Project Garage Part IV: Getting Organized
By Sarah Forst
There comes a time in life when you realize you could have knocked out the family room and made the garage your personal auto shop. Of course, where would you put the 55″ HDTV so you could watch the F1 races or Top Gear? Instead, you have to figure out ways to make the most of the space in your garage, whatever its size. My Obsessive-Compulsive qualities make me somewhat neurotically organized. The best way to keep your tools organized while your car projects are scattered around involves drawers and peg boards, shelves and of course… my (tool) rack!
|Obviously, this picture was taken when my tool rack was still pretty much “stock”. It hasn't looked this clean in quite some time!|
Check out my rack! Settle down, it’s just a Craftsman combo. A labeling machine made it even more efficient. That way, when your bonehead friend comes over to “help” and you ask for a 3/8″ wrench with 14mm socket and a 3″ extension, at least he or she knows which drawer to even start looking for it. I use the larger space on top for longer screwdrivers and pry bars that don't fit into the drawers below, tape measures, and torque wrenches. All flathead screwdrivers reside in one drawer, Phillips in another, allen and hex wrenches in another. Open ended wrenches are together. Sockets and wrenches are stored by drive size: 1/4″, 1/2″, and 3/8″. Standard sizes are haphazardly bunched together in one drawer as I use them about as often as condoms are used by rappers.
|Now this is more like it- my “modified” tool rack!|
Pry bars and C-clamps share a drawer- once you tear stuff apart, you’ll need some way to put it back together, don't you? There's a drawer for BFH (um… hammers that is) and anything you can use to pound the gripping daylights out of certain bolts. Utilitarian items like vacuum hoses and timing lights are housed together. And the “junk drawer” in the bottom includes everything from touch up paint to a battery charger. There are tons of tool racks out there. Find the one that suits you best. I would highly suggest getting one with ball bearing drawers, especially if you'll be storing a lot of weight in the drawers, and using drawer liners to protect both the tool rack and your tools. Make sure your rack can support all the weight of the tools you plan to store in it. You might also want to look for a tool rack with a lockable compartment, such as this one, to store expensive tools you don't want walking off when you host a wrenching party. Although I've never had issues with my tool rack, a warranty is always a plus for any expensive investment like this.