This is 15 Easy Ways to Hang Your Tools on the Wall, your guide to storing all of your tools in a place that doesn’t take up any valuable floor space. All of these ideas are super helpful, and they’re easy to implement in your shop. Enjoy.
Storing Tools in a Small Shop
Most woodworkers have a small shop. In reality, woodworking is a hobby for the vast majority of people, not a full-time profession. For this reason, shops are relegated to the garage, basement, and any small area that will do.
Over time you can accumulate a lot of tools, and very quickly a small shop can become overwhelmed, cramped, and crowded. Instead of buying a large toolbox, or adding something else to the space to help control it, think about using your walls.
The walls in your shop are often an under used or neglected space. You could actually do quite a bit with your walls, and in effect anything that you take off of the floor and put on the wall increases the size of your shop.
The more area you open up to walk around, the more freedom you will feel inside of your small shop, and that will have a very positive affect. Thankfully, using the walls for storage is really easy, inexpensive, and there are a lot of different ways to do it.
15 Different Ways to Hang Your Tools
Here’s my list of 15 ways to hang tools on the wall, and I’ll go into each one of them in detail farther down in the post.
- Walls are an Unused Resource
- Hang Your Tools on the Wall With Peg Board
- Hanger Types and Accessories for Peg Board
- Attach Wooden Boxes to the Wall
- Nails and Wall Anchors to Hang Tools
- Advanced Shelving Systems
- Mount a Clamp Rack to the Wall
- Saw Blade Storage on a Wall
- Levels, Straight Edges, and Longer Items
- Templates, Jigs, and Forms
- Heavier Tools are Better Stored Elsewhere
- Walls are Best for Small and Light Tools
- More Floor Space When You Use Wall Storage
- What About the Ceiling
- Secret Bonus at the Bottom of the Post…
Walls are an Unused Resource
The first thing I want you to do is go out into your shop and take a look at the walls. Don’t just visualize in your head, actually walk out there and take a look at the walls. Like most woodworkers, especially in the beginning, you probably don’t have anything on your walls.
In effect, the walls of your shop or an untapped resource. If you think about it, depending on the layout of your shop, and how many walls actually border your working space, you might actually have more wall space than you do floor space.
In my shop, I’m bordered on two sides by walls, so I have about 1 1/2 times my floor space on the walls. This is huge, because you can more than double the effective storage capacity of your shop by simply hanging tools and other items on the walls.
Hang Your Tools on the Wall With Peg Board
The easiest way to get your tools up onto the wall is to use pegboard. You can find pegboard in a number of different places, but the easiest is probably to go to a home improvement store and pick it up in 4 x 8 sheets.
Larger sheets are inexpensive when compared to smaller sheets, and you can even have them cut down in the store if transporting them home is a challenge. It’s actually less expensive to buy a 4 x 8 sheet and have it cut down than buying 4 sheets that are 2 x 4.
Pegboard is amazing, inexpensive, and you can store just about any tool that you own right on the wall. Installation is super easy, and all you need to do is create a thin wooden frame behind the board to mount to the wall studs.
With the right planning, you could effectively cover the majority of a wall with pegboard all the way down to the floor. The only real limitation is how high you can reach. For the average person, reaching to a height of 7 feet, and then down all the way to the floor is pretty common.
This means if you had three sheets of pegboard on your wall, you would have 84 ft.² of storage space that you could easily reach. On top of that, the storage space wouldn’t take up a single inch of your floor space, because nothing would actually be touching the ground.
All you have to do to make the pegboard usable is buy some 1x1s or 2x2s and create a frame behind the pegboard to hold it rigidly. Depending on the size of your board, you can run a frame around the outside and run a couple of uprights through the middle, almost like framing a wall.
In general, the bigger the board, the more support it will need. This will help resist the weight of all of the tools, and prevent the pegboard from flexing.
Hanger Types and Accessories for Peg Board
One of the marvels of pegboard is all of the different types of hooks accessories that you can buy to hang and almost infinite number of tools. There are hangers for darn near everything, and no matter what you are trying to hang, there is most likely a solution.
Long gone are the days where all you could really get on the pegboard were simple little wire hooks. Now there are clamp holders, buckets, drawers, bins, and tons of other methods of securing your tools to the pegboard.
A quick trip on Amazon will show you more than you probably ever knew existed, and you can also pick the stuff up at an outstanding price. It’s really easy to take a look at all the options, and immediately see how you could hang the majority of your tools and materials.
There are even solutions for larger tools, and that means even more versatility. If you are really serious about using your walls to free up some shop space by hanging all of your tools, you absolutely have to you look at pegboard and all of the accessories you can get.
See Also: Woodworking in Small Spaces
Attach Wooden Boxes to the Wall
Another way to bring tools off of the ground and up onto the wall is to create a set of wooden boxes or bins that bolt directly to the wall. These don’t have to be super large, but you can make them big enough to hold powered hand tools.
