Open Rack for Hand Tools
Build it by hand and enjoy the benefits
Synopsis: Making tools easier to access not only makes work easier but also encourages you to put them away. One great way to keep them accessible is in a rack right next to the bench. Dan Faia’s rack holds all the essential hand tools for a modern furniture maker, and he makes it with hand tools only. The joinery is traditional, strong, and straightforward. Through-dovetails join the case sides to the top, with the tails located on the sides to resist the weight pulling downward. The lower stretcher ties the case sides together with wedged through-tenons. The shelf sits in simple stopped dadoes, and the back is made of shiplapped boards, placed horizontally.
For the first few years in my new shop, I worked out of a tool chest. Or at least I tried. A pile of tools took over my workbench, battling with workpieces and wood shavings. I wasted a lot of time working around the clutter. That’s when I decided to hang my most-used hand tools on the wall behind the bench. At first I used whatever hooks and holders I could come up with, but this new approach had an instant impact. Making my tools easier to access not only made work easier but also encouraged me to put tools away. The clutter dissipated and the workbench became a pleasant area to work.
To take my wall-hung tool storage to the next level, I designed the rack you see here. Although compact, it will hold and display all of the essential hand tools for a modern furniture maker. (For my personal list of essential hand tools, and why each one deserves its place in the rack, see Handwork on p. 78.) Your list may not match mine, so I made the rack design versatile enough…