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Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIY Cheap Tool Organization

I hope you all had a great holiday, my seven followers!  If you are not yet subscribing/following my blog, click the little "subscribe" button to the right; It will make my day!  Anyway, enough shameless plugging, and on to my current project.

Speaking of a good holiday, My parents got me a TON of tools this year!  I am so happy to have nice tools and no longer have to deal with crappy drill bits that merely sit on top of wood and spin, or using make-shift tools in place of stuff I don't have.  I'm pretty sure those days are over, because this is my haul:

Unfortunately, my current tool storage situation is somewhat lacking:

I have been kind of afraid to fix any paint in this closet, because removing the old, probably lead-filled stuff scares me.

Clearly, cardboard boxes do not suffice.  I would put up hooks inside this closet, but it is under the stairs so the back wall is tilted at quite an angle.  So, I came up with this:

Please excuse the crudity of this photo.  My house was built in 1890, and the layout is all sorts of weird.  This is a hallway between the bathroom and the ground floor bedroom (the realty company counts that as a closet..?).  It has a cupboard on one side and some peg hooks on the other side.  Since I live in Michigan, keeping tools in the basement or garage is just like storing them in a bucket of water and waiting for them to rust.  This was my solution, since I have no idea how else to use this hallway.

And now I will show you how I did it:

Plywood (any size, but mine is 4 feet by 28 inches, I found it in the garage.)
Drill and bits
Long nails
Large hammer
Short nails

First, you want to put your plywood on a surface that allows you to paint the whole thing easily.  My solution was this:

Now, you want to put 2 coats of paint on your plywood and let it dry. 

Once your paint is dry, put your plywood on the floor and start laying out your tools:

 Next, you want to start driving nails wherever you have holes on your tools.  Notice how some tools above are lain out diagonally, that is because when I held onto the hooks, that is the direction they hung.  Make sure to do this to see what angle your tools will hang before you begin placing nails.  As you probably noticed, I'm a fan of doing projects on my living room floor.  Partly because this is where the tv is  the biggest area in my house. How does one keep from driving nails into the floor, you may wonder?  Well this is how:

The tape marks the safe depth I can drive the nail without going through the plywood.  Hold the nail next to the edge of your plywood and determine the safe depth, and wrap the tape around that mark.  Painters tape works especially well for this.

Now that all your nails are driven, take your tools off the board and set them aside for now. Actually, you need to get your camera and take a picture of your tool layout.  This way, you can have a visual reference for your tool locations when you go to put them all back.  Then take a level, a hammer, and some really long nails over to where you want to hang this thing.  take the handle of the hammer and pound on the wall to find a stud.  You should be able to hear a more solid "thunk" about every 16 inches across the wall.  This is where you want to drive your nails.  Hold your plywood up with the level, arrange it, and drive a nail near the center, into a stud.  This will allow you to still adjust the level, which will have shifted from the pounding (or at least it did for me, since I did this myself and didn't have someone holding the plywood for me).   Once that is done, hang up your tools and admire your work.

I hope this helps you get inspired to organize in creative ways!  What have you done in your house? 

Oh, and say Hello to our new addition, Chunk:

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