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Thread: French Cleat Garage Storage System

  1. #1
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    French Cleat Garage Storage System

    Just moved into a new house and among other projects, I need to figure out how to cram all of my stuff into this garage space. I'm going to pursue a french cleat system.

    Plan is to get a couple sheets of 3/4 inch birch plywood, rip them into 5-7/8" strips, then cut each of those in half on a 45 degree bevel, then knock 1/8" off the tip of each angled edge.

    That'll get me enough linear footage to do all the wall rails and some left over to attach to storage units.

    Found this thread earlier today discussing some other folks experiences - http://woodtalkonline.com/topic/557-...torage-design/


    I'll post a few "build" pictures as I get going on it. Also need to run some conduit and maybe install a subpanel in the space. I'm actually pretty excited about setting up a new workspace.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



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    Looks like it would be easy to alter the arrangement of the storage bins. Interesting.

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    Another thing to look at, albeit more expensive (but alot less work) are those closet organizers. The ones from Lowes (I think) is a very very sturdy piece of metal and you can buy the metal hooks to hang stuff on it. Comes with a white plastic cover to keep the hangar looking nice.

    costs a little more (maybe not if you are buying birch plywood!, but lower profile, and strong enough to hang your own house on its own cleat. Locks cabinets without additional holes in the walls. uh, and i guess you could put that shoe organizer and hanging bar from the organizer set in the garage too?

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    If you decide to hang pegboard, let me know if you figure out a good way to arrange all the tools. I still haven't figured out that one yet.

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    also if you are not aware, grizzly makes a really great program for shop organization. you plug in the size of your space, doors, windows, etc, and can move around your equipment to see how it should all fit. No need to cut up graph paper or learn cad.

    And I don't know if you have space for a proper 360 degree workbench, but I can not tell you how nice it is to have one. It's a fantastic luxury every shop can use.

  6. #6
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Definitely hanging pegboard. Probably in smaller sections this time, mounted to the French cleat rails. When I had big sheets of pegboard I found myself placing somewhat unrelated items near each other just because they were easy to hang. I'd rather have stuff grouped and near other items that might not e suitable for pegboard. I'm thinking some 2'x2' pegboard modules, and maybe a couple other sizes.

    No room for a 360 bench unless I make it modular. I thought about making a nice side grain benchtop by joining stacks of 2x4s and running them through the planer, but I did it on my last workbench and I want to try something different. The new garage has high ceilings so one option might be to make a work-table top that I can lift to the ceiling when not in use. Maybe create some mobile cabinets that can serve as storage against the wall under my smaller bench most of the time, but then roll out to be the work-table base when needed.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



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    I think that's the failing of my pegboard too. I have a 2x4 foot piece that sits vertical and is REALLY handy, I think because I really only use the top half. 2x2 seems like a good limit to group tools based on task. I could have a 2x2 piece above the lathe for lathe tools. I could have a 2x2 piece under the table saw for table saw stuff. I could have a 2x2 piece above the welding table for chalks and weld only clamps. etc. The large board that takes up so much space holds alot, but has no real organization. I think your 2x2 idea is better, especially french cleated.

    No problems with rolling cabinets if that's what it takes to get a nice 360 surface, I think that's better than hanging. Hanging is great for awkward stuff like bikes and those 12' sections of lumber that never seem to fit anywhere.

    Another trick I use stolen from the theater crowd. Coffin locks allow sections of anything to be locked together. So if you had say, three 2'x3' rolling workbenches against your shop walls for work that's great, then you could roll them into the middle of the shop and lock them together to make one big surface 3'x6'. That's some walking around space! ANd if you just so happen to make those benches the same height as your router table, or table saw.....

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    my workbenches are veneer based on the task. formica for the router, granite for electrical, raw MDF for chemical, and wood for fine woodworking.

    In any of the cases, the primary tabletop is MDF for weight, rigidity, dimensional stability, and machineability. On top of that I put a spacer (or nothing if no spacer is needed) then laminate my veneer ply. My main workbench is 1/4" oak (cheapest at home depot), my lathe table is a mahogany door skin @ 1/8" thick (these things are unbelievably cheap). The edge gets trimmed up with the router since the MDF base was cut perfectly at 2x4 so I have a nice flush edge. That gets a nice edging of solid wood, 1x2 whatever contrasts nice and is cheap. MUST be hard wood. I like ash, red oak, maple, whatever is cheap. Poplar is OK. My electronics/chemical bench isn't subject to heavy work, I used doug fir.

    The real secret IMO is paraffin wax, not furniture grade wax (I believe mostly beeswax there). It's a royal bastard to apply but it fills all woodgrain, is slick, shiny, and very resistant to impact damage or chemical staining. I have to use a heat gun to apply it, then scrape off the leavings with a hobby blade. Then reapply the heat gun and polish with a rag. It's practically a mirror after that. Doesn't last, but my paraffin benches look way nicer than my beeswax benches.

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    uh, you WILL take pics for us to live vicariously through, yes? (I'm looking forward to what you do with the dust collector)

  10. #10
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Definitely taking pics. I've got two new saw blades arriving today in anticipation of a lot of plywood cutting (hopefully this weekend).

    Good idea about connecting roll outs. I'll need to look, but I think 2' wide by 3' deep will work. Pulled the 4runner in last night and I had 50" of room between the bumper and the garage wall.

    The previous owners left a section of Formica countertop in an attic, so I'm going to use that for one section of workbench. Need to think about the others.

    I moved the big compressor and the dust collector into a storage room attached to the garage. That's where I'm also hoping to locate a sub panel for garage electrical service. Might look at enclosing the compressor further to reduce noise. Going to try an intake silencer first.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



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