How to Build a Tool Rack

Learn how to build a tool rack and corral all your tools onto one giant, organized wall. With easy slat construction and versatile tool hangers, you can reorganize your wall rack as your tools change.

| April 2, 2012

If loose screws always scatter when you open a drawer or you can never find the right hammer, then How to Make Workbenches & Shop Storage Solutions: 28 Projects to Make Your Workshop More Efficient (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2011) is your guide to getting organized. Everything you wanted to know about building a workbench, making work tables and constructing storage cabinets for tools, materials and supplies can be found in this comprehensive book. Learn how to build a tool rack in this excerpt taken from the Chapter “Tool Storage.” 

Whether you have an exquisite collection of antique tools or the latest in high-tech gear, this versatile wall rack stores them all within easy reach. It’s easy to build and adapts to fit virtually any wall space. The 48-by-48-inch rack is made from poplar, but any hardwood or combination of hardwoods will work. Each tool hanger has a bottom groove that allows it to slip snugly onto any of the slats. This nifty feature makes the hangers easy to move, so you can rearrange your rack to accommodate newly acquired tools.

The biggest — and most fun — challenge this rack presents is figuring out how to modify the hangers to display your unique collection of tools.

See the dimensions chart in the Image Gallery for measurements of parts.

Build the Tool Rack

1. Cut and plane stiles and rails for the rack’s frame to 1-inch thick and 1 1/4-inches wide. Their lengths depend on the size of the tool rack you plan to build. Internal stiles can be spaced up to 24 inches on center. Dry-assemble the frame and drill pilot holes through the rails and into the end-grain of the stiles. Then screw the frame together. (For step-by-step images, click through the illustrations on page 1 of this article.)

2. Plane and cut the horizontal slats to 1/2-inch thick and 2  7/16-inches wide. Leave one slat about 1/2 inch oversize in width — plan to attach this slat last. Cut the slats to length to fit your frame.

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