Okay, so you have an organization problem on your hands: tools scattered around the garage, on workbenches and shelves, and in drawers and toolboxes — not to mention all that digging around for what you need when the time comes. Ideally, you want neatness and visibility. Let’s talk about how to install pegboard for better organization of your tools.
Yes, there’s a name for those square panels with all the holes drilled in them. Brought to market in 1962 by the Masonite Corporation, Peg-Board began as a copyrighted (and since expired) brand name for tempered wood-based material called hardboard filled with evenly drilled holes.
Today, pegboard is such a commonplace implement that you may have a hard time imagining mechanics, craftsmen and hobbyists ever getting by without it. When it came out, stores that had a lot of hanging items went for Peg-Board big time, as did more than a few garages. Simple pieces of metal called peg hooks go into the board on one end and hold tools with the other. This board-and-hook combination is endlessly modular and can be quickly rearranged to suit your organizational needs. It could be your best bet for getting your favorite tools in order.
Choosing a material
How to install pegboard in your case will depend on what kind you choose. The old workhorse is the processed hardboard, which is lightweight, sturdy and inexpensive, but there’s also plastic and metal variants of pegboard.
The right choice for most home garage and workshop settings will likely be hardboard due to its availability, durability and cost. When you’re shopping, handle the materials and see what you like best.
Installing your pegboard
A key part of installing pegboard is to allow some space between the board and the wall on which you’re mounting it. You’ll need this room to insert and remove the hooks, which are designed to be reconfigured in seconds to suit your needs.
There are two ways to do this. Plastic and metal pegboard are actually fashioned with edges that provide at least a half-inch of clearance between the rear face of the board and the wall. If you’re going with hardboard, you need what are called furring strips — a few lengths of wood glued or screwed to the back of the pegboard to space it out from the wall.
The next step is to make sure your pegboard is properly supported. Don’t just screw it into the drywall, as this surface isn’t meant to bear the kind of weight you’d be putting on it. Instead, use a stud finder, mark your points, install drywall anchors, and make sure the screws go through the pegboard and the furring strip and into the anchors in the studs behind the drywall. Make sure your screws are up to the job too — tools can be heavy, and you’ll likely be putting quite a few up on your pegboard. Three-inch drywall screws are a good choice.
Using the right tools can make this job a breeze. A good power cordless drill, for example, is a great thing to have in any case, and using one here should make the job quick and easy. You can likely have your pegboard wall up in your garage in half an afternoon. With that done, all of your tools can be proudly displayed and sensibly organized in a way that allows you to spot what you need at a glance. Good luck!
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Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Mike Hagerty is an automotive journalist whose work has been featured on radio, TV, in print and online since 1997. He's the Publisher and Editor of MikeHagertyCars.com, and contributes car reviews to the Los Altos Town Crier and losaltosonline.com. Previous outlets have included KFBK and KFBK.com in Sacramento, California, the ABC television affiliates and Hearst-Argyle and Emmis radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona; AAA magazines for Arizona, Oklahoma, Northwest Ohio, South Dakota and the Mountain West and BBCCars.com.