DIY Network

Workshop Organization

The key to working efficiently in a workshop is having a good system of organization for tools and materials. Following are some suggestions for organization and efficiency in a workshop.

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dedicate tool boxes for particular types of jobs

Clamps are easy to store, since they can simply be clamped onto a shelf or an existing feature such as ceiling joists. For more clamp organization, consider building a clamp rack. A rack like this is simple to build. Just drill half-inch holes in a piece of lumber at regular intervals. Then glue some pieces of half-inch doweling that have been cut to length into the holes.

Organize the clamps on the rack by size to make it easy to access the right size clamp.

Tool Boxes

Tool boxes come in a variety of types and sizes, some of which are specialized for a particular type of usage.
A classic wooden grip is a simple, open design that can store and carry both large and small items.

A small-tool box is designed to house small tools separate from larger items so that they are in one centralized place and easy to find.

Some tool users like to keep dedicated tool boxes for particular types of jobs, such as an electrical tool box that contains only the types of tools and supplies used for electrical work.

A plastic tote is a handy carrier and works well as a dedicated tool-box for certain jobs. One example is a plumbing tool box that contains only wrenches and other tools that are commonly used in plumbing work. An advantage of plastic totes is that they are washable.

Saw Horse

A portable saw-horse/workstation is a space-saver and uses an efficient design to serve multiple purposes in the workshop. It serves as a sawhorse for supporting large work, or it can be opened up to serve as a sturdy tabletop. The work surface locks into position with locking handles on the side. The entire unit folds flat when not in use for easy storage.

Ladders

Wall brackets are ideal for storing ladders, saw-horses and other large items so that they are off the floor and out of the way. It's important to secure wall brackets to wall studs for stability as they will be supporting heavy items.

Ladders come in many sizes and designs, but perhaps the most versatile ladder of all is an adjustable ladder that can be configured to serve as a regular trestle ladder, a straight extension ladder, a scaffold or even a saw-horse for supporting a work surface.

Tools Belts

Tool belts are essential for jobs that require a great deal of mobility while working. Keep in mind that many tools are heavy, so loading a tool-belt with a large amount of tools can be uncomfortable and cause fatigue. Tool belts come in an assortment of styles including cloth, nylon and canvas ones that are relatively lightweight, and more serious heavy-duty belts made from leather. Some are designed as a simple belt with removable attachments so the selection of tools can be customized depending on the job at hand.

Heavy-duty tool belts are generally made of treated leather, and are sewn and bradded for durability.

Tip: Avoid storing fine leather tool-belts fully loaded with tools. The heavy weight will cause the leather to get stretched out and worn over time. Remove the tools from the belt after use, and hang the belt on a hook or peg for storage.

If a particular job only includes drilling or driving screws using a cordless drill, consider using a drill clip that attaches to a belt. This convenient accessory acts as a lightweight "holster" for the drill.

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