Most of us who compulsively buy power tools don’t have the luxury of unlimited space. Here are a few ideas for getting the most out of storage space in workshops of any size.
This article was originally published 13 September 2014.
My own personal shop is a 6m by 6m section of my garage. Some people might argue that I’ve got plenty of space, but those people obviously feel their lives are complete without owning a panel saw. I’m not judging. I’m just saying that panel saws are awesome. And even with all that space I need to find some creative storage solutions in the shop to accommodate my power tool addiction. There are plenty of people who have done a lot more with a lot less. Here are some of my favourite space saving workshop ideas.
Utilise Your Wall Space With Pegboard
Pegboard is the master of all workshop organisational tools. You can buy full sheets at any big hardware store, but most also sell smaller, more manageable sheets. And while you can just slap these up on any wall, something like this fold-out wall cabinet will double your storage and keep your tools tucked safely away. You could also try this fancy sliding-door version.
Store Materials In A Rolling Bench
I’m not exactly an organised person, so the only real reason I keep my wood and other materials stored neatly away is because it makes room for more tools.
Materials take up a lot of room — and are always good to have on hand — so a roll-away bench that can be moved around is a great space-saving idea. Not only that, but it allows you to move your materials around as your project requires — which means less hauling for you.
Use A Fold-Away Bench For More Space When You Need It
The truth is, you only really need all that bench space when you’re mid-project. Every other time, it’s just something to walk around. Even in larger spaces, a collapsible bench like this one is a good idea.
Bonus: If you build the bench from scratch as described in that product guide, you’ll get a nice pegboard wall (not to mention some other good storage), so you can couple it with the first tip in this post.
Make Use of Every Inch Like This Mobile Workshop
In my opinion, Ron Paulk has won the Internet for best workshop in the smallest space. Check out his complete mobile workshop, and holy grail of organisation here:
He’s provided Sketchup plans of the space if anyone is interested.
I’m still working on utilising the space in my own shop more efficiently (and putting my tools back where they go after I’m done using them) but projects like these definitely help.
Lifehacker’s Workshop column covers DIY tips, techniques and projects.