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    Tool Storage: Find a Safe Place

    Hand and power tools for woodworking are pricey, so you want to take good care of them. That means keeping them safe from damage from falls or inadvertent hard bumps. Keeping tools stored in an organized way will also help keep your shop neater and make it easier to find things.

    Hand tools are small, so they’re fairly easy to put away. Many hand-tool enthusiasts build classic cases for their hand-tool collection, an homage to their heritage (see photo above). But most beginners don’t need such a massive storage case. You can get by using simple wall-mounted pegboard and hooks.

    Tool peg board

    Another option is to hang a sheet of plywood on the wall and screw custom-made cleats to it to hold various tools securely and out of the way.

    Hanging tool storage

    You also could store the tools in a shop drawer. Just be sure that the drawer has partitions to prevent items from banging into each other. To help you find tools easily, add labels to each drawer.

    Power tools are more difficult to store, simply because of their size and all the bits and blades that go with them.

    Power tool storage

    If you work in a small space, put larger tools, such as bandsaws and tablesaws, on wheels. You can buy rolling bases for these tools, or you can build your own. Having tools on wheels makes it easier to use your space more efficiently—you can move tools into position as you need them and put them away with ease.

    Tools with rolling bases

    The downside is that you’ll have to keep reconnecting the dust collector to the machines as you press them into use, but it’s not all that difficult.

    Smaller tools, such as benchtop planers and drill presses, can be stored on rolling cabinet bases.

    Planer stand

    The cabinets give you a place to keep wrenches, manuals, bits, and blades, and you can roll the tools into position easily. If you have the space, you can build a permanent home for benchtop tools; it could be as simple as a worktop with base cabinets beneath.

    One thing to remember is that your tool collection is likely to grow along with your woodworking skills. So plan ahead. Make cabinets with extra space and drawers. If you plan to hang tools on a wall, leave extra space for future additions. The bottom line is, treat your tools with care, and they’ll take care of business for you, for a long time.