Material for Drawer lining for tool storage

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11 Mar 2011
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London UK
What would you guys recommend as a good material to line the drawers in my workbench, where I will be storing planes etc? I looked at Alcantara, ( artificial suede), but it was £140 per metre!!! The drawer is made from Birch ply, I just wanted something nice looking and feeling that could be cleaned easily. Any ideas ?

Cheers, Mark
It mightn't be posh enough Mark, but I'm using semi rigid polyethylene packing foam in my tool cabinet. It's very cheap from a packaging supplies place, comes in various thicknesses and the is resistant to oil etc.

You can put a layer of thin material as a liner in the bottom of the drawer, with a thicker layer of say 35mm on top - it works cleanly with a sharp knife or a band saw, so you can make cut outs to suit the tools, and doesn't crumble or shed bits. An indelible marker writes on the foam, an aerosol contact adhesive will probably (still to be tested) bond down the cut out layer to the liner.

You can get the same stuff from the pound shop, can't remember seeing the price on the shelf next to it but I am guessing a quid :wink:

I'm a cheapskate as I use the black underlay used to stick solid wood floating floors - ... rlay/74549 - expensive but not when it's left over from a job :wink:
It's great stuff and I've used it for all sorts including the base of some soapstone carvings.

It does get scraped and cut as drawer liners though and as it's extremely sticky, it isn't easy to remove
Rubber non-skid mat underlay is another possibility - there's some quite nifty looking varieties in a mesh format...
I`ve never lined my bench drawers as I use them as supports for the vice and cutting sheet materials. They fill up with sawdust so cleaning them becomes a bit of a problem possibly made worse with some lining material in there. I came to this decision after having carpet in the bottom of my tool boxes for years.
All the best

You raise a good point. I have a friend who does a lot of wood turning. He has custom made the draws for his turning tools. There are no bottoms to them at all - just racking for the turning chisels. That way he can leave the draw open while he works to give easy access to the tools and not have to clean it out at the end. Brilliant!