7 Homemade Shop Organizers | Living the Country Life
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7 Homemade Shop Organizers

Readers of Successful Farming magazine, our sister publication, share their own thoughtful storage and organization inventions.
  • Organize wrenches and sockets

    It's probably fair to say there are a number of farm shops with wrenches missing from "lots of different sets, sockets from odd sets lying around in a pail, and tools picked up at auctions piling up in a drawer." That's how Stephen Bathista of Southampton, Massachusetts, describes his shop tool situation before he built what he calls his four-sided lazy Susan. 

    The rotary base is from an old tandem axle manure spreader wheel and hub with a stub shaft pointing upward. "I welded a sturdy 20-inch-square plate to the shaft. The metal sides are bolted to the plate to form an A-frame, which is bolted together at the top with a handle. With that handle, I can lift the whole thing with a chain or forks," he says. 

    Including the handle, the entire stand is about 66 inches tall. The two 3/4-inch plywood sides hold sockets; 1-inch angle iron rail acts as bracing for the pywood panels. They are predrilled at 15°F for 16D finish nails to hold small sockets. Bashista used 7-inch-long heavy-duty wood screws for larger pegs that hold multiple sockets of the same size.

    One side is for SEA tools, he says, and the other holds metric-size wrenches and sockets with extenions and breaker bars. These two sides are covered in 3/16-inch steel plate. All four surfaces are 20 inches wide at the base.

    Wrench cups are fomed by 21/2- to 3-inch thin-wall square tubing 31/2 to 10 inches long. These organize and separate his open-end, combination, and box-end wrenches. 

    There are troughs welded in between the wrench cups that hold wrenches in 1/16-inch sizes. Open spaces approximately 3/8 inch wide at the bottom of each square tubing cup let dirt and debris fall through. Bathista points out that at the bottom of the tool rack is a piece of metal that holds extra tools. He says he's collected a lot of tools over the years. Bashista and his son, Ron, maintain all their farm equipment. Throughout his career, he's performed welding and equipment repairs for his farm and also for neighbors. He says people still bring him things to work on.

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018
  • A place for air nozzles

    "To keep track of my air nozzles, I built an air attachment organizer bracket out of 1-inch angle iron. It has a number of notches that are 3/8 inch wide and 1/2 inch deep, spaced 2 inches apart - except for the notch closest to the hosse reel. I made that one 1/2 inch wide so I don't have to disconnect my air nozzle every time after use. Now my nozzles aren't lying around all over the sho. It helps when I'm in a hurry because they're all in one place."

    - Dalen Stahl

    White, South Dakota

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018
  • Tools are present and accounted for

    "At one time, I carried shovels and other tools in my loader bucket or backhoe bucket, but I lost several that way because driving over rough ground would cause them to bounce right out. So I fastened a PVC-pipe holder for these items to my tractor. Since I work alone a lot, this helps me make sure I have what I need (a tile probe, tiling shovel, etc.) when I get to the job site."

    - Gary Fisher

    Thor, Iowa

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018
  • Grab one bag and go

    "I have a new place to keep my cattle prods and sorting sticks: in an old golf club bag. It was not great having to gather the from the corner where they once were stacked. Now, it's easy to take them anywhere I'm working or loading cattle. Another plus is that the bag has pockets for storing extra batteries and a screwdriver for the cattle prods."

    - Billy Mccain

    Atwood, Kansas

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018
  • Keep tools in place

    "Before I built this organizer, I had problems finding what I needed in my farm pickup's toolbox and with spray cans rolling around loose. So I assembled 4-inch lengths of steel pipe and angle iron with enough holes on one side for all my screwdrivers. The pipes are welded to the angle iron, which is bolted to the inside of my toolbox. Now not only do I have easier access to tools without having to dig for them, but also I have more room in my toolbox."

    - Jadon Waldner

    Mitchell, South Dakota

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018
  • Don't lose tiny parts

    "I've found that one of the best things to have handy when I'm taking apart something with small, delicate parts is an empty egg carton. I use it to store the tiny parts and pieces; the egg carton keeps them safe and organized. The other nice thing is that I can close the lid on the carton, stack multiple cartons if need be, and store them in a safe place until the time comes when I'm ready to reassemble the parts."

    - Leon Waldner

    Rosholt, South Dakota

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018
  • Socket Wrench Caddy is Ready to Go

    "This carrier that I built from scrap metal accommodates commercially available socket holders. It's helpful because it seemed I was always without the precise metric or SAE tool I needed when away from the shop and toolbox. My carrier holds sockets, ratchet extensions, and adapters. It's also easy to tell at a glance if anything is getting left behind when the job is done." 

    - Jerry Meireis

    Paul, Idaho

    Date Published: January 10, 2018
    Date Updated: January 11, 2018

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