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Thread: Shelves vs cabinets? Pegboard? Other?

  1. #1

    Shelves vs cabinets? Pegboard? Other?

    Hey Creekers,

    I hope this isn't a stupid question.
    I will be trying to organize my workshop over

    I'd like your thoughts on workshop storage.

    What are your thoughts on shelves, vs cabinets? Pegboard? Other?

  2. #2
    FWIW, I've read/bought the Taunton series of books on workshop organization, small shops, etc.

    While that's useful, I feel that creeker experience is just as important.

  3. #3
    Hi Matt!

    Shelves make it easy to see what’s there, but don’t offer any “protection” from dust like cabinets do. Of course you could make doors with plexiglass panels so you can see what’s inside a cabinet.

    Drawer banks in lower cabinets seem to be easier to store stuff than cabinets with shelves. Full extension drawer slides make it easier to use the entire drawer space.

    Peg boards with 1/4” dia. dowels cut to whatever length you need provide a cheap and easy way to hang tools near where you use them.

    It just depends on your personal taste- I have a combination of all of these in my shop.

  4. #4
    Thanks! Mind posting pictures?

    FWIW, I'm on a dental forum a lot.
    For the sterilization/storage area, quite a few of us prefer shelves on the top to easily identify where stuff is (at least for rooms where patients don't see it).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    Hey Creekers,

    I hope this isn't a stupid question.
    I will be trying to organize my workshop over

    I'd like your thoughts on workshop storage.

    What are your thoughts on shelves, vs cabinets? Pegboard? Other?
    I hate pegboard because it makes the room too dark. If I want to hang stuff on the wall I'll screw a board to the wall studs and put hangers on it. Shelves are IMO much better than cabinets because you can see the contents at a glance. Down towards floor level cabinets are better because it doesn't matter anyways, and they're easier to keep clean. For general storage of tools, measuring equipment etc I love metal rollaway cabinets.

  6. #6
    I got tired of cabinets because there packed. One thing after another gets pushed In there.with open shelves things don't get hidden and can easily be viewed. As mentioned peg board os dark, but can be painted white....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Things that work and don't work for me:

    Work -
    • Drawers, drawers, drawers; but not too deep
    • Cabinet with doors; but not deeper than about 18"
    • Pegboard; panels, end caps, inside doors
    • Store things near where they are used most

    Don't Work -
    • Deep drawers for small items
    • Deep cabinets; anything past about 18" slips into the Twilight Zone
    • Stacking storage
    • Storing things by category

    Elaboration -

    Shallow drawers hold rows of individual tools

    drawer slide (5).jpg . You can only attach 8 pictures. Let me know if you want more.

    If you're stuck with deep cabinets, build in some pull-outs


    Stacking storage needs a rack to allow any individual box to be pulled without having to unstack everything

    Storage-containers (6).jpg . parts-cab-sm.jpg

    Its not your father's pegboard. Hooks are better, the versatility can't be beat. I use it on panels hanging from cleats, on the end caps of work benches and tool stands. I even used it as the main field for my wall mounted tool cabinet.

    pegbrd-bench-ends-003.jpg ST-2018 (34).jpg. ST-2018 (33).jpgPlane Till evolution (3).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 10-19-2019 at 7:00 PM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  8. #8
    I like hooks and racks so hand tools can hang in the open and are easy to grasp. Make your hook or rack system so it holds them securely enough such that you can run a shop vac over them to dust them off without pulling them or the hooks off the wall.

    I store screws and small hardware in plastic jars. Itís easy to transport them this way or throw 2,3 into a tool bag when working remotely.

    Cabinet doors are good near a lathe where u just canít control the chip throw. But for everything else I just prefer to have it open and to occasionally dust.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lebanon, TN
    I have a mixture of drawers, shelves and pegboard. My garage serves double duty as primarily my wood working shop, but also mechanical duty for servicing my motorcycles.

    So here are some pictures (from past and present garages).

    In Florida, built these cabinets

    This was some Slat Wall, good for heavy items


    I also have this metal pegboard, it's handy for adding strong magnets

    For sheet good and wood storage, I built this mobile cart (not that is ever moves)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    I did my current shop with slatboard walls and find them to be 100 times better than pegboard, mostly because of the quality and ease of use of the hangers. I always had a terrible time with pegboard hangers, they just wouldn't stay put. (yes, I tried every one of the 150 different designs that have been available over the last 50 years).

    Best thing I ever did for shop organization was to build a run of seven four drawer cabinets under my miter saw station, all with full extension slides. It's amazing what I can find now that things have well labeled places to live!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Fripp Island, SC and Darien, IL
    All of the above. IMG_0085.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Griswold Connecticut
    I prefer cabinets and drawers personally. They provide protection from dust., and it's a lot harder to know something off a shelf behind a closed door. Mine are nothing fancy, some left over cabinets from a kitchen remodel.
    I do have a few "shelves", wide planks stored on "L" brackets, but they're more for storing the wood, than acting as shelves. Stuff does find its way on top of the boards.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    Hey Creekers,

    I hope this isn't a stupid question.
    I will be trying to organize my workshop over

    I'd like your thoughts on workshop storage.

    What are your thoughts on shelves, vs cabinets? Pegboard? Other?
    Your choices are more of a personal choice thing. Myself I prefer cabinets over shelves. Shelves tend to get a thick layer of dust and dirt on them where cabinet doors tend to keep most of the dirt off. I never cared much for pegboard. The board never seem rigid enough for that purpose and the holes never seem to be in the right spacing. Along that line I would rather use slatwall, you can adjust the hooks wherever you need them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Falls Church, VA
    Blog Entries
    Open shelves for big stuff.
    pegboard for hand tools. The hooks tend to fall off. They sell little things to lock the hooks in place.
    wood panel/osb on the walls for hanging special things lik jigs.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    For me, I despise peg board or similar. So it's a combination of cabinets/drawers and shelving that works best for me. I use open shelves when the nature of what has to be placed there is best served with that method. Otherwise, closed cabinets and drawers are how I fly.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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