French Cleat System for my shop

  • Advertise with us
Project by BigRedKnothead posted 09-24-2013 08:31 PM 95662 views 283 times favorited 93 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s the french cleat board I made for my shop. It’s one of those projects that will never feel quite “done” I’m just gonna post it. I made the cleat board a couple months ago, and I’ve been slowly adding various tills and racks. The latest being a till for my smoothing planes. A saw till and others are coming soon.

About the build:
It’s possible to mount the french cleats right on the wall. But I’m working with cinder block walls, and I had no desire to drill that many holes with a hammer drill. So I decided to mount a big piece of plywood.

Realizing this, I wanted to stick with white oak and walnut like I used on my bench. I just like those woods and they’re pretty reasonable where I live. So, I took a leftover piece of white oak plywood, framed it to get a little more size, then cut some 1”x3” cleats out of some knotty walnut..

Then, I had the idea to glue the cleats and screw them from the back of the plywood. That way I wouldn’t have to look at all the ugly screwheads. Here’s how that looked. Basically layout, predrill, glue, temp cleats with brads, flip over and screw.

Then I mounted the board to the wall with some big concrete anchors, and wiped it with a couple coats of danish oil.

Then I just had fun making all sorts of tool holders.

Each till gets a “hanger” mounted on the back. Really just and inverted scrap from the original cleats. I’m pretty happy with it so far. The flexibility is really nice. I keep tinkering with the layout. The tills slide left and right, or just lift off easily.
The last phase my my improved tool storage will be some cabinets/drawers for the bench below the french cleats.

Questions and comments always welcome. Take care all you crazy lumberjocks, Red

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

93 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5975 posts in 3294 days

#1 posted 09-24-2013 08:35 PM

Wow, white oak and walnut tool racks! That will be inspiring for you to continue to make beautiful projects.
Those are my two favorite species of lumber.

Nice project!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Don W's profile

Don W

19314 posts in 3048 days

#2 posted 09-24-2013 08:43 PM

man that looks great.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JayT's profile


6273 posts in 2692 days

#3 posted 09-24-2013 08:47 PM

Love French cleats. Your system is a lot prettier than mine, though. Nice job!

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4578 days

#4 posted 09-24-2013 08:48 PM

Beautiful as well as functional. Any thoughts of a tool chest in your future to augment this?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2436 days

#5 posted 09-24-2013 08:50 PM

That’s great! I have been trying to think through storage solutions for my ever growing hand tool collection. Thanks for posting!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2773 days

#6 posted 09-24-2013 09:01 PM

Great job on your organizational skills and woodwork!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 2200 days

#7 posted 09-24-2013 09:09 PM

Wow, that is really really nice. There’s a lot of work in that and it looks beautiful and organized.

-- Marty, Ohio

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3135 days

#8 posted 09-24-2013 09:16 PM

That is a whole lot of awesom on one wall Red. Thanks for sharing. I especially like the chisel rack. It’s so open and easy to reconfigure.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4201 days

#9 posted 09-24-2013 09:17 PM

That is beautiful, well done you crazy fool!

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3521 days

#10 posted 09-24-2013 09:20 PM

Very Nice !!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View theoldfart's profile


10871 posts in 2932 days

#11 posted 09-24-2013 09:26 PM

You ever gonna slow down? A shop to drool over, a shop to create in. Nice work Red.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8547 posts in 2463 days

#12 posted 09-24-2013 09:39 PM

Thanks everyone. My shop is coming along nicely. And I spend a lot of time out there;)

Willie- They’re my favorite woods too. That’s why I’m surrounding myself with them…lol

Wayne- hard to predict the future, but I don’t plan on any tool chests as of now. Once I get the cabinets built in the joinery bench, I should have plenty of storage.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2966 days

#13 posted 09-24-2013 09:43 PM

Wow. That’s some magazine-worthy scenery.

-- Brian Timmons -

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2846 days

#14 posted 09-24-2013 10:09 PM

Nice looking project. I want to do this on some of my shop walls when I get it built.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 3127 days

#15 posted 09-24-2013 10:29 PM

That is incredible. Nice job and what a difference.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

showing 1 through 15 of 93 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics