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Man Crafts: Tool Holder Made From Belt

18 December 2010 4,660 views 7 Comments

by mikeasaurus

Tool belts are typically worn by people working in the field who need a place to keep their tools easily accessible in case they need them. Tool belts come in all shapes and sizes depending on what you're doing, and are a handy place to keep tools which are commonly used when working. This project is a twist on the typical tool belt, aimed at crafters and makers, allowing you to centrally store many tools out of the way yet still in easy reach.

This tool belt is able to hang some of my commonly used corded-tools above my workspace, such as soldering iron and glue gun. It's also able to hang extension cords, safety goggles and almost anything with a handle or hook. Using an old belt and some plastic grommets you can hang your crafting tools vertically when not in use and free up some much-needed space on your workbench, this tidy solution keeps your tools as close as you like and is an alternative to a peg-board or shelf storage.

Project Estimate

tools:

  • drill
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • hammer
materials:

  • old belt
  • grommets ($1.00)
  • s-hooks ($1.00)
  • eye bolt ($1.00)

Total: $3.00

Safety Warning:
Ensure belt selected is in suitable condition to hold light-moderate weight. Cracked/splintered leather belts are not recommended as they may fail when hanging tools.

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Before drilling, it's important to ensure the grommets and belt are compatible.
Ensure your belt is wide enough to accept the grommet and still have enough room left on either side so the belt can handle weight of tools when hung.

The belt used here is 31.8mm (1-1/4") wide, the grommets are 12.7mm (1/2") ID (interior diameter), leaving 9.5mm (3/8) of leather on each side. Drill openings along centerline of belt, I offset each opening by 15cm (6").

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Grommets are used to protect openings from splitting or tearing, made of plastic or metal and used on thin materials like plastic sheets and fabric. The most common place to find grommets in your everyday life is on lace-up shoes.

They may look like doughnuts but are more like sandwiches because the top and bottom of the grommet separate. Poke the bottom neck of the grommet through the opening in your material then place the top of the grommet over the bottom neck, you have now sandwiched your material between the grommet.
Place sandwiched grommet on a solid surface and strike top with hammer, snapping closed the grommet and securing it in place.

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This belt is to be hung from the ceiling. Since the belt will be holding some weight it needs to be secured to a structure to avoid it falling, in my garage I used a ceiling joist. Do not hang from gypsum, it will fall. Anchor to a solid structure.

With a joist located drill an opening for the eye bolt. Drill opening slightly smaller then the diameter of the threads of the eye bolt, this will allow the teeth to grip into the wood and create a solid anchor point.

With hole for eye bolt drilled, feed threaded end of eye bolt through belt buckle. Then, screw eye bolt into opening in ceiling. Use a screwdriver through eye to tighten bolt and give it a snug fit.

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Once belt is installed add s-hooks and start hanging your tools.
The s-hooks I used were thin enough to have two through each grommet, making this tool belt able to store tools on both sides at each grommet point.

The limitation of the belt is determined by weight load, so consider the condition of your belt and which tools you want to hang. That being said, I was able to fully load my belt will all kinds of tools without any issue, as an extreme example I even loaded on my old circular saw. I would estimate this belt could hold 30kg (60lbs) easily.

This project freed my workbench of the usual tool clutter and has given me back some prime real estate, all while keeping my tools close by.

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7 Comments »

  • Jen said:

    I usually like the projects on your site, but this one is ridiculous, stupid, and dangerous. Why would you want your saw, hacksaw, and other heavy tools hanging over your workspace? It also looks sloppy and ugly.

  • Kathryn said:

    Great idea! I might have to try this for my glue guns and the like. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • mikeasaurus (author) said:

    @Jen,
    Thanks for taking the time to read the post. You’ve got a passionate position and some harsh words to share, I hope I can address some of your concerns:

    First, bear in mind this project aims to reuse an otherwise junk belt and is destined for the workshop where couture is less of an issue. The implements shown in these pictures are used to illustrate the possibilities with this apparatus. It should go without saying that if you feel you are likely to injure yourself with your own tools by hanging them in this fashion then they are not suitable to be included with this device. As I cannot see all work spaces where this project may be used, common sense will govern.

    As for “ridiculous, stupid, ..dangerous, sloppy and ugly”, all I can say is DIY is not always pretty, and sometimes function takes precedence over form. The spirit of this project is aimed at providing alternatives with materials that are either on-hand or easily obtainable, and providing a storage solution to light-weight crafting tools.

    Your concerns are valid, Jen, but your reply should be measured against the cautions that are already provided in the body of the project and common sense (there’s those words again). Finally, consider that you may not be the target demographic for this project, as this method of storing light-weight items is nothing new and has been successfully used in stores, markets and workshops for ages.
    I look forward to hearing any other concerns you have in future Man Crafts.

  • onescrappinnana said:

    I like the use of the old belt, a great way to keep something out of the landfill! There are other ways to hang that “tool organizer” if a person really wants to implement this idea in their own space. Thanks for sharing.
    Mike,I have to say I like your response to the Negative Nellie.

  • heather said:

    Thanks for the great tutorial, Mikeasaurus. As a parent of 3 kids under 5, I know that eventually you run out of top shelf space! Hanging stuff from the ceiling is the next frontier. :) My husband even sketched out a design wherein he’d suspend bags of toys from my sons’ bedroom ceiling for storage.

  • Beckie Farrant said:

    I wasn’t really looking at form or function (although brilliant in both) I simply think it belongs in a man pad as a mistletoe. HAHA!

  • Peaches said:

    Hot Dang, this is a friggin GREAT IDEA! I have so many random hardware doo-dahs and they are all in shapes that make regular storage just about impossible. Serioulsy, how does one store a miter box without a garage or tool shed? Or a plunger? Or paint trays? Now I know….attatch hooks and go!

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