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Friday, March 1, 2013

French cleat tool storage system

I have used pegboard for years as an easy way to hang my hand tools. I can see why it is popular with a lot of guys: it's fairly inexpensive and there are a wide variety of hangers you can buy that will allow you to hang just about anything.

The problem I have always faced is that the little metal holders continually fall off when I try to remove a tool.  I understand there are more modern hangers than the ones I used that will stay in place, but I never got around to purchasing any. I bought an assorted box of hangers when I set up my pegboard and never added to it.

Nor did I ever move the pegs around. I set them in place and instead of getting the right hanger for the tool, I've always just plopped tools on whatever hanger they will fit. Usually awkwardly.

Ultimately, I like building stuff for the shop whenever possible, rather than buying stuff. Especially since everything else on my tool hutch is hand-made.

This french cleat system lets you get creative with storage and is infinitely adjustable to your tools and set-up. Plus french cleats are sturdy. I use one to hold my TV on the wall.

Mere Minutes.
This is a video from last weekend that I forgot to post here. Some updates on last week's projects.


  1. Great idea on tool storage! I hate my peg board too. Now I have to get busy making the french cleat system.

    How far apart are your rows, from the top to the middle one?


  2. I'm kinda disappointed.

    No Cheezy French accent, nor goofy French chapeau while making and talking about French cleats?

    Man. There were 1000 French puns right up Etienne Ramsey's alley that he left laying on the workbench unused.

  3. I like that you positioned the hand saws with the spines facing each other. That way you can reach in between to grab one saw or the other without scratching the back of your hand on the teeth of the other saw.

  4. Hey !! I'm french, and I can tell you there is not more hats in France than I can see on TV about CowBoys in US ;) That's a "pré-jugé" ;)

    By the way, this clever cleat system can also be used to store your F-Clamps ;)
    I know that Steve already did a storage system for his cleats, but I don't, and I'm thinking of putting cleats everywhere there is a small empty space on any wall ;)

  5. I made a French cleat hanger system to go with a cork-board bulletin board I made for a grand-daughter. With proper thicknesses, it holds the board's frame flush to the wall AND if the wall's cleat is level, the board is, too.

    I may use this technique for all the regular "rogues' gallery" photos hanging around the house!

    Thanks, Steve!

  6. ChillingAtNegative50FJanuary 28, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since you published this article/video. I'm finally getting around to this project. I echo Tom's question above, 'How far apart should the cleats be?' I'm thinking something nice and round like 12 inches, 18 inches, 40 cm, something... but I lack the foresight and hindsight to be able to say, "I really wish they had been closer (or further) apart." Do you have any comments, Steve?

  7. I also would like to know how far apart the cleats are and if you wish the spacing were different.