French Cleat Measurement Tool Storage

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Project by Ron Stewart posted 04-15-2020 08:13 PM 1042 views 9 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years ago, I installed a pair of French cleat rails in our garage. At the time, I had grand plans to build all sorts of handy little storage racks and the like. Aside from some clamp racks and a crosscut sled holder, I never built any of those things. Now that I can’t easily go out and buy more lumber for new projects, I decided to use scraps on hand to start improving my storage situation. My first project is a rack to store my smaller, commonly used measurement and layout tools: speed squares, combination square, bend rule, and digital calipers.

I’ve seen several such racks on the web, but most of them store speed squares perpendicular to the wall. They jut out too far for me; I’d surely bump my head on the ends of the squares. I wanted a wall-hugging design, with the squares parallel to the wall.

Here’s my solution. It holds two 7” speed squares, two combination squares (even though I have just one). A small shelf holds my Wixey digital calipers. My bend rule just sits on top of the cleat. It will be nice having all of these tools at my fingertips for future projects.

The design is extremely simple. It’s just a few 3/4” thick planks of plywood with 1/4” spacers in between to provide space for the squares to drop into. The third photo shows an interior view of the rack, and the SketchUp renderings show more details.

Thanks for looking!

-- Ron Stewart

12 comments so far

View observer100's profile


467 posts in 1845 days

#1 posted 04-15-2020 08:49 PM

Very nice. I think it looks good and seems to be a practical solution.

-- Seeing is believing.

View controlfreak's profile


693 posts in 336 days

#2 posted 04-15-2020 09:24 PM

I like it and man do I have some french cleats, every 5” all the way around my shop. Thanks for posting the sketch too.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

173 posts in 3238 days

#3 posted 04-15-2020 10:45 PM

Thank you both for your comments.

controlfreak: I just looked at your projects. You do have a ton of cleats. A chisel rack like yours is on my to-build list.

-- Ron Stewart

View Foghorn's profile


456 posts in 121 days

#4 posted 04-16-2020 01:58 AM

One Starrett combination square like yours is all you need! Nice work.

-- Darrel

View sepeck's profile


440 posts in 2875 days

#5 posted 04-16-2020 03:48 AM

I may have to redo how I hold mine

-- -Steven Peck,

View Peteybadboy's profile


1868 posts in 2684 days

#6 posted 04-16-2020 09:56 AM

You may have just motovated me to do someting about may measrement tools. Thanks

-- Petey

View controlfreak's profile


693 posts in 336 days

#7 posted 04-16-2020 01:46 PM

controlfreak: I just looked at your projects. You do have a ton of cleats. A chisel rack like yours is on my to-build list.

- Ron Stewart

Thanks, if you look closely you can see squares and such haphazardly resting on random cleats. Your design will keep them in one spot for me. I can’t tell you how many times I have to keep looking on every wall for one of them.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12126 posts in 4163 days

#8 posted 04-16-2020 02:25 PM

Pretty daarned slick.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View balidoug's profile


513 posts in 3213 days

#9 posted 04-16-2020 02:34 PM

I put up some cleats a couple years ago, and have been building and re-designing ‘holders’ in between projects ever since. Good fun and good practice. Yours is a great design: consolidating space and keeping order. nice work.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Dwain's profile


612 posts in 4594 days

#10 posted 04-16-2020 04:45 PM

Excellent design! I can’t tell you how much I like what you did. I made something similar (but much worse) several years ago that holds two seven in speed squares and one 12 in speed square. This is SO much nicer! With your permission (heck, even with out it) I will need to construct something like this. THANKS FOR SHARING!

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View WirelessWoodworker's profile


83 posts in 1991 days

#11 posted 04-16-2020 06:41 PM

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

173 posts in 3238 days

#12 posted 04-16-2020 09:13 PM

Thanks for the kind comments. I really appreciate them.

It’s funny. When I started this little project, I wasn’t sure I was going to post it here because it was so simple. Usually, I model my projects in SketchUp all the way down to dimensioned parts and cut sheets. For this one, I went to my bench with just vague ideas. I played around with my measuring tools and plywood scraps for about half an hour, and then started cutting and gluing. As I worked, I took notes so I could create a SU model later (in case I ever needed to build another holder or add another layer to this one). I never seriously thought anybody else would want to replicate my design.

-- Ron Stewart

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