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Tool Storage

It's time for a new solution!

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Woodworker25/02/2009 09:24:38
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Hi all,

I've just taken a couple of pics in the workshop to show you how basic my current handtool storage is. The wall mounted shelf no longer has enough room to store my collection of hand tools. So chisels, gouges and mallets now live under the bench.


The wall mounted shelf stores hand planes, saws and lots of odds & ends.


While chisels and striking tools live under the bench. What's great about having tools under the bench is that they're always within easy reach ~ which got me thinking; It's time to make a proper tool cabinet so that all my handtools can live closer to the bench.

This new storage cabinet could take many forms but as a starting point I'm thinking it should be as close as possible to the vice end of the bench, have enough room to expand into and probably be floor standing.

The tool cabinet design and build will be featuring in the notes from a small workshop series in Good Woodworking where we publish pics, ideas and comments from readers and website members. 

Please feel free to add you comments here, show your tool storage solutions and share any storage ideas ~ At this stage I could do with all the inspiration I can get!

Cheers,
Ben 
Olly Parry-Jones25/02/2009 09:36:57
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2776 forum posts
636 photos
I've seen a couple of interesting Tool Cabinet builds elsewhere but, I probably shouldn't mention that...
 
Actually, I remember seeing a couple of good ones in Good Woodworking a few years ago (when either Phil or Nick were editing the magazine; somewhere between 2005 and 2007). You must have access to some kind of archive? One of them might have been from Ian Dalziel (however you pronounce it!! ). I do remember one of them where the slope that housed all the plans could hinge up to reveal a 'secret' storage space underneath - if that makes sense?
 
I dread the thought of ever making a tool cabinet myself because I know I would later buy a couple of new tools and then realise I haven't made space allowance for them! Best of lick with yours, though
Woodworker25/02/2009 11:37:50
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Hi Olly, I'm seeing part of the challenge as making a cabinet that expands with me. There's some lovely solutions out there. I reckon building a tool cabinet provides a really good excuse to make a piece of furniture for the workshop that will last for years.

I spent most of last night reading through Jim Tolpin's The Toolbox Book which is an excellent read.

I'm not just interested in seeing high end tool storage solutions. I'd like to see all sorts here. It doesn't matter if it's been screwed together with MDF or ply. What I'm really interested in, with this thread, is seeing what kinds of hand tool storage works for you.

Go on Olly, post a pic!

Cheers,
Ben 
Sparky25/02/2009 16:47:34
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Ben
One thing I think I'll be doing in the warmer (and dry) months is to replace my 'door' tool hanging area with a custom cabinet. (Due to leaks, I may have to replace the door with those thermal blocks). As the space in front of the tool area is sparse, I will probably make shutter doors which will save space when its open. Only problem would be hanging tools only on one section of the door as the other part swings behind it.
 
One suggestion for you is, if you have plenty of space to increase the cabinet in the future, (say more to the right) why not have some sliding section that you can pull apart to reveal more area to hang/store the tools. This can also be done with one of the doors. You could have a inner door on a slide that you adjust in width along with the back.
 
I hope I'm explaining this right

I'll try Sketchup later to try and explain in picture form.

Marc
Olly Parry-Jones25/02/2009 17:34:41
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2776 forum posts
636 photos
Well, since you asked, Ben, here's my current hand tool storage - I couldn't honestly say it "works" for me though; one of the reasons I'm keen to push-on with this bench build ASAP!
 

It's an old filing cabinet and the top drawer is filled with my hand tools. While it is secure (I can lock it), it's far from ideal - the tool I'm looking for is usually buried deep
 
I keep my finishes in the bottom drawer and power tool accessories in the middle one. When I've made my new bench, I may get rid of this, depending on how much floor space I have... If I decide to keep it, I'll have a sort-through and see if I can store some small power tools (sanders, biscuit jointer) in there - which would save a lot of space in my bedroom, where I've actually got more tools than timber, believe it or not!!
underneath!

I think having drawers below my workbench will work well for me. As you've suggested, they will always be to-hand when needed. If I beef up the workshop security generally then, I won't have to worry about them getting stolen (although my Veritas planes will probably remain indoors as well!).
Tommy mc glynn 125/02/2009 17:59:26
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291 forum posts
1 photos
  hi ben one idea is to have your tool chest double as your tool box. a friend of mine as his on wheels when out of the workshop. but under his bench on a french cleat . like the one you showed in good woodworking last mount or the mount before. but if you don't work much away from your workshop that idea is no good to you.
Mr Maguire25/02/2009 21:37:03
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265 forum posts
1 photos
Hi all
This has come at a good time. I'm curently thinking about building one myself. My current storage is very simlar to Ben's...A box on a wall stuffed full of planes.
I think my next one will be very simlar but just bigger. I like the speed of having everything to hand rather than rumaging through drawers and cupboards.
 
