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snowman
11-05-2007, 08:43 PM
A followup from the "material rack" thread.

What ingenious ways are you all storing your assortments of fasteners and random hardware?

Nobody needs to show the $400 racks, we've all seen them and we're jealous....just curious of what you may have made.

SGW
11-05-2007, 08:57 PM
I bought about a dozen 12-compartment boxes similar to these: http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=6526&title=COMPARTMENT+BOXES

Then I made a simple set of shelves for them by making a 3/4" plywood frame, grooved on the sides to take shelves cut out of scrap laminate. I put a knob on the end of each box, so it can be pulled out of its compartment. I think it's two columns of six shelves each. The whole thing is maybe a foot wide and maybe 15" or 18" high, but it holds an amazing assortment of screws, washers, and nuts.
The hard part was the hours spent sorting all the screws, washers, and nuts to go into the boxes!

Your Old Dog
11-05-2007, 09:08 PM
I'm using the Glad microwaveable plastic food containers. I get the ones about 4x6" and just about everytime I go to the supermarket I buy a package of 3. I have a 3x5 card file chest high file cabinet full of them and it makes stuff easy to find.

67chevelle
11-05-2007, 09:37 PM
I use plastic bin boxes from Depot or Lowes. I built a rack to hold them from angle iron and square tube.


http://www.carringtonfamily.com/temp1/bins.jpg

Mark

IOWOLF
11-05-2007, 09:54 PM
Library card catalog drawers or similar.

3x5 card file cabnets.

BadDog
11-05-2007, 10:08 PM
I've got one of those big metal 4x8(ish) book shelf looking things. It's got metal bins, something like 5 wide x 4 tall x 14 deep. Enco has them on sale once in a while. Seems like there are maybe 92 bins, but I've only got maybe 89 of them.

Just found it at Enco Part 505-1607 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO=953838&PMAKA=505-1607).

Doesn't get much better than that...

http://www.use-enco.com/ProductImages/8979593-11.jpg

lazlo
11-05-2007, 10:23 PM
Russ, what did Enco charge on the truck shipping for that rack?

J Tiers
11-05-2007, 10:24 PM
BadDog has the best solution..... although I prefer shallower drawers, maybe 2" tall or so.

I have similar, but mine are a cabinet I got at a sale, now sitting in a set of clip shelves.

Nice to be able to walk up and pull out the 3/8" drawer for instance and pull out anything you need in a few seconds. Mine are categorized by size, then threading, then length.

Before you suspect me of being over-organized, my wife did the sorting..... *

But it beats heck out of rummaging in a big bin. Which is why I like the shallower ones, 2" seems to be optimum for rooting in, good since they are not sorted by head type.


* Yes she has two sisters, but they aren't as nice as she is......... sorry

BadDog
11-05-2007, 10:39 PM
I didn't order it from Enco, I got it from a guy, who got it from a parts house auction. I paid $80 for it, missing 4 drawers, and with 3 drawers that went to a different set (different design, slightly small), and some classic gray "porch paint" flaking off the front. I went over it with a soft wire brush on a hand grinder to knock off the loose flakes and put it to use. It now holds hundreds (several) of pounds of bolts ranging from 1/4 up to 3/4, plus nuts/washers/studs/bearings/bushings/spacers/expanding mandrels/extra drill chucks/and on and on. About the only thing more heavily loaded in my shop is the Lista/Vidmar type cabinets (mine are actually Lyon/Nu-Era, but most don't know them).

I wouldn't mind them being shorter in some cases, but in general, it works fine for my application. However, I do keep all my bolts/screws/etc of smaller then 1/4 (nominal) size in a different set of shallower bins. I got something like 300+ dividers with the bins, so I can keep 3/8 bolts separated by length, head style (hex/SHCS/Button/etc.) with nuts (separated nylock, crimp, standard, and "odd" for jamb/thumb/etc.). Depth has been no issue based on my organization, and I get over 50% (often 80%+) utilization of most all the bins, but I can see it being a problem if you wanted to keep smaller screws/nuts/whatever in there. But my Nu-Era has 22(I think?) thin drawers to the short Lyon's 15(?) or so. Add in the smaller "organizer bins" for the really small stuff, and I'm not hurting for short/shallow/small storage options either.

Oh, and I did all my own sorting. Really sucks, but when I start hurting so bad I can't get up and move around, and the current project doesn't lend itself to localized seated work, I sit down and sort, or ponder on organizational options that let me get more out of my limited space. And while the pain killers eliminate the option to run the lathe/mill/etc (safety issue), they do help alleviate the tedium of sorting. :D

snowman
11-05-2007, 10:45 PM
Before you suspect me of being over-organized, my wife did the sorting..... *


I started mine today. I've already got drawers according to size, but not according to length. Just dumped the buckets on the floor and got goin...didn't take too long, only thing is, I'm afraid I've got some metric mixed in.

