Tool storage racks and shelves

In my continuing quest to clean and upgrade my workshop, I've been seriously considering my options for tool storage. I've always loved the look and functionality of the systems used in the shops in Williamsburg, namely shelves and racks. My inability to heat my building has made this an unworkable solution so the tools have lived in chests for many years. Now that I'm insulating and electrifying the shop, I'll be able to keep the building at a minimum of 50 degrees year round. This means tools can live on walls.

To that end I've been busily making shelves and racks. I've chosen to paint them, along with the window trim, in a brownish-beige color which will contrast nicely with the soon-to-be white walls.

I'm simply using dimensional pine from the Borg. It's rare that I use pre-dimensioned lumber but, with my time at a premium these days, I'm going to be saving my efforts for where it really matters, i.e. my actual work. I did hand plane a nice bead detail on the what will become the bottom of the rack, and will plane similar beads on future racks.

 Here it is hanging temporarily before painting. I decided that I will hang it in a lower position when I install it permanently.

Tool rack from Sampson Joinery Shop. Photo by Peter Follansbee
I'm also planning to make a few of these racks from the Sampson Joinery Shop as documented by Peter Follansbee.

It's still far too cold to paint anything outdoors so the walls will have to wait a while yet (c'mon Spring!). The shelf rack was painted inside and I'm pleased with the look. I suspect it will look even better against white walls.

I hope this series on shop improvements is inspirational. I know I'm enjoying getting back out there and making things a little brighter, a little cleaner, and hopefully a little warmer!


  1. Looking good! Can't wait to see the tool rack.

    For the shelf, perhaps I am overthinking it, but is the top simply screwed into the back and supports?

  2. Yes, the top is screwed into the back and the supports are screwed into both the top and the back. Dead simple construction.