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Tool storage ideas

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #492427
    GfB
    Participant

    I’ve only been doing fine (hand tool) woodworking for a few months. I’m building up my hand tool set. I currently have a #3, three #4s, two #5s, and a #7 on the way (can’t pass up good tools). Not to mention the slew of other tools (saws, a spokeshave, etc. etc. etc.) I do my work in my one car garage, which is packed with all sorts of other household storage and garage stuff. My workbench is currently a general purpose plywood top bench, 8×3.5′. I am planning to build a 6×3′ bench to replace it for fine work, which will give me a little more space.

    I built a small plywood shelf/cubby system for my fine woodworking tools, and have quickly outgrown it. But, it sits on my bench, where I can get to my tools quickly and easily without fumbling around. It’s very easy for me to put the tools away/keep them organized as I use them, so I think the system works well. The system is open (no drawers/doors). I don’t have to turn around or bend down.

    The upsides to the system:
    – quick, easy access to my tools
    – keeps things organized
    – minimal bench footprint (about 1×2′).

    The downsides:
    – already too small for my growing storage needs
    – allows dust

    So, what solutions do you guys have that you find functional and convenient in a small space, with dust/environment protection? I know some of you will say “drawers”, and I know you are right. But are there other options?

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #492528
    J Marshall
    Participant

    @151spokeshave

    Plywood board screwed to wall behind bench.
    Use it to hang saws and hammers and made holders for chisels, drill bits, pliers/cutters etc.
    Still got loads of space to fill.
    Dead handy, just reach over and grab whatever you need 🙂 And NO bench footprint.
    Iain

    #492694
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    Consider a workbench 20”-24” wide. You can’t reach any further anyway.

    And consider building a Dutch tool chest. Small footprint, large storage, and you can work right out of the box.

    Google Dutch tool chest for hundreds of ideas.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Larry Geib.
    Attachments:
    #493129
    btyreman
    Participant

    @btyreman

    the best option for tool storage is a tool cabinet on the wall, it is the most comprehensive version and can be made to fit all your tools in one place, usually you’d need more than one chest or box, but they are also very handy to have, also condsider storage in the sides of the bench where you can make drawers.

    #493223
    Dionysios P
    Participant

    @dionysios

    I also utilise half of a single garage as a workshop. The main enemies of the tools in my case are humidity (usually >75%), dust and lack of daily use (it might be a week, or two in the worst case, without touching any tools). The combination of all three leads to rust and I ended up spending more of my, limited and therefore precious, time cleaning and resharpening my tools than actually making something.

    In an effort to protect my tools I have learned, the hard way, that the ordinary single, solid pine cupboard (flat pack type) converted for tool storage by adding plane rack, selves, tool holders etc. was not up to the task. It looked nice, offered plenty of storage space without a huge footprint and easy access to the tools. But the doors when closed left enough gap to allow some dust and most important humidity to pass through. Last winter there was condensation dripping all over the inner side of the cupboard walls and on the tools as well.

    Therefore, last summer I built a large tool chest (the internal dimensions are length 98.5cm, depth 55.0cm and height 61.0cm). The single opening of the chest gave me the option to add a weatherstrip, in order to get an airtight closure. It’s nothing fancy, just a plain utilitarian chest, but now it keeps dust and excess humidity out and, with the addition of some VCI pots, this winter rust was not a problem any more. I finally sharpen my tools when they get dull by use and not by rust.

    Compared to the cupboard the chest has a larger footprint and less space. However I find it easier to find the tool I need when looking from above, and due to the less available space I had to keep the tools that I really need (ok, and few that I just want).

    Attachments:
    #493274
    GfB
    Participant

    @awesomeopossum74

    @dionysios, you must live in Florida!

    I like your dutch tool chest. That may be a long term project for me. Not quite as convenient as I’d like, as it would take up a lot of footprint no matter if on the bench or floor, but it does look to give a lot of storage.

    What is a “VCI pot”? In context, it looks to be some sort of humidity control, but when I Google it, I get nothing appropriate to the conversation. I’ve heard that LN makes humidity control sheets that they package with their tools, but I don’t think that would work on the scale of a chest.

    #493359
    btyreman
    Participant

    @btyreman

    that’s a really nice chest @dionysios, looks like a big size but would be ideal for me, I’m having serious problems this winter with rust, definitely need to build one ASAP

    #493384
    Derek Long
    Participant

    @delong1974

    My tools are either stored on the shelf under my bench, on screws in studs on the wall of my garage, or in a wood simple hanger screwed to the studs of my garage. My clamps are hung on a plywood shelf on the garage wall by just clamping them to the shelf board. I do have a metal tool cabinet for my screwdrivers, wrenches, drill-driver, etc, the standard craftsman-style automotive cabinet.

    A dutch tool chest holds a prodigious amount of tools, I’ve heard. That may be a good floor-saving choice.

    Derek Long
    Denver, Colorado

    #493598
    Dionysios P
    Participant

    @dionysios

    @awesomeopossum74, no I live in Berkshire UK and the hygometer in the workshop is quite acurrate. VCI stands for Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor. It’s a compound that is supposed to prevent the formation of rust (some tool makers wrap their tools with paper impregnated with this compound to protect them from rust during transport and storage). I have three small pots in the chest (in the squares compartment, in the lower till and at the bottom, you may see a black round thing between the planes). They last about a year according to the manufacturer. I considered using a large bag of silica gel to absorb humidity, but I thought that it might cause other advese effects (loose saw and hammer handles etc.).

