I HAVE FOUND it hard to find any resources on how to efficiently store class sets of tools. Generally what i find online is pictures of people storing tools in their own workshop/factory.
Storing class sets tends to be a little different for a few reasons. Mainly there is a lot more that need to be stored and that there are students involved.
When I am designing and building tool storage, there are a three things that I am looking to achieve:
- It’s easy to access and easy for students to put away correctly the first time (without direction from me)
- It is an effective use of storage space (as my workshop is relatively small)
- It’s easy to see if any are missing
The better the storage covers these three points, the less time needed every class by me, and the less likely things are to go missing. It saves me either telling students how to put their own tools away properly or me staying back and cleaning up after students have left.
This hammer storage has working parts which supports the hammer but it also turns out that students really like it.
Because the hammers are stored facing in, it also saves space on the shadowboard which was an issue for me.
I made mine by drawing it on CAD and cutting it on the CNC but you can also make it with a rip saw and a drill. You can see more detail and buy the plans for this here.
Old Hammer Storage
Some old 1 1/2 or 2 inch hose does the job. Screwed onto the shadowboard with chipboard screws and small washers.
NOTE: Please excuse the ‘shadow’ artwork. I asked some students to do it and have been regretting it ever since. It actually makes it harder to see if one is missing.
Clamps have been store a few different ways at the school since I have been there, however this is definitely the best. It’s only really a piece of ply that is cut out like a castle wall on some brackets. It keeps everything together, it’s a good use of space and it’s easy to see what’s missing.
You can change the sizes of the gaps to allow for different clamps in different spots.
The chisels slot right in, and the little shelf sitting underneath makes sure no one accidentally touches the blade of the chisel when they are going for some nails or screws.
You could probably put some blocks in to make the chisels stand upright instead of all over the place. This isn’t the greatest way to store chisels (as students can easily mix up sizes) but it does work.
Bench Hook Storage
I typically see bench hooks that are hung on the wall. There are two problems with that. The first one being they typically fall off and students have a hard time putting them back properly. The second one is that it isn’t an effective use of space. This shelf storage bracket fixes these problems.
I am thinking of colour coding this somehow to easily see if one is missing, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
NOTE: I cut this up out of chipboard along with a spacing jig (think it was about 75mm) and students screwed it together.
Try & Adjustable Square Storage
I use squares all the time. The students do not so we don’t have that many. However as far as storage goes, this is the best way that I have found so far. A quick line or two would help let people know how many are supposed to be there when there is some missing.
This isn’t a great use of space, but it is an easy way to store many rulers.
This plane storage bracket was at the school when I got there. What I like best about it is that it’s so simple to see if one is missing. Also, with the groove holding the knob (front handle) being exactly the right size, the students can’t muck it up when returning planes.
This is good mallet storage. Again it’s hard to muck up so they always go back right.
Pincers & Pliers Storage
Although the pincers prove quite popular at times, there is only 2 pairs in the workshop. This storage is a little confusing for students. I do get asked sometimes where they go, but generally it works well. I do need to change the labeling here.
Sand Paper Storage
Setting up a jig like this makes it easy to get sandpaper. A little too easy for students so I keep this in a staff only area. This way it doesn’t take much of my time, but also students will reuse old sandpaper before asking me.
Sash Clamp Storage
A simple plywood bracket with some slits on it on a wall stores all of the sash clamps.
Sanding Block Storage
I made this specifically to save myself time during the day. Students shouldn’t be able to put the sanding blocks in correctly. They go in the top and you pull them out of the bottom. The clear acrylic lets you count how many you have (or are missing).
Class Sanding Area
If you have a sanding area then here is an easy way to store carpet tiles.
Power Tool Storage
This trolley gets wheeled out of the store room and opened when required. It fully locks and has almost stopped power tools going missing. There is power boards in the back so the drills have a recharging station in it. Everything is labelled so the students are learning the names of the tools.
Smaller Workshop Storage
Using cabinets is a good way to keep tools in school workshops. I have seen massive cabinets with wheels on the bottom of doors used to good effect in schools where tools seem to go missing a lot. This cabinet can be locked if required.
I have put blue electrical tape around some of the tools to denote which workshop they belong to. Blue being the main workshop, yellow the junior workshop. It does help notify you where tools have gone missing from, as long as students know which goes where.