Layout Tool Storage Racks

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Project by Kelly posted 07-15-2018 03:39 AM 1639 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m all over the board on what I do in my shop, so I have a significant and, seemingly, ever growing collection of layout tools. I had dedicated a 4’x8’ section of wall space to storing and displaying them so I could spot what I needed for a given project with just a glance. It wasn’t enough and my many circle templates, compasses, triangles, parallel guides and many other items sat in boxes I had to go through, as need arose.

I solved the space problem by building a storage system similar to the displays you see used for posters. However, my panels are 2’ wide by 4’ tall and about 1-1/4” thick. They mount in two pieces of 4’ long, pre-drilled angle iron mounted to the wall.

The completed project takes up 16 square feet of the 32 square feet I set aside for layout tools and gives me 64 square feet of play area, plus a little between panels.

I have three panels mounted and have room to add one more, which is scheduled to be completed sometime in this decade. Meanwhile, I can also install things on the wall, between the panels.

I built the panels using junk 3/8” plywood, which I used to sandwich 1/2” square stock (spacers) I cut from 2x’s. The spacers ran around the outer edges, and two were spaced evenly through between the ends.

Once the panels were built, because I forgot to add reinforcement at the corners when assembling them, I added five inch pieces of aluminum angle stock I had on hand to the completed panels. These mounted on the exterior of the panels, at the top and bottom, where the panel would sit in the angle iron on the wall. To avoid having to add the aluminum or other reinforcement, I could have added spacers an inch or so wide and the same thickness as the perimeter spacer stock to the corners.

Once the angle aluminum was in place, I drilled holes for 3/8” dowels on the top and bottom. The holes were about 5/16” back from the edge (to allow the panels to pivot without hitting the wall or angle iron). The bottom dowel is glued in place. The top one can be removed, to allow me to install and remove the panels independently.

6 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


6262 posts in 1425 days

#1 posted 07-15-2018 04:52 AM

A great use of “junk plywood” by the looks of it. I can remember pegboard, with an outline of all the tools so you knew where to put everything back in place. Hope it works as you have planned. I found I was terrible at putting things away, kept changing my mind where I wanted to keep items, almost drove me mad, so now I leave it where I last used it.

Weird thing is, I lose less tools now than back then. I guess they really don’t grow legs and wander off.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Kelly's profile


3127 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 07-15-2018 06:40 AM

Too funny, realSteven. I’m kind of the other way. I spend too much time chasing things or digging through boxes, so my hand tools go back where they belong and are easy to find for the next round. Too, many of my tools have custom holders, so it’s easy to remember what goes where,

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3717 days

#3 posted 07-15-2018 01:07 PM

These are very creative organizational storage solutions for your shop. Nice work!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ralbuck's profile


6577 posts in 3117 days

#4 posted 07-15-2018 05:05 PM

Useful, unique, & fits your needs, all equal an excellent job. The wood rescue is another PLUS!

I like the idea of the swinging panels that make it easier to find things. AS I do lot of scrollsaw from templates from the patterns that I have made; those I have in a few drawers in tool chests.

I use some pegboard and places on my drill stand that I added for the cordless drills, that I use a lot. The awls and that sort of thing and even files have slots/holes added into the platform that I made under my scrollsaw.

I am far from totally orgnized, but can usually find tools with minimum search time.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3855 days

#5 posted 07-15-2018 08:33 PM

Great storage and ease of locating idea

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6167 posts in 3260 days

#6 posted 07-16-2018 01:59 AM

Great idea!! Being organized eliminates the frustration of searching for something when trying to keep work flowing. But it also involves alot of time and effort to get set up at first.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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