Minneapolis maker Greg Flanagan made an organizer for his tools using a slab of CNCed wood. First he arranged the tools how he wanted them. Next, he took a photo of the arrangement and pulled it into his vector art program where he traced the tools. Finally, he imported his drawing into CAM software and carved it with a CNC router.

The reason I always disliked this general way of storing tools–often seen as pegboard with the outline of each tool drawn in Sharpie–is what do you do if your tools change? This way you can just output a new organizer. Love it!

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

  • Alan S. Blue

    The hardened tool-steel bits tend to rust when in contact with raw wood. So I’d want to add a coat of something.

  • Rcko

    ^^ What coating would anyone recommend?

    • trkemp

      How about using the mill to drill little though holes all over the wood and then vacuum form a thin sheet of plastic onto the wood? Leave to wood there for rigidity and strength. This should prevent the chips the picture shows in the dividers. The weight of all the other stuff in the plastic liner you just made should keep you from needing to glue it in place.

  • Zack

    Cool idea – but looks like it might be a real pain in the keister getting some of those tools out! My recommendation: make the recesses wider, shallower, or both. I think I see a finger hole or two, but those, too, seem a bit tight.

  • James Patrick

    Coat it in truck bed liner.

  • Mike

    This looks like a fun exercise. Tool organization of this type is helpful in situations where repetitive tasks are being performed and you might want a quick way of knowing all the tools are available for the next shift. It’s also helpful when you want to make sure no one left a wrench in the machine or aircraft cowling.

    Plastic foam is faster and requires a much smaller investment.

  • Jack Van Gossen

    Instead of wood, use HDPE – plastic cutting board material. A nice article for similar tool storage idea was done here:

  • danny

    with peg board, what do you do if your tools change.

    well you paint over your black outline of the tool, and make a new outline in whatever shape you want.

    new CNC milled block of wood tool storage. what do you do if your tools change.
    you thrown the entire block away and cut down a new tree…

    and for what? a block of woods that’s all chipped up anyway?