A Different Spin on Storage

Author: Steven Der-Garabedian
Photos: Steve Der-Garabedian
Illustration: Len Churchill
Published: June July 2015
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Need more shop storage? This rotating rack can be custom- built to the size you need, and will give you flexible storage for years to come.

  • DIFFICULTY
    1/5
  • LENGTH/TIME
    1/5
  • COST
    2/5
storage rack illustration

No matter what size shop you have, storage is always an issue. I really like the versatility of the pegboard system of hanging things. The hooks aren’t permanently locked to specific locations on the board, and moving them when you need to adjust isn’t a hassle. The downside in my shop was the linear area it was going to take up, and hence a spinning solution was born. The idea for this rotating pegboard came from the corner cupboard in my kitchen with its internal spinning storage rack.

Get Hardware First
With all the hardware on-hand, start by cutting the base for the lazy Susan, then the three main frame pieces. Drill centered holes through the three main frame pieces, but only part way through the base piece.

Keep it Plumb
With the center pole in place, and the first two pegboard sides installed, check for plumb before attaching the final two sides.

K.I.S.S.
Cable ties are cheap, easy to use and strong. Secure the pegboard corners about every 12" then snip off the excess.

Simplicity is the key

While you could build an elaborate frame for the rotating structure, simplicity is best. After all, it isn’t a piece of furniture, but rather a workshop storage solution. All four of the wooden frame parts are cut from 3/4″ plywood. The center pole is 3/4″ EMT (Electrical Metallic Tube) with an outer diameter just shy of 1″ and held in place on the ceiling of the shop with a two-hole strap screwed to a joist. The 6″, 500 lb. capacity lazy Susan bearing was the perfect fit for this job. To lock the corners together I picked up a bag of 6″ cable ties. For the pegboard I went with the 1/4″ thick size. The original version in my shop used 1/8″ thick pegboard and it lasted for more than 12 years, so that’s also a possibility.

Time to cut

The base of the structure is sized to the dimensions of the lazy Susan bearing frame; in my case this is 6″ square. Once cut, I drilled a 1/2″ deep hole using a 1″ Forstner bit and mounted the bearing to it. The remaining three pieces of the frame were sized to 11″ by 11″ and completed with through holes in the center with the same drill bit as before. A good height for pegboard in my shop ended up being 66″. For the width I cut two pieces at 11-1/2″ and the remaining two at 11″ so that the corners could easily be tied together. When deciding the size to cut the peg- board for your shop, take a minute and make sure the cuts are in between the mounting holes.

Some assembly required

To assemble the structure I first picked the location and hung the 3/4″ tube from one of the joists and roughly plumbed it. Since it came in a 10′ length I used a hacksaw to chop it down by 2′. This left some room at the top for me to push it up and slide the frame pieces onto it from the bottom. If you have a closed ceiling, mount a piece of plywood overtop the drywall spanning two joists and drill a hole through the center to push the tube up and through. I attached the bearing assembly to the bottom frame piece of plywood, making sure to center it. Next I slid the top and middle frame pieces onto the tube from the bottom, then lowered the tube through the bottom frame and onto the bearing assembly. I’ve found that the weight of the structure, and all it holds, is more than enough to keep it plumb, although you could secure it in position to the shop floor with some silicone type of adhesive if you wanted. Using a clamp, I held the top frame member at the correct height and used four #10 x 1″ round-head screws to attach the pegboard to it. I roughly found the midpoint, height wise, of the pegboard and attached the middle frame piece using the same screws, then secured the bottom piece as well. After attaching a second side, I double-checked for plumb and proceeded to attach the remaining two faces. Once done, I used plastic cable ties, roughly every 12″, to keep the corners locked to each other, then trimmed off the excess.

Options

While at the hardware store I picked up an assortment pack of hangers. They came with plastic locks to keep the steel hooks from coming out of their assigned holes when pulling tools off for use. Some packages of hangers even come with small boxes complete with tabs that fit perfectly on the peg- board, and it isn’t too difficult to make your own steel hooks for tools that are awkward to hang. In order to get even more storage, feel free to make the peg- board sides larger. Just realize that the wider the sides, the more room it needs to rotate. It’s not hard to come up with some great storage solutions for the shop when  we take a look at other storage examples in our homes, like the kitchen in this case, online or even touring other woodworkers’ shops.


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