When I packed from the last shop, I just dumped it all in buckets because I knew I needed to sort it anyway.

I was looking at building little drawers, but when I look at the cost of akromills drawers, I think it's easier to just order them one fastener size at a time...they are expensive, but when I compare it to the cost of gladware or something, not that expensive. I'll make a large rack for them or something out of plywood.

J Tiers
11-05-2007, 10:50 PM
I'd like to separate more, but I have 1/4 the drawers of that item..... only 5 ranks of 6 each, so you do whatcha do..... Besides, I didn't have to sort them :D (but I DID owe bigtime......)

Mcgyver
11-05-2007, 10:57 PM
Mark, imo that takes the prize. cheap, accessible, sorted, huge amount of storage, great for everything from electronics to taps and dies. you could even knock up a few open trays of plywood to hold all the bits of metal, 'shorts' that end up at the bottom of a box never again to see the light of day.

kennyd4110
11-05-2007, 11:08 PM
I have several of these from HF, they are often on sale for $29.99.


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95496

lazlo
11-05-2007, 11:35 PM
Mark, imo that takes the prize. cheap, accessible, sorted, huge amount of storage, great for everything from electronics to taps and dies.

I agree -- Mark's shelving seems like it has the best price/performance, unless you find an auction bargain like BadDog or JTiers did.

The only (slight) downside I see to Mark's shelving is that you have to pull the box completely out of the shelf to see the contents, so "browsing" or "rummaging" is a lot easier with BadDog's shelves. But if you're anal and have the shelves labeled, or have a really nice Wife, I guess you can avoid that ;)

wierdscience
11-06-2007, 12:06 AM
I dump mine on the floor,it saves time since I normally end up crawling around on the floor looking for the ones I dropped anyway:D

gellfex
11-06-2007, 12:22 AM
I've been using these cardboard Grainger bin boxes for many years for all sorts of random stuff, from fasteners to magazines to chunks of stock to the glue tube collection.
http://images.grainger.com/images/products/7D415.JPGhttp://images.grainger.com/images/products/1W766.JPGhttp://images.grainger.com/images/products/1W955.JPG
They come from 2" to 16" wide and either 4" or 8" high, so you can mix widths on a shelf. They also make dividers for them. I've got one of the unit's pictured and lots of shelving on standards all over the place filled with these. Makes it easy see what's in it, to grab the box and take it to the worktable, or reorganize. A box 11dx4wx4h is $.83, quite a bit cheaper than the Akro Mills. A friend made a pattern to cut them from cardboard scrap, but I decided I wasn't that frugal.

For the everyday machine and cap screws, washers & nuts up to #10 I use 2 of those racks of little clear plastic drawers roughly 2w x1.25hx 5d.

BadDog
11-06-2007, 12:29 AM
If I didn't have my metal bins (which worked out to a bit under $1 per bin for mine), I think I would be looking at those. You couldn't load them like the metal ones (I'll bet one of my 3/8 bolt bins weighs a good 20+ lbs), but it should generally do the job. When the boxes come apart (due to overload or grease) they are cheap enough to replace.

Steve Steven
11-06-2007, 01:53 AM
My Dad (he died 15 years ago) had a portable tool chest he moved every time we did and he had many small sliding bins made of 1/4" masonite. He put one of the items (washers, nuts, screws, nails, ect) on the front with wire or screwed in, so you could see at a glance what was in the bins. Worked well, it was still there when I had to sell off the last house.

Steve

Fasttrack
11-06-2007, 02:58 AM
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n22/fasttrack237/storage.jpg


http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n22/fasttrack237/hardwarestorage.jpg


All from harbor freight! The 50 brown boxes came with grade five hardware and cost 40 bucks on sale. The gray poly bins were 6 bucks per 20 of them and i think i have a total of 80 in the garage. Dead usefull for all sorts of stuff and at that price its a bargain. They hold up well - i have them stacked four high with brass bushings on the top one in one place.


<edit> the last row of brown boxes are on a wall somewhere else - they had 5/8" hardware which only gets used as king pins and spindles in my go-karts so...

coldformer
11-06-2007, 06:54 AM
mine are just like 67 chevelle's ,the drawers are by stack on and are very handy to take an assortment to a job site.i have mine numbered and have a cheat sheet so they dont have to be labled and the assortments can be changed.

mark61
11-06-2007, 07:53 AM
I am with 67chevelle. I bought the plastic tubes at $1 bargain store in 3 packs! I also use old storage drawers out of refridgerators for bigger and heavier loads. FREE at the apliance repairman's scrape pile!

mark61

J Tiers
11-06-2007, 09:21 AM
The only (slight) downside I see to Mark's shelving is that you have to pull the box completely out of the shelf to see the contents, so "browsing" or "rummaging" is a lot easier with BadDog's shelves.

