A Hook-and-Slat Wall System Puts Everything at Your
Fingertips ¿9 Jock Holmen
3/4" plywood wall slat
3/4" plywood slat wall slat
"The Norwegian Termite"
struggled with the clutter in my small garage shop for years. Recendy my neighbor remodeled his garage using a commercial wall-slat system. That gave me an idea for designing my own system. I used 1/4-in. and 3/4-in. plywood (Photo 1) to create a hook-and-slat system that organizes all my tools, hardware, shop supplies and hand tools. It's a flexible system that allows me to make changes easily as my shop evolves. I use the same hook-and-slat system to hang things on a roll-around cart or my bench. I even devised handles that double as hooks so I can hang individual drawers on my bench to put fasteners and hardware right where I'm working. Along the way, I added some pull-out vertical dividers with slats mounted on them. See "8 Great ideas," page 48, for all these ideas and more.
It's easy to build
This hook-and-slat system is simplicity itself. Take a strip of 3/4-in. plywood and offset another strip of 1/4-in. plywood to create a hook and its partner, the wall slat (Photo 1). You must shave a bit off the inside edge of the slat (Photo 2) so the hook can slip in and out with ease. After I attached the slats to the wall (Photo 3) I began to invent different holders and boxes for all the tools and hardware I use frequently.
box top back hook hanging box
IMy entire wall system hangs on this simple hook-and-slat system.To make a hook and slat, I simply glued a piece of 1/4-in. plywood onto a strip of 3/4-in. plywood.
2 Shave the inside face of the 3/4-in. plywood for each wall slat. Remove just enough material (usually less than 1/32 in.) so the hooks slide in and out without binding.
3 I used 6-in. spacers to keep the slats parallel on the wall.To facilitate hanging the strips, I screwed 3/4-in. plywood to the studs in my garage.This allows me to install wall slats anywhere I want.
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