I'll get some pics on tomorrow.
 
Thanks
Richard.
Woodworker25/02/2009 22:26:04
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Marc, I like the sound of sliding storage. There's some fantastic designs in Jim Tolpin's book it goes into loads of detail and shows some great sliding solutions.

Olly, blimey, it looks like you could do with joining me on this build Under bench storage is a great idea. I'd love to build a series of drawers under the bench that are just deep enough for chisels, gouges, small planes etc. There's enough room under a large bench to store a lifetimes worth of small tools. Or, in Richard's case, two lifetimes!

Richard, look forward to seeing those pics.

Cheers,
Ben 
Derek Lane25/02/2009 22:33:23
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3219 forum posts
1004 photos
Ben
 
 
Will the new storage replace the old Shelves if so why not make a cupboard so that all the planes sit on removable shelves that have a groove cut across for the blade in front of that two swinging racks with lighter tools ie saws chisels hanging then two door to enclose the whole thing using the inside of the doors for the lightest of tools ie marking equipment. Three layers of storage in the same area you have now. Hope this makes sense if not will have to do a drawing  
Sparky25/02/2009 22:54:22
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Sounds like a book to get hold of, I wonder if the library would stock it.
Cheers Ben
Marc
Toothy26/02/2009 16:21:29
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458 forum posts
67 photos
Ben
After much frustration loging on
 
I'll take photos and post them tomorrow of tool storage a la Derek.
 
Derek my planes have special cut outs that raise them to keep sole clear  of the shelf and blades protected.
 
Some of my ideas may be of use to others
 
Toothy
Woodworker26/02/2009 16:49:59
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Toothy,

The log-on issue is being investigated ~ not sure what's causing it at the moment. It's not an issue for most users. Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it soon.

Anyway, back to the thread; I'm certainly looking forward to seeing photos of your setup.

Cheers,
Ben 
Woodworker26/02/2009 17:00:57
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Derek,

The new storage won't replace the old storage, in so much as the existing storage will stay put but will store other bits and pieces; power tool accessories, fences etc. etc. 

I like what you're saying regarding the cupboard. I was thinking along similar lines. Something floor standing and slim but wide with the doors providing hanging storage for lighter tools. I've got an area by the bench that I could squeeze this into, hence the need for it to be slim. For the same reason I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit the planes into the cabinet. I might just go with a wall mounted angled rack, similar to what you've described. Smaller planes i.e. block planes, shoulder planes, spokeshaves and scrapers should go in with no trouble.

I was also thinking that below the cupboard, which would start just above bench level so that the doors could swing over the bench if required, would be drawers for odds and ends, little used tools etc. I'd love to build the cabinet on legs but can't justify the wasted space! Whatever is below the main cupboard will have to incorporate some kind of storage.

I saw a lovely tool cabinet the other day that included book storage below bench level! I'm sure my copy of Joyce would be very happy down there!

Marc; I'm sure they'd be able to get hold of a copy for you, even if it meant waiting for it. It really is a cracking read.

Cheers,
Ben 
will spencer26/02/2009 17:37:00
21 forum posts
ben best tool cabinet i have ever come across(for me)was an old double wardrobe that i kitted out accordingly.unfortunately every time i look on ebay i end up with a larger tool collection and the whole thing gets rearranged time and again.
if you canget hold of a copy of new yankee workshop norm makes an hanging tool cabinet for his use(it's not near big enough for your tools)he draws inspiration from the studley tool chest i don't know if the net has any images on this but it is an absolute corker of a tool chest,sliding trays,hinged racks the works.
 
Eric Harvey 126/02/2009 18:02:30
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221 forum posts
81 photos
Hi Ben,
               I`m just building a new workshop got most of the cladding done,now need to build storage/benches etc.,will look forward to seeing peoples storage solutions for inspiration,as I have a blank canvas so to speak,apart from my dad`s bench and my lathe.The workshop is 10' by 12' and will not have the usual gardening stuff dumped in there this time,so plenty of space ,well to what I`m used to anyway,
 
 Regards,
 Eric

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