How To Make A French Cleat Square Holder

In my shop squares fall into the same category as pencils. You can never have enough because the instant you need one they are nowhere to be found. They have little legs and decide to play hide and go seek at the most inconvenient times. I also use them at a lot at my day job so occasionally I’ll leave one or two on site. Because of that I have quite a few squares. Speed squares are my favorite. Accurate enough for most woodworking tasks and because of their triangle shape they can really take a beating. I recently added a French cleat system to one of the walls in my shop so naturally I need to make a new square holder.

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The first step is figuring out what you want to include and where. The easiest way to do that is to lay it out on a flat surface. I had a scrap piece of 3/4” plywood that was 9” x 16”. This happened to be the perfect size.

french cleat square holder (2)

With the base established I could go ahead and add the cleat to the back. I attached a cleat to the top of the back and added a second scrap piece slightly below the middle of the back for support off of the wall.

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Here’s another good example of why I have so many speed squares. I don’t have a traditional woodworking bench with a vice so clamping two speed squares to the workpiece quickly stabilizes it on end.

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From here I can layout my finger spacing. I’m using 1-1/2” fingers with a 3/8” spacing in between. Five fingers for four squares works out perfectly to 9” wide.

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I initially glued and tacked the fingers on with two brad nails each. I wasn’t too confident with nailing into the edges of plywood so I added one screw per finger.

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The lower part of the square holder needed to store my cheap 6” square and my adjustable square. For this I used a scrap piece of treated 2×4. I would rather have had a non treated piece but this is the only piece of scrap I could find. I have fully dimensioned diagrams in the download at the end for those who are interested.

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And just a few screws from the back to hold it in place.

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I love the simplicity with the lower block to keep these two squares in place.

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And the finished square holder. The large carpenters square just drapes over the top of the entire holder. Super easy organization upgrade.

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Although this plan is free to you remember that it isn’t free to produce. If you would like to show your thanks please consider using the donate button at the bottom of this page. If you liked this project and found it useful please share it so others can do so as well. Thanks for stopping by folks and have a great day!



  1. I built a similar one based a lot on this design. I to have a time finding these things in a arms reach when I need them, till now

  2. I got hurt a year and half go.So I watch woodworking videos and yours is the best of all. Thank you john

  3. I like this plan Jay. I’ll put it on my to do list, but one thing I will add is making the back a wee bit taller and adding a live earth magnet. I’ve found that draping my big square over the top of my existing French Cleat system that it gets bumped and sends the square a dancing. I added the magnet and it locks in place!

  4. Love the idea. For me the best idea is clamping the two squares to form a stand. More versatile than a vise.

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