How to Build a Socket Organizer

pile of sockets


Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 - 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 2 - 4 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $30-60

Carpenters, mechanics, and DIYers alike know one thing for certain: The key to getting projects done quickly and efficiently is great tool organization. And the key to tool organization is having a designated spot for each and every tool. This way, you always know exactly where to find something when you need it.

Socket organization is particularly important. If you were to simply let them pile up inside a toolbox, you'd spend far too much time looking for the size you need and never get anything done. Not to mention, this would leave your sockets scratched, damaging the finishing, and potentially removing the size indicators. We've come up with not one, but two DIY sockets organizers that are quick and easy to make and sure to get your projects back on track.

Before You Begin

Before buying your materials, decide which variation of the socket organizer would better suit your needs. If you're looking to organize sockets in a drawer, the tabletop version is perfect. If a socket organizer that you can reference above your workbench is what you're after, the wall-mounted iteration is the one you're going to want. Each can be customized according to your specific sockets and needs.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Wall-Mounted Socket Organizer

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Hammer or brad nailer
  • Orbital sander
  • Wood finishing supplies (optional)

Tabletop Socket Organizer

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • 3/16-inch drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Wood finishing supplies (optional)


Wall-Mounted Socket Organizer

  • 1-inchx4-inch x 8-foot pine board
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Wall anchors (optional)
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nails
  • Desired wood finish (optional)
  • 120-grit sanding pads
  • Adhesive-backed magnet strips

Tabletop Socket Organizer

  • 1/2-inch x 4-inch x 2-foot pine board
  • 36-inch x 3/16-inch round wood dowel
  • Wood glue
  • 120-grit sanding pads
  • Desired wood finish (optional)
  • 1 Long nail


How to Build a Wall-Mounted Socket Organizer

A wall-mounted socket organizer is perfect for stashing sockets right above your workbench where you can easily see them.

  1. Measure Your Sockets

    Start by placing your sockets side-by-side, leaving a small gap between each, and measuring the length of the row. If you plan to include more than one socket set, such as metric and SAE together, place them in the same row to get the proper measurement.

  2. Cut Bottom Board

    Use the measurement of your sockets plus 1/8 inch to determine the length for the bottom board, then cut it to length using a miter saw.

  3. Rip the Board to Width

    The width of the board will be determined by the width of the widest socket, plus the thickness of your magnets, plus 1 inch. Carefully rip the board using a table saw.

  4. Cut Back Board

    Cut another board to the same length as the bottom board. The width of this board will be determined by the height of your tallest socket. Rip to width using a table saw.

  5. Cut End Pieces

    Cut two end pieces using a miter saw and table saw. The dimensions of these pieces will be the width of the bottom board and the height of the back board plus 3/4 inches.

  6. Sand the Boards

    Sand the boards until smooth and remove any splintered edges.

  7. Assemble the Pieces

    Place the back board on top of the base board against one edge to create an "L" shape. Drill three to four equidistant pilot holes through the bottom of the bottom board into the back board. Screw the pieces together.

    Attach the end pieces using wood glue and brad nails. Wipe away excess wood glue.


    If you desire a decorative look, the outside corner of each end piece can be cut however you like before assembly. Round the corner, route the edges, or use a scroll saw to create intricate details.

  8. Finish the Wood (optional)

    Finish the wood in your desired manner. It can be painted, stained, oiled, or treated with any other wood finish you can think of. Let it dry according to the manufacturer's instructions on your chosen finishing product.

  9. Attach the Magnets

    Remove the adhesive backing from the magnetic strips and attach them to the back board near the bottom. If they don't fit perfectly according to your customized length, alternate the height of the magnets in a brick-lay pattern. However you position them, make sure every socket will have a magnetic backing to hold it in place.

  10. Mount the Socket Organizer

    Mount the socket organizer to your wall using 3-inch wood screws. If you're unable to hit studs with both screws, use heavy duty anchors.

  11. Add Labels (optional)

    If your sockets are hard to read or you just want an easy reference guide, add size labels along the bottom using a label maker or fine-point marker.

How to Build a Tabletop Socket Organizer

This tabletop socket organizer is perfect for leaving on your workbench or stashing inside a deep drawer in your toolbox.

  1. Arrange and Measure Your Sockets

    This socket organizer will essentially be a modified board that the sockets sit vertically on top of. To determine the dimensions of the board, arrange the sockets side-by-side in a line, in an upright position. The length of your board will be the length of the line of sockets plus 1 inch. To make the board shorter, slightly stagger the line of sockets.

    If you plan to arrange two rows of sockets on one organizer, such as SAE and metric, position the two lines next to one another. The width of the board will be the width of the two rows plus 1 inch.

  2. Measure and Cut the Board

    Use the measurements you found to cut a board using a miter saw for the length cut and a table saw to rip it to width.

  3. Sand the Board

    Sand the board until smooth and remove all splintered edges.

  4. Arrange the Sockets on the Board

    Place your sockets on top of the cut board in your original layout.

  5. Mark the Positions With a Nail

    To accurately mark each socket's position, use a long nail. Place the nail in the center of each socket and lightly tap with a hammer to indent the wood. Take care to tap hard enough to leave a mark, but lightly enough to not disturb the other sockets' locations.

  6. Drill the Dowel Holes

    Drill the holes at each nail mark using a 3/16-inch bit, holding the drill as straight as possible. For perfectly straight holes, use a drill press if available.

  7. Cut the Dowel Pieces

    Use a miter saw to cut the dowel to pieces that roughly match each socket. Arrange them in a line that matches the socket line to help keep them in order while assembling.

  8. Glue Dowels

    Apply a dab of glue to the end of each dowel and place them in the appropriate holes. For stubborn dowels, lightly tap with a hammer. Wipe away any excess glue and let dry.

  9. Finish the Wood (optional)

    Finish the wood using your desired wood finish.


    Spray finishes are a great option for the tabletop socket organizer due to the tight positioning of the dowels.

  10. Add Labels (optional)

    If your sockets are hard to read or you just want an easy reference guide, add size labels along the edges using a label maker or fine-point marker.