I’ve found that L-hooks are the gateway drug to creating pegboard storage accessories for all my tools. Since my first post on this subject, I’ve built a backsaw till, and the square rack that I’ll highlight here. The original design for a square rack appears in the Woodsmith plans (not my design) Pegboard System.
Four squares walk into a bar…
I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the midst of a project, my squares end up lying all over creation. On my bench, my router table, under sheets of sandpaper…you get the idea. So I decided to give my four hombres a place to hang their hats.
Page 8 of the Woodsmith plans shows a design for a square rack…which I took an instant dislike to.
You see, the squares are “layered”, one in front of another like pokes in the bunkhouse. That setup reminds me far too much of the way my girlfriend stuffs the refrigerator with leftovers. The peeled pomegranate seed container is always, behind something else and pulling it out triggers a “leftover” booby trap, releasing a gaggle of vessels and curses to tumble onto the just-cleaned floor.
Now I know that reaching for a try square isn’t the same thing as drawing your Colt .45 against a drunk cowboy at high noon on some dusty, Western street, but damn it, it should be at least as easy.
So I tweaked the design.
The picture of the Dozuki saw holder (also on page 8 of the Woodsmith plans) next to the try-square pic gave me inspiration. I decided to use slots to hold the squares vertically. But instead of angling them at about 30 degrees, I rotated them to be perpendicular to the front edge.
Four slots were required. I went with a 7 7/8″ L x 3 ½” W x ¾” T alder board, with four ¼” thick slots. The width is sufficient to securely seat even my combination square.
The centerlines for the slots were 1″ in from the left and right edge respectively, with the remaining two slots spaced 2″ apart.
“Reaching for steel”
So how does it feel to draw these beauties? Pretty darn smooth.
When I need a square, I can identify it at a glance and draw it quickly from the rack. No fumbling over other squares…no, gee, where is that engineer’s square? And putting them away is just as easy. I even located the rack directly in front of the area where I do all my layout work.
That would earn approving nods from even the most demanding process engineer.
The only drawback I’ve found so far is that you need to have a bit of clearance above and below the rack to make room for the blades. Three of the four slots in my rack are located below my backsaw till, so I can only place smaller squares there.
Even so, the rack has served its purpose, keeping the gang safely by the hearth rather than riddin’ all over the range.
That brings to mind a song:
Home, home on the range…
Where the squares and the antelope play…