Swinging Tool Rack Design by Bill Pratt

Congratulations to Bill Pratt, one of our Guild members, for the inclusion of his innovative swinging tool rack in Fine Woodworking's Jan/Feb 2008 issue.

Bill designed and built the tool rack to utilize shop space that would otherwise be wasted in front of the overhead door in his shop. His design was included in Fine Woodworking's Methods of Work section.

To read the entire article online, you must have access to FW's online community or sign up for a free 14 day trial membership. You might find the membership well worth the small fee, since you can access all of Fine Woodworking's archives online. Or you could get the magazine ...

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The double-car garage door severely limits wall space in my garage/woodworking shop. So I created a 4-ft. by 5-ft. swinging tool rack for hanging hand tools, clamps, and accessories. Mounted in the corner of the front of my garage, it can stay against the garage door until I have to get in or out that way. The rack does not interfere with storage on the adjoining wall.

I made the rack out of 2x4 and 2x2 lumber. Two heavy-duty fence hinges are bolted to two 10-in.-wide stand-offs to hold the rack away from the wall. The stand-offs, which can be any length, are lag-screwed into a stud in the garage wall.

Anyway, not only is Bill's idea published in a nationally popular magazine, he is also the subject of a feature article in the Helena Independent Record.

Great press, Bill.

Note: photos are copyrighted. Top photo by Bill Pratt. Center image (sketch) from Fine Woodworking article and bottom photo by John Harrington, for the Helena Independent Record.


Do you have an animal companion in your shop?

So, hey, Guild members and readers of our blog ... how about sharing stories and photos of your companion animals, especially animals that spend time with you in your woodworking shops? You can share tales of shop companions in the comments of this post, or send an email to helenawoodworkers(at)gmail(dot)com along with photos if you have them, and I will add yours to this post. Let's get some dialogue going on our website. Thanks -- I'm looking forward to seeing the animals other woodworkers share their shops with.

Kita is the sweetest dog.
Kita, one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met, leans in for a "kiss" from Tim. Kita lives with Tracy Hamilton, who works at Timothy's Fine Woodworking. She comes to the shop with Tracy every day.

Sadie at Tim's Shop
This is Sadie, who until late winter 2007, lived at Tim Carney's shop. Sadie died in March this past year. She was a victim of some of the tainted pet food that killed and sickened so many other pets in the US. Before Sadie moved to Helena with Tim in 1996, she lived with him in an earth sheltered house in Pocatello, Idaho -- she was an excellent mouser.

Sam and Kita, shop friends
Kita greets her old friend, Sam, who used to be the main shop dog before he became deaf. Sam is now 18 years old and stays at home with Maureen, supervising her design business. Sam occasionally visits the shop to greet customers and put up with Kita's licks and frolicking.

For a couple of years, Tim's shop had a resident toad. We never did find out the toad's name. He/she hung out sometimes in the wet spot from a slow leak of the hot water tank. Good place to sit if you're a cold-blooded creature. Our shop toad was a bit on the shy side -- not quite as enthusiastic as Kita is, to greet customers.

Tracey (above) is Kita's human

People Greeter, Kita


Woodworking shop for two

Every once in awhile a body needs to just kick back and have fun.
To heck with meetings, eh?

Well, that's what we did at our December woodworkers' guild meeting: we had way too much delicious food to eat (which caused the more stuffed of us to kick back. uhuh) and -- we all enjoyed visiting with the other woodworkers and a few family members.

Mike and Priscilla Bode hosted the party (oops - I mean, the meeting) at their shop, just off of the alley. With high ceilings, skylights and white walls, the shop is bright and seemingly just large enough for their business, which specializes in furniture. I shot a few photos before I had a couple glasses of wine ... even these are a bit fuzzed, given that I was more interested in partying than covering my usual role of guild documentarian. Well, here's a few shots from our December (ahem!) meeting:

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