Spring Break Edition!

My day job is as a music teacher. A few weeks ago we were on Spring Break so I thought it would be a good chance to fix up some things around my garage shop. It’s gotten pretty cluttered in there and my wife likes to politely remind me that she would like to park in the garage at some point. 

I decided that instead of doing a big project over the break I should do a series of small organizational and cleanup projects. The first thing I decided to do was to make a stand for my new bench grinder. I didn’t want to install it permanently on my workbench because it would take up too much space and I don’t use it all that often. But my chisels were starting to get dull so before I could do any real work I needed to sharpen them.  


I used all scrap lumber for these projects. For the  grinder stand I just cut out offsetting notches in two 2×4’s to make them a level base. The wood was oak so it was pretty hard to cut notches through. I ended up cutting a series of thin strips through where the notches would be and then chiseling out the waste. I have a trim router I could have used to rout out the notches but it’s not very strong and my bit wasn’t quite long enough so this was the easier option. After I had the base together I glued and screwed in the verticle piece. For the top I used 3/4″ plywood.  I centered the grinder on it first and marked and drilled the holes for the bolts to attach it. Before actually attaching the grinder to the top I glued and screwed down the base to the top of the verticle piece and then installed the grinder on top. 


I have had this pegboard for at least a year and it  always seemed to be one of those “Getaround” projects. I would see it and think “oh, I’ll get around to that.”  So finally I hung it up on the wall to store some tools that I use a lot. It was easy to hang, and it gave me an excuse to buy a stud finder. 

After finding where the studs were, I screwed some 3/4″ scraps of wood to the wall in line with the studs. Because the pegs on the pegboard stick out through the back they need to have some clearance between the board and the wall. The scrap also gave me a solid foundation to attach the pegboard. The wood scraps won’t really be seen so it’s not important that they are perfectly level. However it is a good idea to use a level when attaching the pegboard to the wall so your tools don’t hang crooked. 


I bought a belt sander from Harbor Freight a while back and I wanted to try to mount it so that I could bring work pieces to it instead of using it as a handheld sander. I modeled the design after some I found on the internet. Basically it consisted of mounting a verticle post strong enough to hold the weight of the sander. Then I made a small box that the end of the sander would rest on. I left a space in the middle of the blocks of wood for the cord to run through. I also zip tied the sander to the verticle piece to keep it more secure. This means that tonuse the sander as a hand-held unit I’ll have to cut the zip ties but I don’t anticipate using it hand held very often. 

It is important to remember as you design your stand that if you want to be able to use the sander without the stand all of the support pieces have to be out of the way and it has to be easy to remove from the stand. This also includes leaving the side of the sander open where the belt comes off so that you can change out the belt easily. 

After I had the sander mounted on the stand I created a second, larger box that is basically a table for me to rest my work pieces on. I measured it so that the table was right above the curve of the belt. 

With the sander verticle like this I can use the flat sanding with the table but I can also lift work pieces to the top and get a nice curve to sand with.  Plus this whole unit is portable so I can store it away when it’s not in use and drop it on my workbench when I need it. (Also in the background of that picture you can see a project from an upcoming post. I like to work on several things at once so while glue was drying on that project I made the stand).


I have somehow already managed to amass a small collection of bench and lathe chisels so I decided to make a classy way to hold them. I made a rough rack for my lathe chisels several months ago but I wanted something a little nicer. 

The design for this was very simple. I measured out how long my chisels were and cut out some scrap 1/4″ plywood to that length. Then I counted how many chisels I had and calculated how much distance I wanted between them. I cut out a small 3/4″ board to use as a base and marked on it the center for each spot I wanted to place a chisel. I used a 1″ forstner bit to make a shallow round indent to rest the base of the chisels and glued that base to the bottom of the plywood back. 

At the top of the rack I superglued a Harbor Freight tool magnet to the back and used spray adhesive to glue a soft non-skid material to the front of the magnet. This was to make the chisels easier to get off of the magnet and also to keep them from getting scratched when I removed them. Spray adhesive may have been a poor choose for this because it seems to take forever to dry if it’s not touching something and has a tendency to bleed through the holes in the non-skid material. 

After all the glue was dried a sanding and a couple coats of spray lacquer helps make it look good and protects it from slight damage. I found two more studs where I wanted to put the rack (my rack was long enough to install both ends into a stud) and then predrilled holes and screwed it to the wall. There’s no need for a backing board like there is with the pegboard because everything will be mounted to the front of the rack.

I followed this same procedure for the bench chisel rack but I chose to hang it from the pegboard instead of the wall because it was closer to my bench. 

I intend to do a lot more organization in the next few months with summer break (finally) coming up. Let me know what suggestions you have for me to get organized. If you get value from this blog please consider subscribing and sharing it. 

If you have any questions or comments let me know!  Thanks for reading. 


Author: Sam Adams

I am a musician, educator, and composer based out of Kentucky. I also dabble in wood working.

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