Screwdriver Rack

A while back I picked up one of Harbor Freight’s cheap screwdrivers sets; the largest two drivers far exceed my simple needs, but the smaller screwdrivers work surprisingly well. I couldn’t figure out where to store the things, as they’re used often enough to remain ready to hand, while being too bulky for any of the drawers. Emboldened by my success with those shoe latch springs, I decided to bend some coat hanger wire into simple clips that grab the screwdrivers around their waists:

Screwdriver clip - rear view

Screwdriver clip – rear view

The first step forms a loop where the mounting screw will go; squeezing the wire around the pin with pliers made a reasonably good imitation of a screw hole:

Screwdriver clip - screw bend

Screwdriver clip – screw bend

The next two bends shape the wire to the arms; I eventually figured out that bending the wire ends to a mutual right angle worked out better than the acute angle you see here:

Screwdriver clip - second bend

Screwdriver clip – second bend

Bending both wires at a right angle formed the arms:

 Screwdriver clip - arm bend

Screwdriver clip – arm bend

Two more bends in each arm finished off the clip:

Screwdriver clip - entry bends

Screwdriver clip – entry bends

I chopped up a coat hanger with smaller diameter wire to make clips for the smallest screwdrivers with narrower handles.

Repeat that a dozen times, drill pilot holes into a ready-to-use bit of scrap lumber, screw the clips with 3/4 inch flat-head screws, add four more holes on the right for finishing nails to hold the red screwdrivers (which have suitable holes in their handles), screw the whole affair to the bottom of the floor joist, and it’s all good:

Screwdriver rack on floor joist

Screwdriver rack on floor joist

After running the first half dozen screws with great effort, I fetched the beeswax and the rest slid right into place.

The larger driver handles stick up inconveniently far behind the fluorescent lamp fixture that’s barely visible along the top, but (I’m pretty sure) I won’t use those nearly enough for that to be a problem.

I suppose I should dip the raw ends of the wires in goop to avoid harpooning myself; I think I’ll mostly handle the screwdrivers by their shafts, so maybe that won’t be a problem, either.

Memo to Self: Use the beeswax!



  1. #1 by steve on 2012-10-17 - 08:07

    Maybe 38 years ago or so, I “Garbage Picked” a slab of that wax used for canning (you melt it and pour it over your jelly or whatever to seal it). Must have been 1′ x 1.5′ x 0.125′ or so. It’s been more than a lifetime of wood screw lubricant, and when I can’t find that, I use a bar of soap. Forgot that bar of soap in my winter coat pocket all summer, and my coat smelled like Dial for a month after that….
    – Steve

    • #3 by Ed on 2012-10-17 - 08:56

      I like it!

      But, alas, my two most recent wire-bending exercises would have required their 3D bender… although I’d have gotten better results with a simple fixture than my freehand twisting.

  2. #4 by Red County Pete on 2012-10-17 - 23:07

    I use the big screwdrivers (usually) for non-screwdriver things. The Great Square Screwdriver is handy for opening paint cans, and in extremis, acts as the third tire iron when I find a $%^& roofing nail in an obscure corner of the property. (1930s roofing nails had a huge waffle head–perfect for piercing the industrial tires in a utility tractor.) For what it’s worth, the other two tire irons are Wonderbar demolition bars. You do what you gotta when you live a long way out and are on a former lumber mill-site.

    One of the dogs likes the GSS for a chewtoy. At least she did when younger. She still goes after my leather gloves.

    • #5 by Ed on 2012-10-18 - 07:12

      for non-screwdriver things

      The old, old, old blue-handled screwdriver in the tool tray is my dedicated prying / poking / wedging tool; all other screwdrivers shall be used only for screwdriving! My Shop Assistant learned that rule early on. [grin]

      The teensy HF flat-blade screwdriver, though, seems just about ideal for mixing and applying epoxy in small amounts.

      The Screwdriver Drawer holds a number of former screwdrivers with blades adapted to a special purpose, some of which I actually remember…

  3. #6 by madbodger on 2012-10-18 - 12:40

    Interestingly, my house came with a corrugated sheet metal strip along the back of the workbench, apparently intended to hold screwdrivers and the like:

    Also, is that an old-style 4-prong phone outlet on your joist in the picture?

    • #7 by Ed on 2012-10-18 - 13:32

      an old-style 4-prong phone outlet

      Got it in one!

      This place was a maze of Original Bell System Beige Wiring; the original owner ran a VHF repeater biz with, I think, a phone patch system. I bypassed nearly all of that, but never got around to ripping out the last of the (firmly nailed) cables and jacks.

      And, yes, that’s some sort of heavy-duty chain drive over on the right that I couldn’t bear to recycle: it’s up there just for pretty…

  4. #8 by Bill Rutiser on 2012-10-18 - 14:52

    _required their 3D bender_

    I have found a lot of 3D coat-hanger projects can be bent in 2D then raised to 3D by torquing the wire between adjacent bends.

    • #9 by Ed on 2012-10-18 - 15:22

      That’s what I should have done to point the arms outward: make a flat shape, then clamp the base in the vise and bend the arms down at a right angle.

      Ah, well, maybe next time…

  5. #10 by Patrick on 2012-10-18 - 16:09

    Two questions – first, from whence did the blue chunk of metal with the posts in it come from? Scarp that you drilled some post holes in?
    Second, is the coat hanger wire springy enough to rebound after several repetitions or are you going to have to push it back a bit each time to hold.

    Also, that DIWire bender is awesome! Want!

    • #11 by Ed on 2012-10-18 - 16:37

      blue chunk of metal with the posts in it

      It’s a commercial wire bending jig that I’ve had forever. It has a low duty cycle, but when you need it, you need it bad.

      is the coat hanger wire springy enough to rebound

      Pretty much. The inward-pointing bends in the arms just barely touch the handle’s waist, so they’re not deforming much at all. The arms don’t deflect with the screwdriver in place: it rests in the broad section near the mounting screw.

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