Too often, garden tools like shovels, rakes and hoes wind up propped in a corner of the garage or hanging from a nail or other makeshift hook. For your own safety and for ease of access to your tools, it's much better to create a safe and convenient shovel mount rack. Placed in your garage or on the tool-shed wall, a shovel mount rack saves you time when looking for tools to do a quick yard project.
The easiest homemade rack starts with a long 1-by-4 or 2-by-4 mounting board screwed horizontally to a wall about 6 feet high. Find the wooden studs in the wall and mark them. Use a spirit level to mark the position of the board on the wall so that it's level. Predrill the screw holes to ensure the board does not split and that the screws go into the studs. Screw the mounting board into the wall with 6-inch screws.
Hardware stores offer a wide variety of hooks or mounts for handle-type tools. Hanger mounts range from simple metal hooks to vinyl-covered swing-down hooks to U-hooks to hangers with pressure tabs that hold the handles in place. Some, like the U-hook, require you to hang the shovel blade upright, supporting the blade of the tool on either side with padded metal or wooden arms. Others require you to hang the tool blade down, with handle up. Simpler hooks may require you to add a screw eye on the end of the tool handle. Figure out which orientation is best before you purchase hooks.
Space the hooks so that the tool blades don't overlap each other. Tools spaced too closely together can be knocked off the hooks and fall blade-first. Vary the spacing for different tools to achieve maximum use of the rack space. Allow more room for wide tools like shovels and rakes, but less for narrower tool like hoes and limb saws. Label the hangers so it's easy to return the correct tool to the correct hanger; doing so helps prevent accidents, by encouraging users to rehang tools where they belong.
Predrill holes where you will screw in hangers, hooks or mounting brackets. Drill each hole slightly smaller than the mounting screws. Predrilling the holes prevents the wood from splitting, as the screw wedges itself into the mounting rack. Screw in the hooks or mount the brackets.
To give your shovel mount rack a finished look, round the edges of the mounting board with a router and decorative edge bit before you attach the hooks or mounting brackets. Cover the screw heads with wood filler. Sand and paint the mounting board. Match the color with the wall for a more unobtrusive look. A complementary contrasting color works nicely too; most paint stores can suggest attractive contrasting colors. A thick, latex-enamel paint works best. It's easy to repair, resists stains and dirt and cleans up easily. Avoid staining and varnishing the mounting board. The tools will scratch the finish and make it look unattractive and worn in short order.
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