My garage is a disaster. No two ways about it…it’s a mess. Dave here from The Heathered Nest. When Remodelaholic asked us for projects to share with their audience, I jumped at the chance to do anything to help organize the garage. We came up with a power tool organizer…truth be told, I wanted to do this for a while, but never had the time to get it done…read this as “my wife had other things on my to-do-list”. If you look around the internet for ideas, which we did, you will find all kinds of awesome custom built power tool organizers. My eyes got large and my mouth started to water and this project was easily about to take on a life of its own. Then the reality check…I have to get this project done quickly, easily and cheaply. I went back to the drawing board and really tried to simplify this power tool organizer as much as possible. The end result is cheap, easy, functional and only took about 2 hrs to complete. Win-win-win.
So lets get started on this organizer!
Quick and Easy Power Tool Organizer
by The Heathered Nest
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- 4″ PVC pipe, 12″ long (I needed 5 of these, but you might need more or less depending on your tools)
- 3″ PVC pipe, 12″ long (I needed 5 of these, but you might need more or less depending on your tools
- Wire shelf like this – 12″ wide, 6′ long (I used the entire 6′ shelf, but you can cut shorter if you need or you may be able to find a shorter length like this)
- 12″ track shelf standards (we needed 3)
- Track shelf brackets (to support the wire shelf)
- Nylon cable ties (or zip ties as some people call them)
- 3″ screws
- Saw to cut PVC pipe to length (or get your local big box store to cut it for you!)
- Screw Gun
- Stud Finder
- Sanding Block
1.) Create a plan.
Look at the mess you currently have in your garage, and take stock of the tools you have, and the amount of dedicated space for the organizer to live.
I have 4 power screw guns that will fit in a 3″ PVC pipe. I also have two flashlights as part of the Makita’s cordless set that would fit into 4″ PVC pipe. My right angle drill and grinder will also fit into 4″ PVC pipe. When I first started I thought this organizer would only hold my screw guns, but I found out you could hold all kinds of tools using PVC pipe. So I ended up with five each of 3″ and 4″ PVC pipes to hold the tools I have as well as extra spots for the new tools I may get down the road (hey, Christmas is right around the corner).
2.) Install shelving standards.
I used a 6′ wire shelf. This length left room for additional PVC pipe hangers if needed in the future. Install the vertical shelving standards at a height that will allow you to easily reach the tools and the chargers. For a 6′ length of shelving, I needed 3 standards. Use a level (I used a 6′ level) to help ensure you are mounting them correctly/level.
A stud finder helps to locate the studs. Pre-drill, then mount the standards to the wall in the location of your studs, 3″ screws.
3.) Install Shelving Brackets, and Wire Shelf.
Once the standards are installed, hook your shelving brackets into the standards, and place your wire shelf on top. I installed the wire shelf upside down so that the “turned down edge” at the front of the shelf was facing up. This accomplished two things: 1.) it created a lip/edge to the shelf so that stuff on the shelf won’t fall off, and 2.) the edge won’t interfere with the PVC pipe that will be hanging below.
4.) Cut PVC pipe.
Cut the PVC pipe into 12″ lengths. I bought a 10′ long 3″ PVC pipe and a 10′ long 4″ PVC pipe. I bought extra in case I wanted to make additional tool holders. These are available in 2′ sections at the big box stores, they are just more expensive to buy in the smaller sections. I used my chop saw to cut the sections of 12″ pipe, but the big box stores will cut these sections for you to save you this step.
5.) Cut “slots” in PVC, then sand.
In order to hold the screw guns, a slot needs to be cut into the 3″ PVC pipe. The is accomplished using a jigsaw. I made the slot 1-3/4″ wide and 5-1/2″ deep. The jigsaw cuts through the PVC easily, but it does leave a sharp edge.
After you cut out the slot, use the sanding block to knock down the edge and make it nice and smooth.
6.) Mount PVC tubes to wire shelf.
Drill a 1/4″ hole at either end of the PVC pipe. Drill this hole 1/2″ from either end. TIP – when drilling the holes in the 3″ PVC pipe with the slot, make sure these holes are directly opposite the slot cut out, otherwise your screw guns will not hang straight up and down.
Use the cable ties to attach the PVC pipe to the wire shelf.
Tighten cable tie around wire shelf.
Once taut, snip end of tie.
You can hang the PVC pipes in any order and spacing desired. And the great thing is, if you want to take them down and reorder them, or add more, its as easy as snipping the cable ties and rehanging them.
7.) Organize and Admire.
Put your chargers and batteries on the shelf right above the tools. Tie up the wires neatly, then hang those power tools! An organized garage sure is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Know what else is a beautiful thing? ZIP TIES. We do a lot of quick and easy projects with them. Here are a few:
More ideas and tips for organizing tools:
Former doctor of physical therapy, Heather, and her engineer hubby, Dave, blog at the colorful, slightly off-kilter DIY and home decor blog, The Heathered Nest. Definitely a contrast to the mostly neutral world of home decor that currently abounds, Heather and Dave's home is full of pattern, punchy colors, and tons of DIY, all done on the cheap, though it may not appear it. Their work has been featured in magazines to include This Old House, USA Today Home Magazine, Reloved, GreenCraft and Cottages & Bungalows. They've made appearances on several DIY network TV shows, including "I Hate my Bath" and "I Want That". And their work has been featured all over the www in spots such as Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, Washington Post, Huffington Post, USA Today, Apartment Therapy and more.
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