Boxes like this are great to store your router, palm sander, belt sander, and angle grinder. These tools are all a little heavy sometimes for pegboard, but they sit in a bin very nicely, and they are easy to store.
Make a set of boxes out of plywood or MDF, and build them so they are strong and can take the weight of your tools. Make them at least as wide as one stud bay, that way you can anchor directly into two wall studs for extra support.
You can put bins like this anywhere, though I recommend placing larger bins like this a little bit lower so that way you can see inside of them. This makes it easy to know what tools you have, where they are, and eventually vacuum out sawdust that may gather inside.
Nails and Wall Anchors to Hang Tools
If you’re looking for a slightly simpler approach, or you really don’t have a lot of things to hang, you might just consider investing in a set of wall anchors. Toggle strip anchors hold a lot of weight, and they are easy to install.
They also operate using a threaded bolt, which means you can extend the size of the hanger essentially when you need to. These are great for items that can hang from a loop, or can hang from a hole.
These type of anchors do require you to drill a hole in your wall, but the hole is small, and can be easily patched when you leave the shop. These are great for larger items like levels, straight edges, and rulers.
See Also: 9 Great Tips for Storing Wood Clamps
Advanced Shelving Systems
One of the more advanced shelving systems that you could set up, which would definitely require some time to do, is a French cleat system. This has a lot of versatility to it, and it’s a modular system that you can rearrange to your specific needs.
The way the system works is through a series of battens that are anchored directly to the wall studs. They run the full length of the area that will become shelving, and the entire length of the batten has an upright 45 degree angle cut.
All of the boxes and bins that you create will have a corresponding batten on the rear side, with a 45 degree angle cut that faces down words. When you set a bin on one of the battens that’s attached to the wall, the two 45 degree angle cuts interlock.
At this point, gravity holds the bin in place, and the more you put inside of the bin, the tougher it holds, and the deeper the miters are driven together. Also, if you need to move the bin, all you need to do is pick it up and move it to another batten, or just slide it to a new spot.
You are not limited in any way by the quantity, size, or shape of bins that you create. Any bin you make will drop right onto the cleat in any position you choose. In this way, you can create a system that is entirely modular, and can be rearranged whenever you need it.
See Also: DIY Pallet Wood Shelf and Staining Pallet Wood which has a tutorial on making a french cleat that you can use for your wall storage needs.
Mount a Clamp Rack to the Wall
Another way to hang your tools on the wall is to make a clamp rack. Clamps are one of those tools that is just awkwardly shaped, and shaped wildly differently from each other. Not only are clamps a little bit more difficult to store, you have to tackle the issue of size as well.
For this purpose, a clamp rack that is similar in appearance to a ladder is really one of the best ways to store them. All you have to do is make a couple of uprights, and then put a few horizontal rungs, evenly spaced.
What you make essentially looks like a ladder, and is perfect for storing your clamps. Short clamps can grab onto one run, and larger clamps can grab onto several. You can even do smaller clamps above and below each other, and longer clamps to the sides of them.
This entire ladder shaped apparatus mounts to the wall studs, and holds all of your clamps in one spot. You can make something like this in about an hour, and instantly take that pile of clamps from your bench and put it on the wall.
If you make any adjustments to the way that you operate your shop, a ladder rack for clamps is really a difference maker. Clamps just don’t really store very well, and they make a very large pile because of the way they are shaped.
Making a simple ladder rack is just a matter of grabbing some scraps and screwing them together, and then mounting the whole thing to the wall. It’s super easy, and you can make a huge difference in your shop in about an hour.
Saw Blade Storage on a Wall
Another thing that’s really good store on the wall is your blades. Circular saw blades, tablesaw blades, and bandsaw blades are large items that are also unsafe to have just laying around. Put them up on the wall, and you save storage space, and reduce a safety hazard.
Bandsaw blades in particular are one of those more interesting items to have in your shop. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really gotten the hang of twisting that blade back into three circles like they come in the package.
I have cut my hand a couple of times doing it, nothing really serious but enough to know I don’t want to do it again. For that point forward, all I did was mount a wall anchor someplace out-of-the-way and high up, and now I store my blades like that.
Blades and generally very sharp, that’s just the nature of the item. If you can get the stuff out of the way, and onto a wall, you keep it out of the reach of hands that probably shouldn’t be touching them anyway, and you also get it out of your own way too.
Levels, Straight Edges, and Longer Items
There are certain items that are just really difficult to store, and we’ve already covered a few of them. Levels, and straight edges along with rulers are also in that category, and the wall is a perfect place to store them.
If there are hangers, or holes on your items, all you need to do is mount a hook to the wall and hang the item very simply. Most larger items or long items will already have these things in place, because that’s how they intend you to store it.
