from the back with some spaces. This holds my commonly used tape measures. On the right side are a bunch of my freebie Harbor Freight magnetic bowls. I find myself using these often for keeping fasteners handy while I am in the middle of a project.
Finishing out the end cap, we have another magnetic strip with my Starrett 6″ ruler, 6″ hook ruler, centering punch, and some small screwdrivers. To the right of that is a holder with several pens, pencils, and markers that I use regularly. It also holds a Starrett Automatic punch, a deburring tool, and a couple of carbide scribes. Below that is a holder containing all of my commonly used 1/4″ impact driver bits. I have Phillips, Square, and Torx heads in various lengths. This entire rack is held onto its shelf with some powerful magnets, so it is easy to take with me when I am working on something that requires a variety of bits. Below this is a holder for my common size screw sticks. Below that are my Xcellite hollow shaft nut drivers. These really come in handy more often that I figured they would. I have room to the left of these for my metric set. On the right side of this is a piece of 3″ PVC that I use to hold brazing rod, dowels, and a 3′ hook rule. Hanging off of that are my three commonly used cordless tools, M12 Drill and Impact, and M18 impact.
I have been working on this over the past several weeks and have been very pleased with the increased functionality and organization it provides. I find myself much more likely to put stuff away when everything has a dedicated home.