Pegboard Tool Storage Epiphany #4: Hand drill storage rack

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Project by Brad posted 01-19-2014 03:58 PM 10021 views 13 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you’re like me, your workshop space is at a premium. Situated in an L-shaped portion of the garage, I have to make every square inch count. One day, I woke up and decided I was fed up with “drill sprawl.” My hand drills and braces were strewn hither and yonder across my pegboard landscape. So I sat down to design and build a pegboard brace rack to organize them.

My criteria were as follows:

1. Minimize the space taken up on the pegboard.
2. Include enough space between tools so that they don’t hit each other when docking and retrieving.
3. Ensure that each tool can be retrieved without moving any other tool.
4. Accommodate two hand drills and four braces. In other words, only tools that I use. This is not a display case for a boring tool collection, no pun intended. Here’s the lineup:

a. Stanley eggbeater No. 624 (5/8” slot)
b. Goodell-Pratt Hand Drill No. 53 (½” slot)
c. Skinner 6” brace (½” slot)
d. PS&W 8” No. 1203 (½” slot + ¾” spacer)
e. Skinner 10” brace (½” slot)
f. Millers-Falls 12” No. 321 (5/8” slot + ¾” spacer)
5. Make an attractive design.
Storage Designs

Six boring tools can get heavy so I opted to make a sturdy construction. My wood of choice was alder-the poor-man’s cherry-to match the other storage racks I’ve made so far. My search for eye-catching brace storage designs turned up this one.

Now that’s some good woodworking to be sure. But for me, it was overkill. I prefer to keep all my bits at hand in existing drawers. That obviates the need for any storage rack drawers. And because my pegboard includes ample space in the z axis (think from the wall toward yourself) I chose to dock my braces with the handle pointing out perpendicular to the wall. That would be consistent with criteria 2 and 3 above.

One of the critical questions for any storage rack is what is the spacing between the centerline of each tool storage slot? To get that answer, I measured the head diameters of the braces, as well as the shafts to determine the lateral space requirements of each tool.

To conserve a few more lateral inches, I opted to add ¾” spacers on top of two of the slots so that the head bottoms could sit above the heads of their adjacent neighbors. That yielded center-line to center-line spacing between brace slots of 2 ½ inches. In retrospect, that made things a bit tight when reaching for tools. So if I had it to do over again, I would allow 3 to 3 ½ inches between slots.

Here’s the design I came up with.

The cut list
1” x 6” x 24” alder (1)—(3/4” x 5 ¾” x 24 actual)
1” x 4” x 24” alder (1)—(3/4” x 3 ¾” x 24” actual)

The top shelf is 18 ½” long and supported by a cross brace along the bottom back edge along with two end brackets.

The build

Based on past experience, I do any work on the rack before cutting the slots. That way I don’t get any tear out or, worse, a break. With that in mind, I broke the sharp edges by chamfering them with a block plane, then I ran a smoothing plane over it. Next, I laid out the slots, then glued ¾” spacers over the last and next to last slots from the right. The spacers would allow the tops of two braces to sit under those of their spacer-elevated neighbors.

After that, I cut the slots followed by chamfering the edges a wee bit with a very sharp chisel.

—Rack shelf support
For the perpendicular shelf support, I cut it nearly to length then zeroed in on the final dimension on the shooting board. To make the joint between the rack and support more pleasing to the eye, I ran a 3/8” bead along the top (criteria #5.)

To eliminate a blocky appearance (criteria #5) I cut one corner off each bracket front.

After the pieces were cut and fitted, I finished them with Danish oil, being careful to mask the to-be-glued edges. After the finish dried, I glued up the pieces and reinforced the joints with screws.

All that was left was to add the L-hooks and mount the finished piece to the pegboard.

Now that I’ve used it, I like the look and the brace rack works well. It’s a bit tight between braces, and I have to take a bit of care to see that the heads don’t collide. But it’s compact and holds everything just fine. Drill sprawl be gone!


-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

12 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 3584 days

#1 posted 01-19-2014 04:05 PM

Great Design, Brad! And, Thank you for the dimensional plans. I surely do need to construct something similar. You’re quite ingenious.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View theoldfart's profile


13129 posts in 3903 days

#2 posted 01-19-2014 04:35 PM

Well thought out Brad and nice collection.

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

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4604 days

#3 posted 01-19-2014 05:40 PM

Great idea, I like how you staggered the heights to get them closer together, I need to make one.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Grumpymike's profile


2504 posts in 3768 days

#4 posted 01-19-2014 08:21 PM

“L” hooks huh? I’ve been using drywall anchors with a screw, I’ll have to try that.
I like your use of the white peg board, it sure brightens up the place by reflecting light ... I use it a lot.
Nice brace collection … I haven’t used an eggbeater drill since I got the battery :)

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8594 posts in 3434 days

#5 posted 01-19-2014 09:11 PM

Cool Brad. I’ve been kicking around designs for a drill till on my french cleat board. I think you gave me some ideas.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

20380 posts in 4020 days

#6 posted 01-19-2014 09:51 PM

It sure beats the 3” screws I’ve got mine hanging on!!

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

View Brit's profile (online now)


8506 posts in 4295 days

#7 posted 01-19-2014 09:58 PM

Nice job Brad. I need to get mine organized too.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Slyy's profile


2840 posts in 3108 days

#8 posted 01-20-2014 05:02 AM

Brad – thanks for the inspiration, another great LJ idea to shamelessly steal!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View Brad's profile


1148 posts in 4192 days

#9 posted 01-20-2014 02:47 PM

Thank you everyone. I find that an organized shop inspires me to spend more time in it. When you get around to making your brace storage, do share.

Andy, can’t wait to see what you come up with on your brace design. Perhaps some of that wood you recently picked up after a nasty storm will figure into it.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4292 days

#10 posted 01-20-2014 11:29 PM

Nice wall mount.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View clieb91's profile


4267 posts in 5387 days

#11 posted 01-21-2014 09:17 PM

Great Idea. I need to do something like this for the couple of drills that my daughter uses.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View rhybeka's profile


5158 posts in 4574 days

#12 posted 08-14-2016 02:36 PM

This is awesome Brad! Well thought out and solid!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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