Most of the drawer types have a feature that you can pull them out all the way (almost) and they catch on the upper shelf so they won't actually fall out. That way yes, you can pull 'em out and rummage with both hands free.

I have other things like setscrews and specialty fasteners in the compartment boxes. They are "in scale for that sort of item, and work well.

But you have to have a place to set down the box so you can sort through. And you have to unlatch the box, etc. If you DON'T set it down, one day you are going to be sweeping up and re-sorting that stuff!

And it isn't as practical for larger items like 1/2" bolts/nuts, because you only get a couple into a compartment. That's when the larger drawer shines, those 1/2" x 5" bolts take up some space.

OTOH the drawers are just not well suited to small hardware, under #6 or #8. That is best in the boxes.

Each has their best place.

John Stevenson
11-06-2007, 09:28 AM
I dump mine on the floor,it saves time since I normally end up crawling around on the floor looking for the ones I dropped anyway:D

Oh yes the self storage idea :D Only problem I can see is first you need a floor.

snowman
11-06-2007, 09:36 AM
Oh yes the self storage idea :D Only problem I can see is first you need a floor.

Sir John, king of the Losers.

I am a founder, as I found my floor yesterday....I plan to lose it again shortly though.

Paul Alciatore
11-06-2007, 10:04 AM
I've been using these cardboard Grainger bin boxes for many years for all sorts of random stuff, from fasteners to magazines to chunks of stock to the glue tube collection.
http://images.grainger.com/images/products/7D415.JPGhttp://images.grainger.com/images/products/1W766.JPGhttp://images.grainger.com/images/products/1W955.JPG
They come from 2" to 16" wide and either 4" or 8" high, so you can mix widths on a shelf. They also make dividers for them. I've got one of the unit's pictured and lots of shelving on standards all over the place filled with these. Makes it easy see what's in it, to grab the box and take it to the worktable, or reorganize. A box 11dx4wx4h is $.83, quite a bit cheaper than the Akro Mills. A friend made a pattern to cut them from cardboard scrap, but I decided I wasn't that frugal.

For the everyday machine and cap screws, washers & nuts up to #10 I use 2 of those racks of little clear plastic drawers roughly 2w x1.25hx 5d.

I've been a big fan of cardborad bins for years. I also get the mini-bins to put in them. Currently getting the cardboard ones from Grainger (I think). They will divide the larger bin into 3, 6, 9, etc smaller compartments. Also great for bringing the fasteners to the job.

About the cheapest thing I found was the one piece, plastic ice cube trays. Years ago I saw a drug store selling them for $0.25 each. I got several dozen. With 14 compartments each, that's less than two cents per bin. They stack so you can put 6 or 8 of them in the same shelf space as one cardboard bin. And they have flat fronts for labels. But only good for small hardware, like #8 or under screws, small electronic parts, etc.

Also, fishing tackle boxes are good. Lots of small compartments and they usually close tight so you can turn them upside down and small parts do not mix. Years ago I had a traveling job and needed electronic and hardware parts with me. I bought a large sized fishing tackle box and added the plastic boxes inside. It survived many trips in the checked baggage (with the help of some duct tape around the outside). Not sure what the airports would think of it now. Probably open it and inspect every compartment. And they would never reclose it properly. Small parts everywhere, I'm sure.

Ed Tipton
11-06-2007, 12:38 PM
I have two storage systems. I am fortunate enough to have large quantities of nuts, bolts, screws, etc, which add up to being far too many to keep in one location. I've collected wide mouth plastic jars and put the larger quantities in the jars, sorted as per my requirements. Then I took a metal shelf, turned it upside down, and it becomes a tray with a one inch lip around the circumference. I then just dump assorted fasteners into the tray where they are easy enough to grab whenever I need a "quickie". I just re-supply the tray from the plastic jars as needed. When I'm not rummaging through the tray, it rests against the under side of my workbench top where it is out of the way...but readily available...just slide it out. The tray is handy because it is shallow enough that the contents are not piled too deep, and it has enough area that things can be spread out for a good look. In fact, I've found that overstocking the tray is counter-productive, since it's harder to do a quick visual sort. I find that I am able to spot the needed sizes easily and probably quicker than going to the correct jar. I do try and not integrate metric with my standard hardware. My metric hardware stays in the jars until needed. Works for me.

kendall
11-06-2007, 12:52 PM
I guess I'm the cheapskate, I use coffee cans and power-ade jugs
The plastic folgers cans come in two sizes, keep the lids close in case I need to bring them with me.
screws and such are kept in the powerade jugs because they close up easily and the small neck keeps them from dumping if they're knocked over. Use a cut down pop bottle as a funnel to put extras back in the jugs,

For shelves to hold the powerade jugs I used some rain gutter cut down to hold 6 jugs put ends on them and screw them to the side of the bolt shelf (also have rain gutter in my truck to hold small junk)

The ones I use most often are kept on the bench.