    @btyreman, Thanks for your comment, it’s a large chest indeed. You may find the internal dimensions on my first post. External is about 110cm long, 70cm deep and 65cm tall. The length is determined by the longest saw (mine has a 26 inch plate) plus a few cm for ease of access. It’s not a difficult project, the most time consuming part was to plane down the side walls, because I used studwork timber with rounded edges (the cheapest option I had) and I had to remove the ridges after the lamination (about 1cm total for both sides of each panel).

    #493631
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    In the old days a drop light with a 10 watt refrigerator light bulb in the box kept condensation from forming when the wood stove went out at night. They are shatterproof. You also didn’t have to grab frozen steel first thing in the morning.

    Then I reversed the polarity on a computer Peltier cooler, which did the same at 12 volts and seemed safer.

    But modern solutions include a goldenrod dehumidifier, which is just a small low temp heater used for gun cabinets. Lee Valley sells them, among others.

    http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/page.aspx?cat=2,2260&p=69378

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Larry Geib.
    #493754
    Dave Ring
    Participant

    @davering

    The traditional Anglo-American pine chest, as built by Dyonisios and shown by Paul Sellers in one of his project series, has worked well for hundreds of years, packing lots of tools in a relatively small space and protecting them from humidity and “borrowers”. True–the footprint is pretty large but if you put casters on it or set it on a dolly you can move it out of the way easily. Mine sits on a cheap $12-$15 furniture dolly from Harbor Freight that not only makes it easy to move around but lifts it up off the floor so I don’t have to bend over too far to access tools at the bottom of the chest.

    Dave

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Dave Ring.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Dave Ring.
    #495793
    Byron
    Participant

    @reuser

    Hi

    For dealing with humidity, Larry has a good point on the fridge bulb. Some of the guys here use car breaklights on a 12v battery. it must be a bulb that gets hot with a filament or it won’t work. Ive seen some machinists precision tools kept submerged in oil too.
    I have a carpenter’s chest with a disposable moisture absorber inside which seems to work. I have another large ventilated cupboard for general tools, the tools in there seem to have a settlement of salts/moisture downward onto the top surface which rusts.

    My choice would be for a large sealed cupboard, or a big carpenters chest like the one @dionysios has above (which would also be too heavy to carry away during the night).

    ReUser

    #495897
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    For precision tools, I try to keep the original cases. Some have corrosion inhibitors in the foam.
    Some guys use the little bags people use to keep silver dinnerware.
    They contain a mystery chemical that inhibits corrosion.
    But I’ve found all that unnecessary if you keep a dehumidifier running ( mine drains to the sewer system).

    I’ve had one running 24/7 for over 30 years, I think. I’ve had to replace them twice.

    Most modern ones can be set to the level you desire.

    #521425
    Edmund Sergeant
    Participant

    @occd

    I live in Florida and despite my best efforts I had a problem with a pristine set of Russell Jennings bits getting rusty every time I turned around. My other tools were generally ok with a little 3 in 1 oil out if the can but auger bits just like to rust at the drop of a hat for some reason. The same thing happened to some vintage Irwin bits. The worst offenders by far were a pristine set if Craftsman auger bits from the 1930s. I discovered after a good deal of research that the most popular rust preventative amongst hunters in Northern climes is “WD-40 Specialist Corrosion Inhibitor.” Often hard to find at the big box stores but readily available on Amazon. In independent tests it had longest lasting protection, exceeding two years on bare metal in a wet salty environment. More than enough I think for the tools I store in a humid Florida garage. Cost about $13 for a can. And I don’t think you are supposed to wipe off excess if you have longer term storage needs. Just a quick spray and done. Hope this helps.

    Attachments:
    #493421
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    Lost of issues with rust can be greatly reduced with regular oiling, even in marine environments. But you have to be meticulous about it. Paul’s oil rag can can help a lot with that.

    AS Long as the dew point he chest is lower than the outside, you will not get condensation.

    I once shared a shop that was a farm outbuilding. During the day we heated with a stove that burned the wood scraps. At night, stuff got rolled into a closet with a light bulb in it, and that was enough. Paint cans also lived there.

    This was pretty common in rural areas for things like well pumps and such.

    When I moved into my own shop, I made a toolbox heater out of a solid state Peltier plate normally used to cool PC’s. They are available for 5 or 12 v. Operation, and you can just use a wall wart to power them. Hater might be too strong a term. You are only trying to raise the dew point a few degrees.

    Peltier devices can be used to either heat or cool, depending on the polarity you drive them with.( They can also be used to provide power from heat.) It seemed safer than putting a light bulb in my tool box.

    It was something like this
    Peltier link

    I picked mine up for a couple bucks at an electronics surplus house here in Portland. Being a center for silicon tech, there is a lot of this stuff around here
    .

    You can also use a small resistance heater like one of these
    Silicon heater link

    In both cases, you need to know a bit about electronics to set up a regulator circuit. I built small robots as a hobby, so that was no problem

    But if you don’t know much about keeping magic smoke in, somebody has done the work for you, at a cost, of course.

    Lee Valley sells tool box heaters in different sizes. They are often used in firearms cases for the same purpose. Again, dew point raisers might be a more accurate term.

    http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/page.aspx?cat=2,2260&p=69378

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

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