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French Cleat Tool Wall - Woodworking Shop Organization - How To Build

French Cleat Tool Wall - Woodworking Shop Organization - How To Build

Hello! My name is Adam Noe. Thanks for watching How To Build a French Cleat Tool Wall. Done in iPhone 4K 60FPS. Click the bell on my channel to get updates about future videos!

So the French Cleat wall. What an awesome and refreshing project. As most woodworkers know it's tough to keep the shop clean and organized and drawers can pose a problem since the tools or whatever it is will be out of sight and then you are opening every single drawer to find what you need. The French Cleat wall gets everything off the workbenches, out of the drawers and on to the wall for quick and easy access. I decided to get my most used items up on the wall to start and then gradually build holders for everything else. 

I started out by making a trip to Home Depot for the Birch Purebond plywood. I intended to purchase (3) 1/2 inch 4x8 sheets and (1) 3/4 inch 4x8 sheet but I did the reverse. The cleats should be 3/4 inch in thickness so that you get the best gripping width across the 45 degree angle. 1/2 inch would probably work but I wanted to play it safe. I did 2 sheets of 3/4 inch on the left and right and in the middle I put the 1/2 sheet just to give the wall more texture and more of a 3D effect for angles to straight on video shots, so that mistake ended up working out for me. Only down side is that I cannot put a cleat across the 3/4 and 1/2 inch seam, which may reduce my hanging space. Is what it is, I may change it later on and or install a 4th panel.

Once I had the plywood back to my shop using my Jeep and custom trailer, I started cutting the sheets down into 5 inch strips. The measurement for the cleat widths I'm referring to are for the inside cleat area that is attached to the plywood panel. The width is 2.5 inches. If you are unsure how to cut two pieces evenly in the center at an 45 degree angle, please reference my YouTube video on cutting angles down the center of a work piece. After having all my strips, at that point it was a matter of attaching them to the plywood panels. I measured each cleat 6 inches apart from the top of the panel. The 6 inches was starting from the top of the panel and measuring down 6 inches and then placing the bottom of the cleat on the 6 inch line, adding clue, lining them up using a drywall square and then using my Senco pin nailer to hold them in place until the glue dried. I used 1" 21 gauge brad nails. If you find yourself lapping over the edge of the cleat then you'll need to measure the difference from the 6" width spacing and mark you next distance on the next sheet of plywood. This only applies if you are using 4' pieces instead of 1 long 8' piece. Rinse and repeat until all plywood panels are covered in cleats.

Next, figure out which wall you'll put the panels on and mark the studs. I installed my panels using the corner wall alignment as a reference point. I used wooden blocks and shims to keep the panel against the wall and in place while I used the Flush mount drill bit to make my holes and aligned with the stud marks. I drilled about holes about every foot from top to bottom. I used 2" FastCap screws to hang the panels. Whichever method you use to square up your panels is fine just make sure they are level. That was it for the wall itself. Now on to the racks/holders.

I had plenty of left over plywood scraps so I started cutting to build the clamp rack. I measured the distance I would need on top of the rack so that the clamps would sit flush with enough surface to balance them while they hang so they would sit nice and level. The distance between each track were equal at 1.5 to 2. inches to fit different types of clamps. The angle on the supporting pieces of plywood was roughly 45 degrees but this will not matter too much. So once the sections were complete I glued and nailed them to the back panel then went and reinforced this with my Flush mount drill bit and FastCap screws @1.25 inch. I ended up using an off brand as I had run out of FastCaps. Once the rack was put together I attached the cleat on the back with glue, pin nails and then 2.5 inch Fast Cap screws for extra holding power. Make sure you mark where you should drive the screws in as you do not want to miss the section piece and end up going through the back panel. Now time to hang it!

For the other holders I simply repeated a similar process. The main components are the cleat and then a front panel that can be attached to the cleat as well as whatever type of custom holder you need for your tool. I customized my holders in the video to fit my Wood is Good mallets and my Japanese saws. I simply attached a top panel to the cleat and then placed front panels all with glue and pin nails. The top panel for my saws was created by routing in kerfs to fit the saw blades. The mallet holder I created using a forstner bit for the holes, just large enough to fit the end of the mallet handle. That's it folks! This was a super fun and refreshing project and my shop has not been the same since I completed this. I'm so much more organized now. Thanks for watching!

Thanks to Johnny for the Inspiration for the project-

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► Materials:
4 Sheets 3/4 inch PureBond Plywood
1 Sheet 1/2 inch PureBond Plywood
Purchased from Home Depot - I meant to get (4) 1/2 inch but mistakenly got the reverse. To give the wall more texture I put the (1) 1/2 inch piece in the middle. Left over material used for the racks


Senco Finish Pro 21XP 21ga Pinner-

PowRyte 300 PSI Reinforced Air Hose-

Capri Tools 2-Way Air Blow Gun-

EPAuto Industrial Type D 1/4-Inch Coupler and Plug Kit-

CADEX M-25-10M 21 Gauge Slight Headed 1" Brad Nails-

Flush Mount Drill Bit-

FastCap Screws-

Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit -

WoodPeckers Precision Woodworking tools 1281R Woodworking square -

Dozuki Noko Giri 9-1/2" DoveTail Razor Saw -

FastCap Glu-Bot Glue Bottle (16 Ounces) -

Gyokucho Razorsaw Flush Cutting Double Edge Saw 125mm with Wood Handle -

KREG TOOL KHC3 Kreg Wood Project Clamp with Automaxx, 3" -

Lufkin L625SCTMP 1-Inch by 25-Feet Hi-Viz Self Centering Orange Power Return Tape -

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