Overhead tool racks

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Forum topic by Don Butler posted 10-30-2010 02:28 PM 2871 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Butler

1092 posts in 3396 days

10-30-2010 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tool storage tip overhead rack

My shop is way too crowded.
Sometimes what I need at the tablesaw is somewhere else, requiring a walk and sometimes a search party.
I make numerous jigs for the tablesaw and have a number of tools I wish were handy there, too.
So the way I deal with the situation is to hang racks from the ceiling.
Although it’s still in the experimental stage, I think I’ll keep developing the idea because it’s handy
My push sticks are where I want them, the 45ยบ sleds (left and right) are always near. Wrenches, tall fence, even the bench brush, right there, not on a shelf somewhere or in a drawer.
One nice thing about it is that it doesn’t accumulate chips like a shelf or a drawer.
I have one rack parallel to the front of the saw and another on the right end where my router table is situated.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

7 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4219 days

#1 posted 10-30-2010 03:12 PM

Sounds like an interesting solution, Don. Do you have some photos to give us a better idea of how you did it?

A large portion of my shop ceiling is unusable because of the garage door travel, but I might be able to do something in the remaining portion.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3396 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 04:07 PM

Here’s a MUCH clearer idea without the mess that currently exists in my shop!


That’s not the saw I have, but it’s similar in configuration.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4219 days

#3 posted 10-30-2010 04:30 PM

Ah…thanks! I might be able to use that idea.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4175 posts in 3165 days

#4 posted 10-30-2010 05:21 PM

I have seen that done before, and as you note, it is a great place to keep an assortment of push sticks. Unfortunately, I have used much of that space along my overhead beams for long item storage, in simple racks, every thing from plastic pipe to drain pipe, boards, etc. When I finally completely revamp my shop, That stuff will go somewhere else, I hope. I have an area to reclaim once the remodel is over. In fact there is a lot of Jatoba in my shop designated for the final remodel of the house. Once I am in a final situation, then I will locate my table saw permanently, but I suspect it will stay where it has been for years.

But you point remains well taken. It is an ideal place for TS accessories.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3271 days

#5 posted 11-04-2010 02:06 AM

Living in earthquake country I am a bit leary of putting too much stuff over my head….I don’t want to have to wear a workshop hardhat along with my other safety devices.

I always caution that anything that can fall will fall eventually….always make sure that where it lands is safe for you and for the item dropping – you sure don’t want something falling on your table saw when it is in use…you risk alot with that….just a thought from shaky CA.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Ick's profile


34 posts in 3541 days

#6 posted 11-25-2010 08:10 PM

When I was researching how to remodel my shop, one of the references that I found the most helpful was Benchmark, in particular his use of French Cleats all around the walls of his shop. For the cost of a couple of sheets of plywood, I was able to line my walls with the base cleats. Then all cabinets, and hangers were made to hang from the cleats. I fastened the hooks to simple t-cleats (made primarily from scraps). It gets everything off of the floor and I can reconfigure in just a couple of minutes (something that happens more often when it’s easy).

I’ve put all of my hand tools in hanging cabinets (hang from french cleats), and put an overlapping rabbet on the doors (in an attempt to control dust infiltration—helps). I also built a rolling infeed cabinet the same height as the TS, that has builtin racks on the back for the rip fence and other heavily used TS jibs, e.g. sacrificial fence).

I’ve thought about an overhead small rack for very heavily used (and misplaced items (tape measures, markers, etc.), but haven’t gotten there yet. One issue I was concerned with was adequate task lighting above the TS, which I’ve solved with 2 4’ shop lights with pull chains.

Just offering this up for some food for thought.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20489 posts in 3106 days

#7 posted 12-12-2010 11:54 PM

One think I heard at some seminar or in an article is that when you finish a job, put 10 things away. That keeps your shop clean for the next project. In order to do that you have to have a place for everything. Some days I look at what I cannot put away and then a shelf, cabinet, rack or something to address that is the next project. I have little space but make good use of it. So after every project, large or small, I stash things away and count as I do it. I can usually hit 10 or more and the place is back to normal and I feel good about walking away.
Some are overhead racks!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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