Finding a good place to store those long handled yard and garden tools can be challenging. They most often end up either buried in a shed, stuck behind a door, or wedged into any space you can find. Ladders can also have a similar fate. The problem here is that you could need that ladder in a hurry if the cat travels halfway up your backyard tree and needs rescuing. If you wake up to a broken garden pond water pipe, you’ll need a round point shovel pronto. These are tools that you can easily store up off the floor and out of your way, but with a very easy access when you do need them. Pick a good spot on the wall in the garage for the long handled tools and another place on which to hang the ladder.
This is a project anyone can afford, and I mean anyone. It can be very simple if necessary, or you can make it more elaborate. It depends on what you can afford and how much effort you want to put into it. Make it absolutely useful only, or make it a thing of beauty that any push broom would be proud to hang upon.
Rack for Long Handled Tools
You will need:
• 1 board about 6 to 10 feet long (2×4, 2×6, 2×8, or 2×10 will work)
• Lag bolts or large screws (3 inches long)
• Washers for bolts or screws
• Hangers for long handled tools (use anything they will hang on. Large nails or screws work, or buy u-shaped rubber coated hooks or spring clips designed just for holding handled tools)
• Stain or paint
• Stud finder
• Lumber pencil (a regular pencil will work just fine)
1) Gather the long handled tools you would like to hang. This can be shovels, rakes, hoes, brooms, pitchforks, or axes. Set the board/rack on the ground and lay them out in the way that you will hang them. Place them so that the heads are hung on the board. Example: a shovel head will be at the top of the rack while the handle will hang toward the bottom.
2) Find the spot on the garage wall where the rack will hang. Once the place has been chosen, find the studs on the wall. In an unfinished garage interior this is easy as the studs are exposed. In a dry walled garage interior, use the stud finder to locate the studs. You will want the rack to be fastened securely to the wall spanning the studs for strength as the wall board is not strong enough. Mark the location where the rack will be fastened.
3) Now is the time to put a snazzy finish on the rack if you want to do so. Sand the edges off. Paint or stain the board.
4) Hold the board up against the wall and place marks on the board where you will fasten it to the wall. Put the board on the floor and lay the tools out on the board again where they will hang. Mark the places on the board, keeping in mind where the board will be fastened to the studs.
5) Fasten the tool hangers to the board.
A) If you use large nails, place one on either side of the handle at the bottom of the tool head so the handle fits between them. Angle them in slightly so the shovel or tool doesn’t slide off.
B) If using u-shaped rubberized hooks they have one screw in the middle that will be driven into the board securely. There should be prongs that tip slightly upward to keep the tools in place.
6) Drill through the board where the bolts or large screws will fasten it to the wall studs. Drill a tap hole in each stud where the board will be fastened to the wall. Use a smaller drill bit than the screw that will be used. The idea of a tap hole is just to give the larger screw a small place in which to take hold.
7) Place the new rack up against the wall and fasten it with the bolts or large screws. Before putting the screws in place, set a washer over the end of the screw or bolt. Use the drill or a wrench to secure the rack to the wall.
Put the tools up into the new rack, stand back and admire your handiwork.
The hanger for the ladder will be built in the same way as for the long handled tools, but use larger hooks that the ladder will easily hang on. This is another project that can be done with large nails if necessary. There is a difference when you hang a ladder, too, as you don’t need such an elaborate rack. In fact, you can mount the hanging hardware directly on the studs if you wish. That can be done this way:
1) Find the place in your garage where you can hang your ladder along the wall. If you can reach easily, it can be hung over the top of the long handled tool rack. If not, find the place that works best for you.
2) Find the studs and mark them where you will place the ladder hangers.
3) Fasten the hangers to the studs directly or make a board similar to the long handled tool rack if you wish.
4) Hang the ladder over the hangers.
These projects are easy and inexpensive. You can use whatever you can afford or what you have lying around the garage already. One thing to note here is the location of the racks. If you want to save your back or you would like the kids to be able to reach the tools, place it as low as the handles allow. The ladder can also be hung low enough to avoid reaching above you. It’s a flexible project. Do what you need. Use what you have.
Photo credit: cohdraNKN of morguefiles
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