Garage Tool Rack

In an effort to clean up the garage i decided to build a rack to hold tools, brooms, shovels, rakes and chairs.  By hanging them on the wall it would make room for other junk to go on the floor.  

When i first bought the house i did put some nails in the wall but they really didn't work that well.  So i looked at a bunch of different designs online for tool racks.  There were some fancy expensive ones that had individual clips for each tool.  But i figured that when it's the middle of winter and i just got done shoveling the snow i would just end up throwing the shovel against the wall, rather then finding the particular hook that went for that shovel.  I decided to go for something simpler.  So i went to Meijer and looked at the hooks and brackets that they sold.  They have me a ton of ideas. 
meijer walmart hook bracket row aisle garage hooks tool holder

I was thinking of making some simple U-shaped brackets like this for things like brooms and shovels.  Then make L-shaped hooks for tools with handles.  
u shaped hook for broom shovel handle wall screw rubber coated

But then i got my best idea from their Lawn & Garden aisle.  Instead of having just 1 hook for 1 tool, i could stack multiple tools on top of each other.  
broom bracket holder hook multi tool for sale walmart meijer lawn and garden

I was originally going to attach a 1"x4" piece of pine to the wall then use wood dowels as the hooks/runners.  But when i got downstairs i realized that i didn't have any wood dowels.  What i did have was metal conduit and lots of PVC pipe.  I thought the PVC would work great as long as i could glue it well enough to the wood and that it didn't snap off in the winter with lots of weight on it.  

So i decided on 3"4" PVC pipe then marked out layout that i wanted.  I kept it mostly symmetrical, alternating a single hook with a double runner.  I didn't take any pictures during the build process, so here it is after i attached it to the wall.
garage tool rack, shelf for lawn tools, rake, shovel, broom, chair, wood, pvc

The glue i used actually didn't work, it wasn't strong enough and the PVC pipe sagged with any weight.  So i drilled a small hole at a downward angle through the back of the board into the pipe.  The cool part is that you cant see it from the front.  
wood and pvc tool rack in garage, attach to wall, how to build, simple plans

 Also i used a stud-finder to locate the 2x4's behind the drywall in the garage.  Then i marked and drilled holes every 16".  A couple of the screws missed the studs so i had to redrill them, but eventually it was attached to the wall.
how to make a tool rack for the garage, wall, shovel, rake, hold, organize

I like how it turned out.  Everything is up and out of the way.  Also it's easy to see everything.  Much better then a big pile of rakes and shovels on the ground.


Anonymous said...

Good job. I did something similar in my basement. Only I put a board vertically on the wall with two wooden arms coming out and braced. Kind of like the pictures you showed at the hardware store.

Dave Wirth said...

Ya it's been about a year and the PVC is holding up fine. But if i had to do it over again i probably would have gone with an angled piece of wood, which would be stronger.


Anonymous said...

I think the pvc was a good choice, though. I also made a similar shelf in my basement as the one you constructed. You seem pretty creative. Keep it up.

Tom Steger said...

Great job! I'd be concerned about taking a core sample of my head if I fell into the pvc. Maybe some caps would be a good idea?

Alternately, some large wooden dowels installed the same way, or for the heavy duty application: iron pipe?

Keep up the great work!


Dave Wirth said...

The PVC is about 7' off the ground, so no worries about banging into it.

And about the choice of materials... iron pipe would be too expensive and overkill for shovels and rakes. I did originally think of wood, either dowels or 2x4's. But so far the PVC has been great. And in the winter i'm not worried about it snapping when it's below zero.

Brandy said...

I'm confused how drilling a small hole hole through the back of the wood into the pipe kept the PVC from sagging?

Dave Wirth said...


Well i originally thought that if i glued the pvc to the wood at something like a 15 degree up angle, that it would hold. It didn't. The glue didn't stick the pvc to the wood really well.

So i drilled a hole from the back side of the board, through the wood and into the pvc. I tried to make it so it couldn't be seen, right where the pvc goes into the wood. Then i used like a 2" screw. It sort of made a triangle between the screw, wood and pvc. That's what really prevents the pvc from just sagging. Had the glue been stronger i wouldn't have needed the extra screw.

Not really sure that i did a good job explaining it. But hope it helps.


Anonymous said...

First of all Dave - I like your creativity and willingness to share. I was stunned when I saw your pictures of the tool rack/organizer - it looks allot like mine (same sized board anchored to the wall - height and everything - similar number of tools), but yours looks so much better organized and would hold more tools! I just used long nails, and I am not happy with them.

After seeing your PVC idea I now want to yank my nails out and go with your idea.

** How did you drill all the holes for the PVC pipe at a consistent angle? (I hope you don't say with a drill press because I do not have one)



Dave Wirth said...

Well ya i did use a drill press. You don't need to use a drill press, it's just a lot easier to keep that consistent angle. If you drill your first hole you can eyeball that same angle every time, or cut a wood block at an angle and have your bit ride against that.

But if i had to do it all over again i wouldn't use PVC. They are not super strong and the way i attached them to the board wasn't great either.

If i did it again i would use wood or metal for the "arms". If i were to use wood i would go with dowels or maybe just 2x2's that were glued and screwed in from behind. Metal would be nice and durable although it might be more expensive and i'm not sure where i would get the large brackets. Even if you just got pipe and bent it, that would be costly too.

Hennie van der Watt said...

Dave. Thanks for the ideas. I've already started pricing the wood for the shelving you built. I'm putting one in my garage and probably a couple at my in laws. Only difference is I am going to attach mine to the wall with 90 degree brackets. Best shelves I've seen so far! I am in South Africa and we use metric measurements so my biggest challenge was doing all the conversions, but got that sorted now.

Quick question on the garden tool rack.

You said next time you'd rather use wood instead of pvc. I guess you mean you would still angle the wood "pegs" rather than at. 90 degree angle to the wall. Also, I guess wood glue and screws would be a better combo with the strip of wood that's attached to the wall.

Warm southern hemisphere greetings!
Hennie van der Watt

Dave Wirth said...

To Hennie van der Watt:

You are absolutely right. I should have made the "pegs" out of wood, they would have been a lot stronger and i could have attached them using wood glue and screws. Trying to combine PVC and wood wasn't a good idea.

As far as angling them up a little, ya i would still do that. Not too much, maybe like 95 or 100 degrees. I don't think it makes that much of a difference, it's not like the shovels and rakes would be falling off it were at 90 degrees.

Jess said...

Hey so i saw your blog and this is awesome and similar to what i want to do at work for audio cabling! I'm going to be building this with steel pipe (left over from previous gig) for the "arms". Im just thinking how to attach them to the wood to make sure they dont fall out and stuff. My thought is drill a whole for the pipe at an angle and from the back drill through the wood and the pipe and put a skrew or something in. im just not sure how to do it without the pipe damaging the wall behind. thoughts?

Unknown said...

Why not use a 2 by 4.. Drill the hole almost all the way through making sure the PVC fits tightly then from the top of the 2 by 4 put in a screw to hold the PVC in the hole

deSchenke said...

How long are the PVC "pegs" - or how far out do they protrude from the board?

Dave Wirth said...

The PVC pipes vary in length, from 8" for the small ones to 12" for the larger ones.