For not being a terribly handy individual, I seem to be on something of a roll these days.
First, it was my ammo can shelves (Note: these shelves will not accommodate Cabela’s dry boxes, given that they are significantly larger than .50 caliber ammunition cans. I am sure the design could be jiggered to work with the dry box dimensions, though.).
Now, it is this:
Well, ok, that is a sheet of 1/4″-hole pegboard, with some 1/4″-diameter, 1″-long dowels stuck in at random places. Not much, right? How about this?
Same thing, only silver now. Yay?
Same silver thing, only now with bonus grey bumpy bits and paracord?
Ooooh, well now it makes sense, I guess…
In all seriousness, I generally keep my regularly-carried firearms in one of the drawers of my dresser in our bedroom, and I was getting kind of tired with how they had a tendency to… wander about… in the drawer – I did not keep much else in there with them, so I was not overly concerned with any negligent discharge or anything, but the situation did seem less than ideal. The thought occurred to me of creating a foam insert for the drawer, and then cutting out slots for the firearms and other items to use, but that seemed like both a waste of space, and a hell of a lot of effort. Likewise, I could just cut out various shapes and blocks of wood, and Gorilla-Glue them to a thin sheet of something in the drawer, and leave it that that… but then it is a question of getting everything balanced and square and fitting and whatnot else. The pegboard solution seemed like a happy medium between “customizeable” and “easy”.
Seems to be working so far, too. The recipe is fairly easy:
1x 4′x2′ 1/4″ pegboard – Most hardware stores will already have a full sheet cut down for your ease.
1x Ruler – Measurements are always good.
1x Pencil – Not only for marking where you are cutting, but also what holes you plan on using.
1x Circular Saw – I still recommend Ryobi’s offerings
1x Fine-Toothed Circular Saw Blade – Pegboard frays like a frakker, so you want something that will not aggravate the situation.
1x 1/4″ Diameter, 2′ Length Dowel – The exact length is dependent on how many 1″ pegs you use, but I cut 24 of them, and you can see how many I used.
Something to Cut the Dowels With – I used a coping saw, but I am sure you have something handy.
Wood Glue – Duh.
Spray Paint – Totally optional, but if you get the right kind, it should help your pegboard wear better.
IKEA Kitchen Drawer Liners – Those are the grey nubbly bits in the pictures… I figured the firearms needed some kind of better padding between them and the pegboard, and was originally going to go with felt furniture pads, but remembered that we had a bit of drawer liner left over from our kitchen remodel. Again, totally optional, and I am sure you can find something around the house that will work.
Super Glue – Optional, for the above drawer liners.
First off, take a measurement of the inside dimensions of the drawer or shelf this assembly will be resting in – measure in a few places along each axis, just to ensure it is square and you get the right dimensions.
Then, mark off the space on your pegboard – there are a few schools of thought to exactly how to lay out your rectangle, but bear in mind that the sides of the drawer will also help you keep things in place. Make your cuts (after having measured more than a few times to ensure everything is right), but keep the leftover pieces. Afterwards, slice-and-dice your dowel – I found that one inch was enough to hold everything I wanted in place, but still short enough for me to access things in the back of the drawer, but your situation may be different.
Now, drop your pegboard into your empty drawer to make sure it fits (and be ready with the sandpaper and dowel bits to dig it out if it does not… or paper shims if it does not the other way), lay out all of the things you want to be able to place into your drawer along with your small army of dowel pieces, and get to work. I wish there were an easy way to tell you how to arrange it, but this is a form of the infamous knapsack problem, only made more complex by irregular shapes and personal preferences… Basically, sitting down with all the pieces and rearranging it a few times for an hour or so should give you some idea of what will work, just be sure to occasionally stick the drawer back in the dresser/desk to ensure you can actually reach the back of it still; likewise, be careful inserting and removing the dowel pieces into the holes, as doing so too much or too forcefully can destroy the pegboard.
A few points that may not be immediately obvious: 1. You are only concerned with front-back movement, though side-to-side is nice to have too. 2. You do not necessarily have to surround your object with pegs for it to be secure – neither of the firearms in my setup are going anywhere. 3. A little slack is better than clamp-like snugness – remember, you are going to be taking things in and out of here, and want to be able to do so easily. 4. Never set the system up that a firearm is secured by a peg inside the trigger guard. 5. Paracord is awesome.
Once you are sure the pegs are where you want them, mark the spots with your pencil, and start gluing them into place – I just put a dab of glue around the base of the peg and shoved it into the hole until it was flush with the bottom. Just be sure to do this on an appropriately non-adherable surface, like waxed paper or something, lest your project get glued to your kitchen counters.
After that, the rest is up to you – spray paint it or leave it neutral; put in the felt or rubber or drawer liner fenders or not; add in the paracord drawer dividers or make do with the pegs; whatever. One hint I would provide is to allow any spray paint, even those that say they take less time, at least overnight to dry and cure appropriately, lest your firearms pick up a silver shine where they touch the pegs.
With all that said and done, what should you do with the remainder of the pegboard? Well, the biggest piece is on my garage wall over my working area where pegboard is “supposed” to go, but the smaller one got transformed into this:
This time, I forwent the pegs and instead used COTS pegboard hooks; however, this necessitated gluing a stretch of 1″x1″ to the back of the pegboard so the hooks could actually go through. The entire contraption isCommand Stripped to the side of my dresser (four strips, each rated for a pound), and now provides a home for my collection of holsters and gun belt.
And that, ladies and gentlepeople, brings this installment of “Home and Revolver” to a close… tune in next month, when I talk about turning spent cases into a decorative trivet! Hm. Actually, that might just work…
(Disclaimer: This storage method for firearms is not recommended if you have children or other unauthorized individuals in your house on a regular basis, or if you have other security concerns. The same concept, however, could easily be modified for any form of safe or locking cabinet, should you feel the desire. Additionally, care should be exercised that the pegs do not hang up on the trigger when inserting or removing firearms, and the system should never be set up to have a peg inside the trigger guard in a “normal” state. As always, build and use at your own risk.)