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Organizing a garage workshop

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 2:47 PM By: jstapes Replies: 25

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  • Organizing a garage workshop

    Any suggestions about inexpensive ways to organize tools, etc. in a garage workshop?

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I use different tool boxes for specific jobs. Per example I use one with nothing but my electrical work tools from testers to wire strippers and wire nuts of different sizes. Another has all Metric or SAE size sockets or hand wrenches. Another one has a variety of screw-drivers, slot head, phillips and torx. I also keep a few chisels in this box. Then there is one with different size and style of hammers for specific job application.

    What ever the project is I can go to the tool boxes for the needed tool without having to dig through a tool box for a certain tool.

    These Tool Boxes are all located on shelving in the garage.

    This is only a few of the many ways I organize my work shop. Many of them I found in our Magazine or from fellow DIYers.

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I like those plastic peg boards (found some on ebay) for hanging tools. They use plastic hooks and such, and don't require a strip of wood to give clearance behind, as you need with a hardboard peg board.

    The other thing I find essential is putting my big tools (table saw in particular) on locking wheels. It makes things much easier when you need to go back from workshop to car storage.

    A good shelving system is invaluable for bigger items. Accessible storage is key.

    Last but no least think about the workbench - how you keep it in a useful, accessible spot without it being obtrusive. I have mind against a side wall of the garage with access on 3 sides. Works well enough.

    -Andrew

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    great ideas. thanks!

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    If you've got plenty of wall space, another idea is to use magnetic knife holders. I've got scads of them in my garage and can walk up to one and pick up the exact sized wrench at a moment's notice. Same for screwdrivers, etc. I also use some metal rack things (sorry, I don't know an official name) to hold mallets and larger tools. Here's a picture of one of the areas - hope it spawns some great ideas for you!

     

     

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    if you are tight on space - you might consider a workbench that folds out of the way.  I have a very narrow garage and I built my workbench so it folds down against the wall.  I just fold it up, then the legs fold down from where they are recessed into the top and I am good to go.  I also have a couple extra braces I add if I am doing some serious work.  With the bench folded against the wall, I have room to put a few narrow items (folded up sawhorses, lumber for a project, etc) in front of it if I have to. 

    Bonus - my workbench stays cleared off since I have to fold it down to get my truck in the garage!

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    ajbowman:

    if you are tight on space - you might consider a workbench that folds out of the way.  I have a very narrow garage and I built my workbench so it folds down against the wall.  I just fold it up, then the legs fold down from where they are recessed into the top and I am good to go.  I also have a couple extra braces I add if I am doing some serious work.  With the bench folded against the wall, I have room to put a few narrow items (folded up sawhorses, lumber for a project, etc) in front of it if I have to. 

    Bonus - my workbench stays cleared off since I have to fold it down to get my truck in the garage!

    I like this idea. My workshop is small, and workbench needs vary from project to project. I hate wasting floor space on a bench that typically turns into a convenient place to drop things instead of putting them where they belong! (An entirely different problem, I know.) The idea of a bench that can be quickly set up as it's needed is a good one, in my book.

     

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    Restoring my Cape Cod and sharing what I learn along the way.
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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I'm in the process of building a pegboard system using clothing rods.  I havent' seen anyone else doing something similar, so I'd appreciate feedback  if anyone sees issues.  Basically, I have 4 clothes rods, (2) which are 3.75 feet high and 2 which are 7.5 feet high.  I cut the pegboard into 3.5x2 foot squares, used 12 inches of pipe hanger along the edges with bolts for reinforcement.  I kept the pegboard squares small to avoid weight issues.  I've placed metal rings on the clothes rods and use quick-links to connect the pegboard to the rings.  It has allowed me to store much more in a smaller space.  The downside is I can only use pegs which really secure the tools and the system projects 2 feet from the wall.  Appreciate the feedback.

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I also use magnetic strips, I have them mounted on my peg board. great for the odd size pliers, etc..

    Also, I store rolls of tape, as well as grinding wheels etc on the pegboard, keeps the drawers and cabinets free of smaller loose items.

    Bought some used kitchen cabinets off craigslist, those store the bulk of the tools.

     

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    It'll be nice to have my own garage one day!

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    my latest idea is to get a few 5 gal pals and the organizers for them and cut the bottom out and bolt em together to make a rotating rack. i also have build a rolling cart out of a cooling rack that we had kicking around the shop to hold all my tools that were in there own box/cases. Only problem with that was i got more tools and they all don;t fit any more.

