Garage Organization questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by OmegaRed posted 10-01-2012 03:03 PM 3185 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View OmegaRed's profile


34 posts in 2580 days

10-01-2012 03:03 PM

Hey guys, I have a large 60×50 barn that I plan on eventually setting up as a workshop, but it currently has no electric ran to it as we just moved in. So for the moment, I’m stuck in the attached 2 car garage where space is at a premium. I want to maintain the use for vehicles as a priority, so everything has to be tucked away when the work is done for the day.

My questions are as follows:

I have some pegboard already up…how in the heck do you decide what gets put on pegboard vs. in the toolbox? And where is a good place to buy the brackets/hangers for various items. Also anyone have any rhyme or reason for organization on the pegboard??

Second, I’m going to make some shelves for underneath the workbench like some of the projects I’ve seen on here recently. Something for drills,grinders, saws, nail guns etc. with cord storage. Does anyone have project blueprints for this, dimensions or considerations to add into design before I start building?

Lastly, I currently don’t have means to cut dado’s…could I use a biscuit jointer for building shelves or would they not be strong enough?

Thanks in advance

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

15 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2753 days

#1 posted 10-01-2012 03:13 PM

I subscribe to the organized chaos method for pegboard/visible storage. Stuff I use very frequently gets hung somewhere, but not necessarily the same somewhere every time. These are things like hand saws, hammers, mallets, squares and measuring stuff, cordless tools, jigs, etc.
My tool boxes the exact opposite of chaos. They are very organized and I like to group things. I have a “driver drawer” for screw drivers and nut setters, my wrenches are in aonther drawer, all together neatly, indexes of drill bits in another, pliers/vice grips together etc. The one-off stuff I don’t like to put in drawers or tool boxes, bucause I’ll never find it.


View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2801 days

#2 posted 10-01-2012 03:29 PM

Use shelf standards or clips. Then you can move/add/subtract shelves or add dividers as the need arises.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2706 days

#3 posted 10-01-2012 04:45 PM

Pegboards are great, I found that what can be seen will be covered in sawdust and invites being a catch all…. Shelves under a bench with out any doors is soon to be a big mess later on. Cabinets and drawers, maybe a few pegboards for real handy stuff. Like mentioned shelf clips cause as time goes on so does your inventory of tools and such. You have a 60×50 space of pure heaven one day. A good start for cabinets and such is old kitchen cabs, sometimes on CL if you go in and pull them out Nicely of course they will give them to you or darn cheap….. That big of an area more the better. Base cabs back to back make great assembly tables.

Tool chest are great as mentioned, overhead cabs be good idea. Just do a search here on storage ideas….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3663 days

#4 posted 10-01-2012 05:28 PM

The first thing I did was to put up a big pegboard in my garage. I crammed it full of stuff. Get yourself some of the brackets that are reinforced for putting up small shelves (boards) on them. Get longer brackets…you can put a whole set of box wrenches on one peg, for example.

Keep the least used tools in a toolbox.

It’s not optimal, but it works…slowly, you can optimize it over time. For example, I’m now beginning to transfer sections of my pegboard into more of a french cleat system.

-- jay,

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#5 posted 10-01-2012 05:42 PM

It’s all trial and error. Why don’t you park your cars in the barn for now ?

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3476 days

#6 posted 10-01-2012 05:52 PM

Well, if you could see my shop you would wonder why I am posting anything about organization.
I’m not saying “do as I do”, I’m saying “do as I say” or something like that.
Seriously, I had to stop my shop building and organizing projects to recover from months of searching for a job and then having to settle for work at a place that requires a 45 hour work week for 55% of my former salary.

But, the reality is, since I can’t afford to actually build anything I do a lot of planning for when I can get back on track. And, I do build a few small projects from materials I already had in stock.

So, with that setup and disclaimer out of the way I will say I don’t care much for pegboard. I’d rather have a sheet of plywood on the wall to which I can attach brackets and shelves and cabinets and organizers. I arrange like tools together. In accending or decending order by size. A set of screwdrivers is a good example. Smallest phillips to the left and largest in the middle, then smallest straight bit to the right and largest in the middle, next to the largest phillips. They are all in holes in a 2 1/2” deep shelf attached to my plywood wall. Makes a nice Vee shapped display and whenever I need a screwdriver I know exactly where to look and if I forget to put one back in its storage place I see exactly what is missing.

