A cheap and simple hutch for some power tools

19 Feb

I wanted to tidy up my power tools (drills, jigsaw, etc) as I’ve been leaving them scattered around the bench.This is only a temporary setup, as I’ll need something more enclosed when the wet weather comes in a few months (it’s high summer in New Zealand at present).

power tool hutch 017

Not an original idea, I swiped it from here and a number of others have done a similar setup – but probably not as cheaply.

I’d been thinking of making something up when I spotted a bunch of strips of mdf at the side of the road (put out for people to take, by a cabinet making business). This was four strips of the fifty or so I could have grabbed.

power tool hutch 001

Next I ‘rootled’ around in my (large) scrap mdf pile and found a suitable, if rough, chunk. The ends were broken and it tapered, but a few minutes with the tablesaw turned it into a couple of shelves.

power tool hutch 002 power tool hutch 003 power tool hutch 004

I set up the mitre saw on my homemade bench, and cut off a long strip to go at the back, and then a slew of short sections. The back and the first couple of short sections were glued on to one shelf to form the base.

power tool hutch 005 power tool hutch 007

I wanted to be able to take the top off and replace it in the same place, so I drilled a 5mm hole through the the top and into the side walls, then tapped the base for M6x30 bolts  (similar to a 1/4″ x 1″ bolt). Mdf taps quite easily using an ordinary metal tap in a cordless drill.

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Now I could pile a bunch of tools onto the top and start sorting out placement and mountings. (In the background you can see that, yes, my workshop floor really is tarpaulin over dirt, then pallets, and free mdf!).

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Here’s what I ended up with (glue gun, soldering gun, hot air gun, jig saw, orbital sander, drill, drill).

power tool hutch 012

I had to get a bit inventive with mounting them. Various odd shaped bits of wood for the heavier tools, and bent pieces of wire for the heated tools (which are also, conveniently, much lighter). I found 1.6mm wire (16 guage) was just strong enough – it feels really flimsy but gets more solid when you screw the ends down. 2mm wire (about 12 guage) was much stronger.

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I glued the spacers into the bottom (here being weighted down by some convenient chunks of concrete paver), then bolted the top back on.

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The final result is not very pretty, but cheap and makes a good prototype.

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