GraveTrain

French Cleat Tool Wall Advice

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Morning all...

I'm in the process of significantly upgrading my garage workshop and seek advice on installing a french cleat tool wall. It's a single car garage and it's small. My planned tool wall is 42"x12' and my strategy is to create a french cleat wall that would offer the greatest amount of versatility. The cleats would run the entire length and height of the wall.  I'm only hanging hand tools on this wall and no cabinets. I would greatly appreciate any advice as to : 

  • How small can I go on the height of the cleat that is nailed to the wall. 
  • How small can I go with the distance between the cleats. 
  • How small can I go on the height of the cleat on the back of my "holders"
  • The heaviest object would be no heavier than 10 lbs. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks in advance!

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gee-dub, thank you so much for the detailed advice. I was originally planning to screw the cleats into the studs, "nail" was a late night poor choice of words at 1AM.  My original thought and now taking into consideration your points:

  • 3/4" back panel, screwed into the studs, shimming where necessary to level the tool wall. 
  • going with with 3/8" x 3" cleats (2" cleats on the wall with 1" hanging cleat)  "is 1" hanging cleat a little too small?"
  • 2" space between the cleats
  • cleats running the full length and height of the tool wall as visualized below
  • with cleats running every two inches, I don't think I would need that many with stand-off blocks. I would add them were necessary so that the tool holders will lie parallel with the back panel. 

As usual, it seems to make a whole lot of sense in my head but will definitely do a couple of dry runs on scrap lumber to test it all out. 

Let me know what you think of the plan. 

French Cleat Wall.JPG

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11 minutes ago, Tom King said:

Thanks for not asking for "advise".  I see advise asked for more than advice.

Those get ignored.

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Thanks for not asking for "advise".  I see advise asked for more than advice.

 

Even worse when they ask for advise on which planner to buy.

 

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

 

 

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These very well could be me. I had an English teacher two years in a row, that always wore short dresses and sat on the front of her desk instead of in her chair and made me sit on the front rowe. 

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Hoping that this does not sidetrack your thread:  How many of you use French cleats, vs some other wall mounting method (cabinets, etc.) to organize your shop?  And how do you organize?  I would love to have pencils, markers, squares, push sticks, featherboards... near the table saw and have all my bits near the drill press....

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@GraveTrain, that should work fine. I think you'll find that's a lot of space given over to a cleat wall, especially if you aren't planning to mount cabinets to it. I'm not saying don't do it, but maybe think about it a little more. You're claiming almost 50% of your available wall space. Now, that said, there's no reason your proposed setup couldn't support some shelves and cabinets, as long as you include some long screws into the studs. 

I had a french-cleat setup for awhile. In general I liked it, but the storage density wasn't quite enough for me. Power tools (jigsaw, drills) moved to shelves and cubbies, precision hand-tools (chisels) just got their holders screwed to the wall, and most general stuff (screwdrivers, pliers) ended up on magnetic rails. Cleats tend to require an uninterrupted section of wall, which my 1-car garage doesn't offer much of. My walls are all osb or shiplap, so I can screw in anywhere for mounting.

To answer @Pondhockey. As it stands now, I have very little in open wall space. There's the magnetic rail section, and a small tool wall behind my bench. Drillpress accessories are just kept on the dp cart, which has drawers underneath. I keep one fractional drill index up top, and a custom index for a few bits where 1st-order-retrievability is important (countersinks, vix-bits, etc). But the Forstners live in their original case in a drawer. Smaller shops reduce your options for having everything out in the open.

At the tablesaw, it's against the wall, so I almost never use the full capacity right of the blade. As a result I usually keep a pushblock on the table. I also have a small shelf above the saw that is the permanent home for pushblocks. I added a sheet of plywood to the left edge of the table, going down to the ground. This gives me vertical storage for my miter gauge and featherboards. I keep my blades and related tools in a small tote, so I can put the whole thing on the table when I'm dialing in a Dado or something.

One of my recent shop projects has been filling any empty wallspace with shallow (6") shelves. Deep enough to store screws, hardware, cans of finish, and the like. But not so deep as to accumulate clutter, or invade the active working space of the shop.

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15 hours ago, Pondhockey said:

Hoping that this does not sidetrack your thread:  How many of you use French cleats, vs some other wall mounting method (cabinets, etc.) to organize your shop?  And how do you organize?  I would love to have pencils, markers, squares, push sticks, featherboards... near the table saw and have all my bits near the drill press....

I have fewer than a dozen items mounted to the wall that aren't on cleats or in cleated fixtures.  My longer levels hang from pegs in that normally unusable space between the DC blower/cone and the wall.  For items needed where they are used I have drawers measuring/marking at the bench), pegboard mounted shop made fixtures (screwdriver bits, featherboards, calipers, special clamps) and magnets (6" rules and pencils for example at the tablesaw, bandsaw, DP, etc.)..

@GraveTrain That many slats spaced that close will give you a lot more versatility than my 3 wall-long cleats.  There have been a couple of times I wished for a cleat at a different height but, that's about it.  However, using the "build it and they will come" approach I can certainly see me making use of more versatile mounting heights if I had them.  My point is that you may want to start with 3 or 4 and see how that goes.  You can always unload the wall and add another couple of rows. Just food for thought.

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