Quick and easy, and make use of things I'd otherwise trash.


Ken.

cybor462
11-07-2007, 12:08 AM
I did not see anyone show an alternative to the Huott (not spelled right) drawers for taps. I can't see paying the price for those. Anyone have a cheap fix?

Paul Alciatore
11-07-2007, 12:32 AM
I did not see anyone show an alternative to the Huott (not spelled right) drawers for taps. I can't see paying the price for those. Anyone have a cheap fix?

Sure do. Soda straws and PVC pipe with a cardboard bin.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v55/EPAIII/Pix1.jpg

The soda straws are sitting in gutter nail spacers which in turn are packed tight in a cardboard mini bin. The 3/8" PVC pipe holders for larger ones are sitting in copper pipe pieces that are likewise packed tight in that section. So the straws and PVC holders are easily removed and the nail spacers or copper pipe holds their place. Only the largest ones (up to 1" tools) are loose in the section to the front of the picture.

The soda straws are the twistable type and that closes them at the top. The bottoms are closed by punching a 1/8" hole near the bottom and putting a squirt of silicon sealant in them. The 1/8" hole anchors the silicon plug. The whole thing only takes up about six inches of shelf space and it holds almost 60 tools nealty sorted, labeled, and easily findable.

This is for reamers but it would work for drills, taps, milling cutters, etc. Any small tool bits.

cybor462
11-07-2007, 12:39 AM
Cool beans.... I gotta do that. Real good idea. Easy, quick and it works. I guess you can go as far as making a holder or buying them so they are all standing like a collet or em holder tray. Those can be had for 8 bucks. Then put the pvc tubes in them. Yeah I like it.

PTSideshow
11-07-2007, 07:24 AM
Library card catalog,
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/librarycardcatalog.jpg

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/deskcabinet.jpg
From cheap steel desks

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/morenutsandbolts.jpg

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/nutsandbolts.jpg

PTSideshow
11-07-2007, 07:31 AM
The rest of the story.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/shoeboxes.jpg
Dollar store shoe boxes for larger or a lot of

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/carpettubebrazingrodshortdowelandme.jpg
Card board carpet tubes for threaded rod and dowel storage
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/DSCF9911.jpg
The drawer sets from the cubical wall desks

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/DSCF9904.jpg
Single metal under the bench/table drawers weld together with tops and casters. For small tool work stations.
The drawer sets have the plastic boxes in the top ones,or the plastic storage containers like the glad ones prepared food come in.

applescotty
11-07-2007, 11:55 AM
Here's some bins I made from pallet wood. Went pretty quick, just made up a stepped block to attach to my table saw fence to cut the different lengths. A cut down the middle of each side allows me to put in hardboard dividers.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y141/applescotty/misc/DSCN1606.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y141/applescotty/misc/DSCN1609.jpg

Scott

ahidley
11-07-2007, 12:22 PM
I use a 55 gallon drum.... It automatically organizes the differant sizes... The really small ones are ALWAYS at the very bottom and the big useless ones are always at the top..........

lazlo
11-07-2007, 12:33 PM
I did not see anyone show an alternative to the Huott (not spelled right) drawers for taps. I can't see paying the price for those. Anyone have a cheap fix?

BadDog posted some pictures a month or two back where he made drawer inserts for his taps. Very nice!

lazlo
11-07-2007, 12:36 PM
I love looking at how people organize their shops.

I remember Lane posted pictures of his shop, which is immaculately organized. I think you need to have a strong Obsessive/Compulsive streak to be a good machinist or engineer ;)
As some of the lurkers here can confirm, my shop looks like an amateur version of Sir John's -- like someone threw a hand grenade in a shut the door :)

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/IMG_0136small.jpg

The library card cabinets seem like a great way to store stuff in a Home Shop, but where the heck are you guys finding surplus library furniture???

PTSideshow
11-07-2007, 05:50 PM
The library card cabinets seem like a great way to store stuff in a Home Shop, but where the heck are you guys finding surplus library furniture???

I happened to be there when the new one came in. They need someone with a strong back to carry it out so the ladies wouldn't break a nail. LOL
Our local library has book sales at which they sell obsolete equipment.
Most school systems have taken to having a sale or sales. Some have a continuing sale at their garages/warehouses.
I put the word out to some building managers I know that I will remove furniture, computers and cubical wall if there is enough for scrapping or a small fee. Lot of mortgage joints closing around here. Last one is were the desk drawer sets came from.