Our garden shed was the same as most, a dumping ground with no proper place for anything that was supposed to be in there and a lot of space being taken up by stuff that wasn’t supposed to be in there.
Storing garden tools like this is inefficient because it takes far too long to dig out the one you need, dangerous because you risk hurting yourself forcibly removing the one tool you want from the tangle, and damaging to the tools themselves, particularly those with edges.
Having somewhat lost my mojo with woodworking last year, a chance acquisition of some more shelving to match that already in the shed was the ideal opportunity to make something both quick and useful. So two of the shelves were butchered into a better store for garden tools, making them easier to get to.
The challenge: all of these tools were stored in an old bread crate, which did not hold them either upright or apart, so the tool you needed was always in the middle of the pile! There are twenty different tools here to be stored accessibly, all with different diameter and shaped handles!
Having ascertained the frequency with which the tools are used and would therefore be needed, the spacing and diameter of seven holes was worked out. The shelf being 35″ long, the spacing was easy. The diameter was decided by using the next largest hole saw in the Erbauer Electrician’s Set I’d just bought from Screwfix. Each hole was marked with a pilot hole first to aid accurate drilling of the larger holes.
Using a 35mm hole, a total of 35 holes were drilled from both sides of two shelves, so 140 holes in total! The JML Drill Guide was invaluable in keeping the drill vertical. The plugs had to be cleared from the bit after every complete hole, which was a bit tedious.
A lot of traditional garden tools have a horizontal handle which won’t of course fit through a round hole. The solution to this was to join adjacent holes across adjacent boards as a slot. Similar, the largest tool had a square hole made for it. Yes, I know I missed part of one of the holes with the jigsaw when I took this picture! At this stage, the holes had not yet been rounded over with the router and a ¼” bit.
The next step was a test fit, and flaws in the design were immediately exposed! Some of the holes weren’t big enough, requiring enlarging. This was done using the original size hole saw as a pilot with a larger one installed as well – not the recommended method but with care it works. In addition, two of the tools were too tall to be put in the holes due to the low shed roof. This required notching the front of the upper shelf, enabling the tool to be placed in the lower shelf holes, and then leaned back into place.