When purchasing lathe tools, they often come in a box. These nice boxes aren't very useful when working at the lathe as they take up workbench space and collect chips. My solution to this problem is to make a tool rack from easily accessible PVC pipe that can tilt on a threaded rod. This open bottom design prevents chips and sawdust from being trapped in the holders. These tilting holders are held in place at the top with inexpensive magnets.
This simple project can be made in an hour or two with only a few tools.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Step 2: Cut PVC
Measure the length of your lathe tools from the ferrule to the end of the handle. Cut your PVC 3/4 in. longer than that length. I used a table saw, but a miter saw, bandsaw, or even hand saw will work.
Cut a 45 degree angle on one end. If you make the writing on the longer side of the 45 degree cut, the writing will not be visible from the front of the holder.
Step 3: Drill and Assemble
Drill a 3/8 in. hole through the side of each tube. I set up a vise on the drill press for easily repeatable holes.
Step 4: Backing Board and Brackets
Because my garage has wooden studs around the walls, a backing piece of plywood needed to be attached to the wall. A bracket for each side was cut from scrap pieces of wood with a 3/8 in. hole through the center.
With washers between each piece of PVC and plywood, thread everything on the rod.
Attach the brackets to the wall with screws.
Step 5: Attach Magnets
Mark the top of each PVC holder. Screw short flange head screws ~1/2 in. below the mark. Place a piece of painters tape under a magnet then attach to the screw. Using a small piece of wood, apply epoxy to the front of the magnet. Swing the holder back in place and secure the magnet in place with the painters tape. Repeat the process with each holder. Wait until dry.
Step 6: Load Up Tools and Make Something Fun
If you've made your own tool rack in the past, what features do you like about it? Is there anything that you would change?
Let me know in the comments!