Socket Wrench Organization Workshop Projects

For use around the house and shop, I bought a relatively good socket set. It came in a plastic case that is meant to close up for storage and to carry wherever you need it. Unfortunately, the case was designed in such a way that some of the smaller sockets would fall out of place when the case is closed. It came with a thin piece of foam that was sandwiched between the sides to prevent this from happening, but on one of the first times using it outdoors, it blew away, never to be seen again.
It has since been left open, and here’s the state of it now:

the wrenches in a mess

Powdered with dust and in complete disarray, some of the sockets and other parts are scattered throughout my shop and house (and other unknown locations…).
So, taking advantage of the storage space newly afforded by my Sanding Table Project, I built an organization system, specifically for this.

After some thought, I decided the best way to organize these sockets was with socket holders, such as these:

the store bought clips

Of course, these cost money and even though they are nice looking, they don’t really meet my needs.
After some careful planning, taking in consideration the drawer dimensions and the number of sockets that will be stored, I came up with the basic concept. I would use strips of plywood and square dowels to make the socket holders.

Knowing the depth of the drawer is 16″;, I cut the strips that long, to go from front to back. I left them wide enough to write the socket size beside each and laid out the spacing using the actual sockets. I then drilled holes through for the dowels:

figuring out the spacingdrilling the holes

And drove them in. A tight fit, the holes are just slightly bigger than the 3/8″; square dowels. As added security, I squeezed some glue in:

pounding in the dowels

adding some glue

With the dowels glued in, I smoothed the edges a bit and wrote the sizes on using a fine tip marker. To protect it, I sprayed on a coat of clear polyurethane. With the sockets mounted (except one, that is missing – maybe in one of those ‘unknown locations’), I see how it will look in the drawer:

marking the sizesputting them in the drawer

And more of the same, until they are all done:

more in the drawerfinished

The individual strips can be taken out and are separated from each other with 1/2″; spacers that are glued to the bottom. The ratchets are in this drawer temporarily, until I get the drawer above (or below) dressed out for the other tools – box end wrenches, adjustable wrenches, etc.

The time spent doing this was well worth it, as it will save a lot of time in the future by making these tools easier to find. The cost saving from doing it myself makes it worthwhile as well – the ready made strips pictured on page one of this article are not free. Having the drawer exactly the way I want is the best reason for taking the time to do it.