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They’re Wrong About French Cleats

French cleats are they the modern Woodworkers organizational dream or are they the dust-catching cumbersome Trend popularized by woodworking influencers or are you like me and have stuff everywhere in your shop and it's beginning to piss you off [Music] a French cleat wall consists of a series of slats like this with a 45 degree angle cut on the top Edge and these are then mounted on your walls you can then take a tool you want to have close at hand make a holder for it and hang it up on the wall with a cleat with an opposing 45 degree angle this style of open storage has become very popular because it allows you to change and adapt your open tool storage as your woodworking grows and evolves I'm in desperate need of some more storage since moving because I have boxes and bags of hand tools everywhere these all used to be on the recessed shelf behind me in my old shop and now do not have a home and by building a French cleat wall it seems like I'll become this sheep I was born to be and fulfill my destiny as a woodworking YouTuber instead of coming up with a more unique plan I guess I am not the woodworking hipster I thought I was yeah this is my new tool storage you've probably never heard of it [Music] pickets which I thought would look cool but are also 5 8 of an inch thick and I'll tell you why that's important in a moment but for now it's time to rip a 45 degree angle down the entire length so we can make two cleats out of one board to make this as foolproof as possible I've installed Two Feather boards one that keeps the stock pushed up against the fence just ahead of the blade so it's not pushing into the blade and I've got one pointing down keeping the stock pressed down to the table any deviation left or right or up and down can cause the cut to go all cattywampus [Music] I've stated on the record that I prefer to keep things in drawers to keep the Dust Away and they're also a great way to efficiently use the volume underneath a cabinet for storage but vitune has changed slightly for the tools that you use constantly it's much better to have them close at hand so you're not constantly opening and closing the same drawer for the same square you use to measure everything if you find your tools on the wall are gathering dust from not being used I think they're better stored in a drawer or cabinet otherwise you can use a French cleat wall to show off your most expensive tools that you don't use limiting how many tools you keep out on open Wall Storage will allow you to make a smaller French cleat wall I only have room for about a four foot by three foot section right here but I'm fairly confident I can fit all that I need on it I'm going to do an even smaller one to over by my table saw for a few accessories for that and I have room down the all down here if I need a bit more space having smaller sections of French cleat walls will make it easier to transport if you have to move and knowing myself this is certainly not my last shop as I tend to be fairly nomadic [Music] foreign stuff directly to a piece of plywood or even directly to your wall sure I did that at my old shop and it's totally fine I think people justify French cleats because you can regularly move around and reorganize your tools on the wall but more often than not you folks have told me that you tend to not move them after you get them where you want it unless you're making room for a new tool or getting rid of old ones but even then I still think cleats are justifiable even if you only move your tools around once in a blue moon oh foreign [Music] why can't I just use pegboard I mean I could but pegboard is rather limited to just a few different size Hooks and a few other mounts like a screwdriver holder plus it's kind of ugly with French cleats the different kinds of tool holders you can make is only limited by your own imagination there is also wall control which is a brand name that have a proprietary design for panels and although they do have a much larger selection of tool holders available over something like pegboard you're still limited to what they offer and it's harder to make something custom for yourself although it is a great way to get a solution up and running fast one pet peeve that my friends on Instagram let me know about French cleats is that dust can accumulate in the crevice between the cleat and the back and it can be kind of annoying to clean sure you can blow it out with compressed air but you'll want to know what's better than cleaning it not cleaning it because I think I've come up with a way to prevent dust from settling down there and all you need are some biscuits which is good because they're not really useful for anything else Zing I'm going to use number 20 biscuits as spacers behind each cleat so that it floats Off the Wall just a smidge so that dust will fall through instead of getting trapped in the crevice I already cut these biscuits down because they were a little bit too long I'm going to put a little bit of glue on each and now with some half inch 23 gauge pins I will keep them locked in place pins are there just to hold it till the glue dries [Music] to space my first slat from the top I'm using the exact same spacer for the other end too so I don't end up with any sort of air between both sides I'm going to drive a single Brad through each end just to temporarily secure it ensuring to go through that biscuit that we glued in earlier and now it's just rinse and repeat for the rest of the cleats but I am double checking each side with a measuring tape to make sure that the cleats aren't getting off kilter due to any cumulative error all right now comes the tremendously fun task of syncing a whole bunch of screws to secure these cleats in permanently and we're gonna need two screws for every single one of those biscuits that we glued in why am I so extra I kind of just screwed them in from the front I would have been done hours ago [Music] [Music] [Music] oh I did it upside down [Music] [Music] [Music] foreign foreign [Music] for the most part as I am making holders for my tools to hang on on the cleat wall I'm trying to keep things simple if a tool can just hang from a hook or a dowel then I'm just going to use a hook or a dowel this will work for small things like these push sticks as well as big things like a cross-cut sled you can also use two dowels to hang things like a Spoke shave or a mallet you get the point these are the hand planes that I use the most and I wanted to make a plain tilt I just use a scrap piece of plywood then I pocket screwed these 45 degree angles to the side and then use some leftover cleat stock trimmed it around the perimeter and this prevents the planes from meeting their untimely death as it turns out making tool holders for a French cleat wall is a great way to use up scraps [Music] [Music] so yeah simple is good because over complicating things just for the sake of over complicating things can hinder you from getting to the

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