Then I do the same thing with chisels, then squares , then hammers, etc, etc. Eventually everything has a place. Sometimes I lay tools out on the bench to see how I want to arrange them before I start making shelves, brackets or holders. Depends on the tool shape and what idea I come up with to hang them.

View OmegaRed's profile


34 posts in 2580 days

#7 posted 10-01-2012 05:53 PM

LOL I’m more anal about keeping the vehicles clean than the shop (which is hard to believe). After waxing the motorcycle a little bit of dust wil ruin your day.

Also the barn has a large sliding door compared to garage door openers. And we get lots of snow!!

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

View OmegaRed's profile


34 posts in 2580 days

#8 posted 10-01-2012 05:58 PM

Also, I’ve been looking at the French Cleat system…I think that seems more up my alley after reading some reviews on pegboard. I want it to maintain a nice and clean look, with everything matching. Currently the garage is just studs – and I don’t plan on insulating it for a year or two. Is that a problem?

What kind of wood do you guys build the boxes and wall mounts for these french cleats?

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2781 days

#9 posted 10-01-2012 06:00 PM

Put a lumber rack up to save a lot of space for lumber. Build shelves out of 3/4’’ plywood, for tools and other things. You can buy pegboard hooks at Lowes. Make a few workbenches out 4+4, you could just glue two 2+4 together rather than buying 4+4’s. And if you have a table saw, make a workbench right behind it for support for long boards. Make sure the workbench is the same height as your table saw. The outfeed table behind your table saw will make a great workbench too. If you have any benchtop tools, make a rolling flip top cabinet to save even more space. I would clean the floor of your barn too, if it’s already clean, good for you!

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3189 days

#10 posted 10-01-2012 06:16 PM

this french cleat thing came from Family Handyman magazine last month…1×6 #2 pine ripped on a 45 (leaving enough cut-off to serve as the hangers which I attached to scrap plywood with glues and screws). My primary purpose was extension cord storage hence the longer pieces to catch the rail below for support and the carriage bolts covered with scrap PEX tubing to prevent fraying the cords on the bare threads. But while I was set up I made a ton of hangers for future use using scraps I had. The “verticals” were required solely because I have ribbed steel walls and have to cleat everything I want to hang. If you have flat wall and can find the studs, you don’t need them. IMHO it beats pegboard by 100 points.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7797 posts in 3419 days

#11 posted 10-01-2012 06:17 PM

Insulate NOW. You will never find the time to go back to finish the job otherwise. Plus, by insulating you will fill that void and make it harder for little critters to nest behind the pegboard, such as wasps, mud-dabbers, etc.

Another option is to design cabinet space NOW in order to take advantage of some of that space “between the studs”.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3189 days

#12 posted 10-01-2012 07:48 PM

Mike…kind of hard to insulate and inset cabinets at the same time. RValue of plywood is not much. I’d insulate, cover (OSB or whatever), then hang flush.

As for “planning”, I think IMPOSSIBLE unless one had a similar sized space and loved the layout. I wish I had run dust collection and electrical before I poured the concrete over radiant tubing but now I have moved machines so often that it would have been a shot in the dark anyway.

But from a planning aspect, I’d suggest any wall/ceiling be a brilliant white before it goes up. Electrical…I ran 3/4” EMT around 3 walls of my new shop (got to skip a separate ground that way). it’s a dust shelf but not buried in a wall if I ever need to modify.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3663 days

#13 posted 10-01-2012 08:14 PM

Then I’d definitely go with the french cleat system. I suggested you do pegboard first because it’s fast and cheap.

If you have the barn, I’d resist putting too much money and effort into the garage. Even a french cleat system would be a little too much work…though it does stand to reason that it can all transfer to the barn once it’s ready.

I’d be gearing up for that barn…and an electrician would be at the top of my call list.

-- jay,

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3189 days

#14 posted 10-01-2012 10:34 PM

cosmic…if you saw that french cleat system in action, you would swear off pegboard forever (which BTW is not all that cheap once you buy the hardware that you will forever be picking off the floor as soon as you take a tool from it).

the magazine was a gift subscription and while I always found it interesting, I never bothered with anything they published until this one. I dropped to a 4’ section solely to work between corner doors and solely to hang cords. Because most of it was scrap pieces, I figure I have maybe $25 in that (most of which was in the carriage bolts that I used for pegs). I’m a believer!

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3298 days

#15 posted 10-01-2012 10:41 PM

I second a1Jim on putting the cars in the barn. Wife permitting of course. I use a lot of this type of gadgets.
Really sturdy.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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