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Project Information

Here's the french cleat board I made for my shop. It's one of those projects that will never feel quite "done"...so 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

Gallery

Comments

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6,662 Posts
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!
 

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20,607 Posts
man that looks great.
 

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6,485 Posts
Love French cleats. Your system is a lot prettier than mine, though. Nice job!
 

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14,500 Posts
Beautiful as well as functional. Any thoughts of a tool chest in your future to augment this?
 

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1,744 Posts
That's great! I have been trying to think through storage solutions for my ever growing hand tool collection. Thanks for posting!
 

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5,820 Posts
Great job on your organizational skills and woodwork!
 

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

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3,380 Posts
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.
 

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814 Posts
That is beautiful, well done you crazy fool!
 

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2,483 Posts
Very Nice !!!!
 

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13,227 Posts
You ever gonna slow down? A shop to drool over, a shop to create in. Nice work Red.
 

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8,611 Posts
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.
 

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2,330 Posts
Wow. That's some magazine-worthy scenery.
 

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1,152 Posts
Nice looking project. I want to do this on some of my shop walls when I get it built.
 

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807 Posts
That is incredible. Nice job and what a difference.
 

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8,807 Posts
Very well done! I have the french cleats in the shop also and never regret that one….
 

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3,117 Posts
Very nice and neat…. a place for everything and a excellent project.
 

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2,874 Posts
that is a beautiful wall of tools! I store all my hand tools in a wall mounted tool cabinet, but I can see the advantage of a system like yours, and it looks great.
 

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15,066 Posts
Very impressive tool wall!
 
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