Tools & Materials
Seven Workshop Storage Tips
7 inventive ways to organize your work space and the tools that threaten to clutter it
Adjustable drawer dividers
You can restore order to messy shop drawers with 1/4-in. plywood partitions and self-stick weather stripping ($3 a roll at home centers). For the strongest grip, use spongy “closed cell” weather stripping.
Apply weather stripping to two sides of the drawers as shown, then cut the partitions long enough so they squish firmly into the rubber on both ends. A good rule of thumb is to make the partitions 1/4 in. longer than the inside measurement between the pieces of weather stripping.
PVC pipe clamp rack
Are your pipe clamps missing in action right when you need them? Build this snap-in, snap-out storage rack from PVC pipe. For 1/2-in.-diameter iron pipe, use 3/4-in. PVC, and for 3/4-in.-diameter pipe, use 1-in. PVC.
To make the rack, cut 2-in. lengths of PVC, and with a hacksaw or band saw, slice them lengthwise about 3/16 in. past the diameter’s centerline. This creates the gripping action to firmly hold the heavy iron pipe. Drill and countersink two holes in each PVC piece, then screw them to a pair of boards. Attach the upper board to your shop wall and snap a pipe clamp in each end to position the lower board for screwing to the wall.
Store sheet goods on a ladder
An old extension ladder is just right for holding leftover plywood, drywall, plastic laminate and spare boards. Take the ladder sections apart, lay one on the floor near a wall and then load it up. This handy rack will hold your sheet goods high and dry and make it easier to find what you need.
File by grit
Organize sandpaper by grit in a handy plastic file box ($10) available at office supply stores. Just list the grits on the tabs and you can instantly find the right one. The box is also a good place to store partially used pieces that often get thrown away.
Up, up and away
Put joist spaces to use with this simple storage idea. Fasten eye screws to the joists and cut lengths of chain to keep odd lengths of trim and pipe out of the way but easy to find. Open one side of the eye screw with a pliers to slip the chain into place. Make the chain a bit longer for future expansion.
The plastic hooks that plumbers use to support pipes make convenient hangers for just about anything. They’re strong and cheap and come in a range of sizes. Find them in the plumbing aisle.