I wanted to modify an existing shop table so that I could store larger tools without sacrificing table top space. Check out the Fold-Away Tool Storage solution!
1. Decide on Tools
The driving motivation behind this simple shop upgrade is that I have a lot of room under my Modular Work Tables where I would store some larger, less-used tools. While this did leave the table tops clear, it did take up additional room on the floor under the table. I wanted a way to have them off the table’s floor, freeing up more storage space, but be able to flip up onto the tabletop when needed.
The tools that I was considering was my scroll saw, a new manual leather sewing machine, my pocket hole jig, and a new big vice. Each of these tools are great, but don’t necessarily need to be out all the time. Furthermore, each of these tools has a preferred orientation, so placement is important. I laid the tool on the table to make sure that each tool had adequate room, but not necessarily that they could all be used at the same time.
2. Make Double Hinges
To make this design work, I plan on mounting each tool to a plywood sheet. That sheet needs to hang down below the table top and swing upward and lay flat on the table. To make this 90 degree bend, I decided to weld together two simple hinges. You could bolt or rivet these hinges together, but I had a welder so I used it. By using the two hinges, the plywood platforms can hang down 90 degrees from the table top, flip up, and fold over, lying flat on the surface. I used a self-centering drill bit to pre-drill the mounting holes on both the platform and the table.
3. Mount to the Table
Now that I had the hinging mechanism worked out, it was time to arrange the tools around the table. Because all of my tables are on wheels, I had the freedom to use all sides of the work table. Practically, I imagined that I wouldn’t pull out the table to the middle of the room to use a tool on the backside. I limited my tool arrangement to the front and the two sides trying my best to keep the tool facing forward.
Due to the placement of each tool on the platforms, some of them didn’t hang perfectly perpendicular to the table top. To keep the stowed tools from swinging outward, I screwed a simple block of wood to the table legs that can fold down and hold the tools in place.
Simple is Usually the Best Option
This project is a simple one. I modified an existing piece of shop furniture so that it is more versatile and accommodating. You could make individual shop features specified for each tool, but that would have cluttered up my space and ultimately been unnecessary. I highly encourage you to look at your existing shop elements and find a way to make them more useful. If you need some basic shop furniture, we have plans available, and as you’ve just seen, they can easily be modified to fit your needs.
Shop Furniture Digital Plans Bundle
(purchasing via these affiliate links supports ILTMS)
- Dewalt Miter Saw
- Countersink drill bits
- Grizzly Drill Press (WAAAAY overpriced (3x) on Amazon, buy from Grizzly directly.)
- Kreg R3 pocket hole jig kit
- Shop Fox Hanging Air Filter
- 2HP Dust Collector
- 1 Micron bag
- Speed square