How to Build a Foldable Tool Storage System

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Ron:
Well, let’s face it.  I am really lucky.  I have this great workshop, and I can spread out and take all the room I want.  But for a lot of us, that’s not the case.  We have to fit everything into a basement or a garage.  Particularly true for my friend Jeff.  How are you?

Jeff:
Hey, great Ron.

Ron:
Now you, your workshop is where? 

Jeff:
It’s down in the basement, and it’s really kind of cramped into the corner, to tell you the truth.

Ron:
Okay.  So, that’s the reason I’ve asked you to come over here.  Because I think I’ve got a great idea for you.  This is a tool storage system.  It kind of looks like a giant book that goes right on your wall.  What I thought I’d do today, we’ve built kind of a demo wall over here, is build this along with you, and then if you like it you can take it home and redesign it or reconfigure it to fit your own space and your own tools.  Okay?

Jeff:
Great.  Sure.

Ron:
So, first step, I want to find the wall studs over here, and this is just a stud sensor.  Just put it right on the wall here.

Jeff:
Right about here?

Ron:
Right.  This is a heavy unit so we want to make sure we attach it to the wall studs.  Push the button on the side, slide it to the right, and at some point there you’re going to see a little red light pop up on the top.

Jeff:
Bingo.

Ron:
Okay, now that’s the left edge of the wall stud.  Okay, now bring it over to about here. 

Jeff:
All right.

Ron:
Push the button on the side.  And move it to the left.

Jeff:
So we’re going to find the other side obviously.

Ron:
Looking for the other edge right.

Jeff:
Gotcha.

Ron:
There you go. Right there.

Jeff:
There it is.  Right there.  Okay.

Ron:
So you’ve got 1, 2, 3, 4 studs here, right.  I’d like you to measure across the wall there, and give me the center, the measurement to the center of the two wall studs there.

Jeff:
All right, I think I can handle that.

Ron:
And I’m going to mark them on our pieces of 2x4 here.

Jeff:
OK, it looks like the first one is going to be 16 inches.

Ron:
16, Ok.

Jeff:
16, and we’ll move it over here to number two, and lets call that 32, actually right on 32.

Ron:
And 32.  OK.  Jeff, want to come on over?

Jeff:
Sure.

Ron:
OK, so here’s your first mark, 16.  We’re going to have two 2x4s supporting this so I’m just going to carry this line across the both of them like this.

Jeff:
OK.

Ron:
All right.  Want to grab that drill right here? 

Jeff:
Sure.

Ron:
Put on some safety glasses.  I’ve got safety lenses in these.

Jeff:
Okay, sure.

Ron:
And put this up here.  And just drill holes all the way through.

Jeff:
All righty.

(Drill sound)

Ron:
Beautiful.  Oh, look what you did.

Jeff:
Oh, well…

Ron:
That was my favorite drill, too.

Jeff:
That’s what you get for using a novice in your workshop.

(Drill Sound)

Ron:
All right.  So let’s start by putting up this upper piece right here.

(Musical montage)

Ron:
All right, so what we’ve got right here Jeff are a couple of cleats that are screwed directly into the wall studs.  Very strong.  And I want to attach now to these some plywood panels.  That’s why I made that reference earlier to leaves in a book.  That’s kind of the way this is going to work.  They’re going to go on like this, they’ll attach with hinges, they’re going to swing like this, and then we can mount tools to either side and kind of fold these out away so that they’ll take up a lot less space.

Ron:
So now we’re going to attach these hinges to the panels, and then we’ll in turn attach that whole thing to those cleats over there.  We’re going to put these on by drilling a small hole first, and this is a special drill bit I use for that. It’s called a self-centering bit, and as you can see, there’s like a sleeve around the drill bit. See that?  And what it does, if you put the sleeve in the center of the hinge hole like this and then push, it puts that drill exactly in the center.

(Music montage)

Ron:
Now this is the way this is going to work. This panel is going to be hinged right to this cleat like this and just pivot back and forth.  But there is a problem, Jeff.  Right back here you see if I try to open this up beyond this point it kind of binds right here.

Jeff:
I see, yeah.

Ron:
Over on this side?  So what we’re going to have to do is mount some small blocks right here, and then mount the hinges on the top of those blocks, to move everything away from that cleat a little bit.

(Drill sound)

Ron:
Beautiful, beautiful.

Jeff:
There you go.

Ron:
All right, Jeff.  Here’s leaf or panel number one. Hold that right there.

(Drill sound)

Jeff:
Gotta love that self-centering drill.

Ron:
Nice?

Jeff:
I love it.

(Drill sound)

Ron:
We’ve got the leaves up.  Lookin’ good.

Jeff:
Lookin’ great, I’d say.

Ron:
But to do you any good, they’ve got to have some way of holding up your tools.

Jeff:
They do, yep.

Ron:
So I want to take a few of these down and attach some fixtures.  And the nice thing about these is these are door hinges, so all you have to do is just pull out the pins like this, and I have numbered these so that I make sure I put these back in the same position.

Ron:
What I have in mind here for your screwdrivers is just a simple fixture like this.

(Drill)

Ron:
Okay.  Good.

(Music)

Ron:
Now for your hammer, this is a, this is actually a box handle.  And normally you’d install it like this and if you wanted to lift up a heavy box or a trunk….We’re going to install this upside down for your hammer.

Jeff:
Great.

Ron:
Now let’s say we wanted to do something for your chisels.  This is a very simple to make chisel holder.  It’s just one piece of particle board that I’ve put some dados in.  And then put a backing on it.  And again, let’s just lay this down here.

Ron:
Well there you go.  You know something, if you do the math on this, you’re creating over 30 square feet of hanging space from only 8 square feet of wall space.  It’s pretty incredible.

Jeff:
This is a really cool project.  I really like the way it turned out.

Ron:
You can use it?

Jeff:
Absolutely.  Of course.

Ron:
Okay.  Well, thanks for coming by, buddy.

Jeff:
My pleasure.

Ron:
Now you’ve got a job.  You’ve got to figure out what to put on the backs of these.  We’ve only used half of these so far.

Jeff:
Will do.

Ron:
I’ll leave you to it.

Jeff:
Thanks so much.

Learn how to build and install a space-saving, wall-mounted, hinged tool storage system.

I consider myself lucky to have a somewhat spacious workshop, where I can spread out and take all the room I need.   But many folks have to fit everything into a small basement or the along the wall of a garage. This was particularly true for my friend Jeff, whose workshop is down in the cellar, cramped into the corner. That's why I thought this ingenious space-saving tool storage system would be ideal for him.  It provides about thirty square feet of hanging space on only eight square feet of wall.  When finished, it resembles a giant book mounted vertically.  The unit can be customized to hold just about anything you'd normally hang on a wall and the individual panels are easily removed and can be modified with off-the-shelf or customized tool storage fixtures.  Jeff and I built a demonstration model in my shop, then he went home and reconfigured it to fit his available space and to hold his own tool collection.