Why I Replaced my Pegboard Tool Wall with Plywood and Screws

A couple of months back, my office was beginning to look like a second hand tool shop. Bits and bobbles everywhere you looked, tools haphazardly put down on the floor one day, moved to a random shelf the next. The worst part was that any time I did a project, I was searching for the tools I needed in various areas, not knowing for sure where this or that would be. It was confusing, looked stressfully disorganized and cost me a lot of time.

A few years ago I had purchased a small pegboard that I was sure would be the answer to this problem. I dutifully added a frame to the board, put it up on the wall and went to the store and purchased all manner of hooks and connectors that I attempted to use to organize my many tools.

This worked ok for a while, I essentially just attached some holders and whatever tools would fit said holders and then they were visible and in a particular place. This solved part of the problem. A small percentage of my tools were now in one place, somewhat organized and it held up fine. However, I began to notice that I wasn't really using it to its full potential because the connectors seemingly always didn't quite fit the tool I needed to hang. It seemed to be somewhat inefficient for actually organizing tools, but great if you wanted to move things around frequently, which I do not. I want to create a space for a tool and store it there forever in its new lifelong home.

Somewhere in my Internet travels I happened upon this video:

Essentially the idea is that you put up a large piece of plywood, then simply create custom hooks and holders with copper wire and add shelves as needed with pocket holes. This method means everything is completely customizable to your situation. It's relatively cheap and I had tons of scrap wood around that I could use to make shelves and other holders, so I went to the local big box store and got a half sheet of plywood, some electrical wire and some pan head screws and got to work.

The hardest part about the project was deciding where on the wall to put everything and how to arrange it. I ended up measuring every little cluster of tools and drawing out the space where they would be located. This allowed me to think through where I would put things ahead of time and move them around on paper before I added them to the wall. I ended up with several copper hooks and some custom sized shelves. It was relatively painless, and within a few days the majority of my hand tools had a new home.

It's not perfect, it can be fiddly to get the hooks just right and takes a lot of thought when deciding where you want to store things, but all in all, I like it way better than my old pegboard. Everything is exactly where I want it and when it gets used I know exactly where it is. It has already been paying dividends in time saved and my office just feels better now. The best part is that it isn't a huge investment in time or money to get started.

So if you are looking for a way to organize your tools, instead of pegboard or french cleats or a commercial solution, I suggest a sheet of plywood, some screws and some copper wire.

Happy woodworking and keep on sawing wood.