Storage Space: Look Above

Overhead Bench Storage 1

I was struggling in my attempt to clear my benches of all the clutter. And I was trying to consolidate all of my cordless drills, drivers, chargers, and batteries in one location. At first, I thought I’d attach a wide shelf to the end of one of my benches to store the drills. But then I remembered how, when visiting a co-worker’s shop, he utilized space above his bench. So I copied the idea from him.

I had a small old cabinet that was part of a router table I made over 30 years ago. It’s about 12″ high x 12″ deep x 22″ wide with two doors. The poor old cabinet was made from AC plywood and particleboard. But it was still usable.

So I located the ceiling joist above my bench with an electronic stud finder. I used cabinet screws to fasten the cabinet to ceiling. Through the back of the cabinet, I drilled a hole 1-5/8″ in diameter. This was so I could fish the electric cords for the battery chargers and power strip. The power strip was mounted on the inside of the cabinet, high on the back panel. The cord was fed to a nearby receptacle. I mounted one battery charger on one end of the cabinet on the outside. The other charger was mounted to the opposite end. My Bosch charger doesn’t have holes for mounting but there was room to set it inside the cabinet.

I routed the cords for the chargers to the power strip inside. Wire ties hold the cords neatly and out of the way. I ended up attaching a screw hook in an upper corner to secure the cords up as high as possible, leaving room for the drivers below.

To hold my small Bosch drill and driver, I drilled large holes in a thick block of wood for the handles to sit in. The block is fastened to the bottom shelf inside the cabinet. The other drivers stack neatly beside them.

With that done, I thought about a way to add a narrow shelf to hold all my bits and accessories. So I cobbled together one from some poplar and leftover cherry plywood. I made the shelf longer than the cabinet to add more storage space.

To the underside of the shelf, I screwed a 1″-wide strip of 1/2″-thick leftover cherry to hold my spring clamps. I also fastened a scrap piece off the end of the shelf to hold my small C-clamps.

Overhead Storage 1

Overhead Bench Cabinet 1

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