If the items are heavy, I definitely recommend using a wall anchor, or driving a screw directly into a stud before you hang the item. It’s just best to be safe, especially in the case of larger levels that can be very expensive.
See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker
Templates, Jigs, and Forms
After a while, especially with woodworking, you will end up with a lot of jigs, templates, and forms that just pile up like crazy. Woodworking is largely a process of making jigs to help make processes repeatable. Consequently, you end up with a lot of them.
Instead of just piling things up on the shelves, or trying to store them under your benches where they seem like they’re out of the way, get those jigs and templates up onto the wall and free up more space in your bench.
You can use any number of different hanging methods to get them out, and you might be surprised at just how much of an improvement having them visible will be to your woodworking process.
Sometimes you can get a little lazy, and not want to dig out a jig because it seems like a waste of time for one simple process. If the jig were in front of you, and easy to access, it would be a much different story and you would use it a lot more often
If you want people to do the right thing, make it easy for them. That goes for yourself too, any easier you make it to do the right thing, the more often you will.
Heavier Tools are Better Stored Elsewhere
You can buy different fixtures to store heavy tools on the wall, but there definitely is an upper limit that you need to think about. That upper limit might be different for different people, but in general if you feel like something is too heavy for the wall, don’t store it there.
Most of the time, you probably aren’t going to store anything larger than a powered hand tool on the wall. There are solutions that were covered earlier for storing really heavy tools, and you can always use those if you decide to.
However, I definitely recommend that any tool that is a little heavy to carry around is not something that you try to store on the wall. It’s easy to accumulate too much weight on the wall to quickly, especially when you’re dealing with heavy tools.
You won’t really notice that the weight is piling up, and eventually you can have a problem with your fixtures detaching from the wall itself.
Walls are Best for Small and Light Tools
It’s amazing how many of your small tools you can get up onto the walls and save a ton of space in your shop. It’s also amazing how many small tools you accumulate over a lifetime spent in woodworking.
Small tools and smaller clamps are great on the walls, and you really don’t need anything fancy to get them up there. In fact, there are several little accessories are sold for pegboard’s that are perfect for hanging multiple tools with handles like screwdrivers.
There are some small bins that you can buy to hang items that you might be able to just dump into a bucket together because they’re all the same. This is even good for commonly used hardware like bolts and nuts of the same size.
More Floor Space When You Use Wall Storage
The biggest thing about storing your tools this way is that you free up a valuable floor space that you can use for other things. Depending on how cramped you are, you may even decide just enjoy the extra space and freedom in your workshop.
Especially in the case where you need to make room to store a larger tool, getting all of your smaller things up onto the walls can be a huge benefit. Now the new floor standing tool doesn’t cramp the space even further than it already is.
Even making room for a couple of larger tools is pretty easy, plus you may even have extra room to spare just because of the significant difference when you start using your wall space.
See Also: How to Buff Wood to a High Sheen
What About the Ceiling
It’s time to challenge this process a little farther, what about the ceiling? If the walls are fair game, the ceiling should be too. There are several things you can do to make your ceiling a usable surface in your workshop
The ceilings are a little bit more difficult access than the walls, so you need to bear that in mind when deciding what to store up there. However, there’s one really obvious item that you can store higher and that will free up a significant amount of your shop in most cases.
Lumber storage is a great on the ceiling, and there are a lot of different ways that you can do it. Invest in a nice ceiling mounted lumber rack, and you can store all of your wood in a way that makes it is still easy to see it, but get it completely out of your way.
If the walls were a revelation for you, the ceiling will be too. Don’t just stop at the lumber, maybe there’s another thing is that you don’t quite use as often as you think that can store up high and stay completely out of your way.
See Also: How to Make a Smaller Wood Storage Area
Super Secret Bonus Tip
Start right now. The easiest way to get this going is just to go to the hardware store and buy a small sheet of peg board. These can be found in a 2 foot by four foot size, and this is a perfect stepping stone.
Next, buy some 1×1 material to frame the peg board, and some wood screws to anchor it to the studs. Finally, pick up a small box of peg board hangers, and you have everything you need.
Find a place in your shop and start hanging your tools. See if you can get rid of one of your tool boxes using the peg board. Once you do, you will be hooked, and you will want to start doing some of the other steps.
Make your shop nice and inviting, and you will work out there far more often.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know so many different ways to hang tools on your walls and make your shop feel more open and inviting, it’s time to take action. Pick at least one of these techniques, and go make your shop feel bigger than it already is.
I recommend starting with pegboard if you choose anything, because it will make the biggest impact, and free up the most amount of space. It also removes a large amount of clutter from your drawers and benches, and get it all out where you can see it.
If you have any questions on hanging your woodworking tools on the wall in your shop, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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