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I bought a few plastic shoe boxes from Walmart for .97 each.   I am using them to store some of my power tools.  One is for my 4.5" grinder with all of its accessories (extra discs, arbors, etc), another has my orbital sander with extra sanding discs, and another has my multi-tool with its extra blades and such.  It is a handy way to keep everything together.

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I can only aspire to have my garage look like this someday. Gorgeous!

    JohnnyFive:

    I also use magnetic strips, I have them mounted on my peg board. great for the odd size pliers, etc..

    Also, I store rolls of tape, as well as grinding wheels etc on the pegboard, keeps the drawers and cabinets free of smaller loose items.

    Bought some used kitchen cabinets off craigslist, those store the bulk of the tools.

     

     

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    There is a lot of wasted but useful wall space above the garage door.  I put up a shelf that holds all my camping gear (backpacking and "car" camping) that I only need to access a few times a year.  I used fairly heavy shelf brackets and made the shelf deep enough to hold clear (more like translucent) storage boxes so I can see the contents.

    I also make use of the ceiling space for some of the storage.  I made brackets for hanging ladders on the ceiling that I can hang without having to use the ladder I'm hanging.  Hooks into ceiling joists are good for things like snow sleds, car mounted bike racks, trailer hitch mounted platforms, and even storage bins.

    I have one wall that has a workbench taking up about 15 feet of wall space.  I made 2 six-foot bench sections separated by a 3 foot section that has the top surface about 4 inches lower.  The 3 foot section holds my miter saw so the work surface of the saw is level with the workbenches on either side so the wood is supported by the bench for cutting.  The wall behind the bench has peg board going up 2 feet.  Above the peg board is a 4 inch deep shelf that holds nail and screw boxes.  About 6 inches above that is a slightly deeper shelf that holds cans of paint, poly, and various other items.  More shelving continues up the wall for larger items.  I mounted a foot rest onto one of the bench supports so I can access the upper shelves by standing on the bench.

    Bascially, if I see an empty space on the wall or ceiling, I'm thinking "what can I put there?"

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    All the ideas previously posted are good.  I suggest two other factors to consider: First, I keep a "Ready Box" my commonly used tools (screwdrivers, plyers, wrenches a 12"level, and an assortment of small screws, nails and wall hangers to take care of most small jobs that usually occurr UPstairs.   Secondly, I keep dropcloths handy to cover the bench and tools whenever I am using my bench or mitre saws in the garage.  The front panel (an old door) to my bench also serves as a temporary bench over sawhorses when I have to move a job outside or to help a neighbor.  With these in mind, along with the other great suggestions, you should be on your way to a very practical small workshop.  Good Luck

     

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I think three key ideas would be:

    1) Have a place to put every tool that you use on a regular basis

    2) Have different areas that are designed for specific types of work

    3) Take the room seriously.  In a lot of ways, it's the most versatile and capable room in the house.

    If you click on the picture, it will show you a video of my garage when it's cleaned up and presentable.  It's not always that spotless, but the nice thing about it is that it's pretty easy to restore to being clean because there's a designated place for everything.  I try to store nothing on the floor, for example (except the car).

    I managed to fit nine work surfaces into the small (20'x22') garage, and I did all of the work myself.  Everything in the place is home-made, second-hand or re-purposed.

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    JackOlsen.....

    WOW!    Let me just say that again, " WOW"!

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    Thanks! Here's a picture of it with the car in it.  And since my shoulders are still sore from putting in the lift, here's a shot of the car up in the air.

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    I have a detached garage that is pretty cramped for space, so small my wife offered it to me for a workshop.  I have been cramming tools into ever since.  One of my major problems was what to do with my two extension ladders.  Then I got the Christmas spirit.  I am using 4 stainless steel over the door wreath hangers to hang each ladder.  I bought them a Target for $5 each and they work great.  Make sure you get the heavy thick stainless steel ones and not the cheap copper or brass ones.

    The over the door part is wider than 2 inches so I had to cut a thin spacer to fill the gap, screwed the space in place and it works great.  I have had my ladders hanging for about three years now and no problems.

     

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  • Re: Organizing a garage workshop

    Yet, your phone on the wall is still a rotary dial ....... Seriously ????

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