Low-Cost Tips for an Efficient Workshop

Ways to keep your workshop neat and efficient.

the Well-Tempered Wokshop
A workshop is most useful when your tools are easily accessible. To keep tools in order, try these inexpensive ideas.

1. Make a tool holder out of scrap wire mesh (hardware cloth). Form the mesh into a handy U shape with flanges by bending it over the edge of a board. Attach the flanges to the wall with screws and washers. A mesh with 1/2-inch squares holds a variety of tools, such as screwdrivers or pliers.

2. Hold small tools with an old leather or canvas belt. Tack it along the edge of a shelf, leaving small loops between nails. Slip tools into the loops.

3. Line up hand tools, such as scissors, screwdrivers, and punches, where they are always at the ready by screwing a powerful magnetic strip to the side of a shelf over your workbench. The magnetic strips, designed to hold knives and available at kitchen stores, can hold all kinds of hardware items within convenient reach. They work equally well mounted on the side of the stand you use for your table saw and other large stationary tools.

4. To hold large tools, use hinged handles like those found on metal garbage cans. Mount them so the handle hangs away from the wall. You can slip a hammer or wrench into the handle for safe storage.

Versatile Perf
Perforated hardboard works not only on workshop and garage walls, but also inside cabinet doors and on the sides of your workbench. Lightweight 1/8 inch perf board is fine for hand tools, but you’ll want to use 1/4 inch perf board for heavier items. To keep perf-board hooks from coming loose, put a dab of hot glue on the end that hooks into the board. If you need to rearrange items and move the hook, a light tug will usually free it without much difficulty.