Fransikaner’s Hand Tool Shelf

Viewer Project - By Fransikaner
Added on July 19, 2012

I thought this project might be of interest to the WWing community for its approach to flexible storage of hand tools at a workspace (and certainly not as an exercise in exemplary joinery). The project began as a hasty shelf or two to hold daily users over my woodworking bench. I had been putting off on fabricating a proper hand tool cabinet but needed something to get the tool clutter off the bench. Like many things in life, opportunities started to present themselves as I researched best practices for tool suite storage. I decided to approach this build as an exercise in modular storage employing bins and french cleats. With two main units serving as facilitators, configurations could then evolve and change with bench demands.

After a few Sketchup sessions, I commenced the build in red oak and oak plywood with bits of poplar, primarily using hand tools. Joinery was a combination of biscuit, finger, and butt joints with glue. Lee Valley aluminum sliders were used for the three main drawers and proved useful for maximizing space. I introduced curves into the lower cleat mounts to soften the harshness of the lines and used 1/8 edge roundovers throughout to achieve a pleasing tactile quality. My design aesthetic went out the window when I began fabrication of the final piece-–the large lower shelf rack. Not only did I violate the flexible, small-size dictum, I also discovered that ergonomics would not allow it to sit on the recessed lower cleat as intended. After some modification, the result is satisfactory, but not optimal. Looking back on this incremental build, I am sure I could have made much better use of the space, but the final result allows visual access and tool maintenance and upkeep in an orderly fashion.


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