French Cleat storage

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Project by Mark posted 10-05-2011 06:05 AM 9638 views 17 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed some new organizational ability in my garage, and after seeing the many great uses for a french cleat storage system, I decided to build one of my own. I started of with 1×4 pine, ran one edge through the jointer, ripped it to width on the table saw, and then added the 45 degree cut for the cleat. It was a simple little project that I finished in just two nights after work, but now I’ll have a good start on a way to hang my frequently used tools.

I made a few simple brackets to get started – one simple peg design using a 5/8” dowel to hang things like extension cords on, and then another to hold my chisels. I’ve got another to hold a few clamps as well.

I’ve seen several great ideas for other brackets from members on here, so I imagine I’ll build some similar ones as the need arises.

-- Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an axe, and hammer to fit.

7 comments so far

View rmac's profile


221 posts in 3515 days

#1 posted 10-05-2011 06:52 AM

You will like your French cleat system a lot better if you make the holders so that they hang down and bear against the wall under the cleat. Look here for a few pictures.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18639 posts in 4131 days

#2 posted 10-05-2011 09:01 AM

I have always been a bit concerned bout earthquakes shaking them loose and down. What do you do about that?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3095 days

#3 posted 10-05-2011 09:59 AM

@TopamaxSurvivor, In earth quakes, tornadoes, floods, and lightning storms I typically just do the Gordon Liddy – approved thing: I go outside and shake my fist at it and dare it to mess with me. It has worked perfectly all these years. ;=)

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18639 posts in 4131 days

#4 posted 10-05-2011 10:12 AM

Wish I could say the same. About 10-15 years ago, I heard one coming. Somehow I knew what it was?? I hollered at my wife, but I’m not sure she know what I said. By the time I got the words out my mouth, it hit. I remember a sine wave going through the house from north to south, 2 of them about 10 seconds apart. No real damage, not much knocked off the shelves.

7 years ago we had another. I had rotary cuff fixed a week or so before. Sitting around waiting for it to heal. It started, kept going and going. I thought this is beginning to suck. I wouldn’t be able to do much for another 4 months!! Pretty son, I decided if it wasn’t going to stop, I had better get my butt outside! About then, it stopped ;-))

Lucky both times. Not real damage and not much even tipped over. We are pretty well earthquake proofed. Even the drill press is chained to the ceiling of the garage.

I am wodering if these will stay very well? They look like they would bounce out.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4479 days

#5 posted 10-05-2011 01:23 PM

Thanks for sharing this. In the middle of a shop do over and been thinking about this for tools, cabinets etc. Gives the freedom to move things around any time with a minimum of hassle. Nice job

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View StumpyNubs's profile


7730 posts in 3255 days

#6 posted 10-05-2011 07:16 PM

I have my doubts that the French even invented the cleat in the first place…

I wonder if, in France, they call them “American Cleats”?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3692 days

#7 posted 10-06-2011 11:34 AM

rmac is right about supporting the weight below the cleat. Or, you can put the strips a set distance apart and make your wall into slat-wall. You can either use a 45 degree cleat above and below or cut a rabbit in each. It’s quicker to make tool holders using 1/4” pieces of plywood to slide into the slats and attach your tool holders to them if you can just leave them square. Earthquakes won’t shake them off unless the wall falls down. Just make each slat no longer than 4’ so you can move the tool holders around easier.

-- Hal, Tennessee

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