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oxford
09-02-2014, 12:48 PM
I recently acquired a file type cabinet with a lot of drawers in it that I would like to organize and store hardware in. I am looking for either a source or ideas for inexpensive plastic bins to put in the drawers. I am looking for sizes roughly around 3"x3"x3" and 3"x6"x3" and would probably need around 100-200 of them.

I don't mind spending some money, but I would like to try and do this some what on the cheap. Any ideas?

RichR
09-02-2014, 01:12 PM
Hi oxford
I know you said plastic, but maybe this is a good alternative at $21 per hundred:
http://www.packagingprice.com/forms/product_detail.cfm?categoryID=10007&productID=181
and the larger size:
http://www.packagingprice.com/forms/product_detail.cfm?categoryID=10007&productID=206

Rosco-P
09-02-2014, 01:45 PM
Try this guy: http://www.schallercorporation.com/plastic-boxes/
His plastic bins are like Vidmar bins, but don't have the stacking tabs and notches. Avoids a direct patent infringement and makes them much cheaper. Have used them, as good as the genuine article but much cheaper.

oxford
09-02-2014, 02:32 PM
Thanks for those links, I am not sure that I want to go the cardboard route yet. Rosco-P those are what I am ideally looking for but was hoping to spend even less money than that for something.

I did have an idea after making the thread about using some heavier duty disposable plastic drinking cups. I could then drill the appropriate size hole for them in some scrap plywood to hold them all together. Maybe not the most ideal use of space but it would be cheap and they could be re-arranged and removed easily. It would at least make due for most smaller hardware and then maybe some of the cardboard boxes for larger stuff.

metalmagpie
09-02-2014, 03:42 PM
Are you *really* cheap? Patient? If so I may have a solution for you. Canned tuna now comes in bigger sizes. Buy 3 cans at a time. Eat lots of tuna sandwiches. Save every can. Yes, they're round not square but when you get a whole drawer filled with them. it's pretty handy.

Paul Alciatore
09-02-2014, 03:48 PM
I can not quite visualize how you plan to use a file cabinet because the drawers are so deep, but in regular drawers I have used the kitchen style drawer dividers. Wal-Mart has them in a variety of modular sizes that lock together. They are about 2" high and 3" wide and come in a variety of lengths.

Another thought: I recently purchased several plastic storage boxes with interior divisions. They have rows that run the length of the box and have dividers that can be inserted to divide them in to smaller bins. If I use all the dividers I get 24 bins that are about 2" x 2" x 1.5" high. The plastic is the softer, hard to break type that is fairly clear so you can see what is in the bins or a printed label in the bin. They seem to close tightly and could be stored edgewise in file cabinet drawers. Places like Wal-Mart and HF have these style boxes in a variety of sizes.

There have been a number of other posts here describing storage methods and I would recommend a search of this BB.

Rosco-P
09-02-2014, 04:48 PM
I can not quite visualize how you plan to use a file cabinet because the drawers are so deep, but in regular drawers I have used the kitchen style drawer dividers. Wal-Mart has them in a variety of modular sizes that lock together. They are about 2" high and 3" wide and come in a variety of lengths.

Another thought: I recently purchased several plastic storage boxes with interior divisions. They have rows that run the length of the box and have dividers that can be inserted to divide them in to smaller bins. If I use all the dividers I get 24 bins that are about 2" x 2" x 1.5" high. The plastic is the softer, hard to break type that is fairly clear so you can see what is in the bins or a printed label in the bin. They seem to close tightly and could be stored edgewise in file cabinet drawers. Places like Wal-Mart and HF have these style boxes in a variety of sizes.

There have been a number of other posts here describing storage methods and I would recommend a search of this BB.

Your first suggestion: the Rubbermaid and other brand drawer dividers/trays cost more per unit than the Vidmar style bins I linked too.
Your second suggestion is even more costly and less flexible.

He's looking for cheap, hence the drinking cup and plywood idea he's tinkering with. See post #4.

You could save quart and half gallon plastic milk jugs and quart motor oil containers. Cut the top off at the desired height, wash them out well.

oxford
09-02-2014, 06:02 PM
Sorry metalmagpie, tuna is on my do not eat list, although there is a lot of food items that come in packages that would work, I am not that patient to wait for them and my OCD would not want me to mix to many different style of containers together, lol.

Paul, sorry my first post wasn't very clear about the cabinet. It is not a standard file cabinet, the drawers are about 10" wide and 4-5" high and around 24" deep. There is probably 24 drawers in total. I think some sort of file cards may have been originally stored in it.

The oil quart containers may be an idea, may have to see if I can get a supply of them, too bad I don't work on cars for a living any more.

RussZHC
09-02-2014, 06:33 PM
There are so many options out there, but have no clue where they rank in terms of being inexpensive.

ABS pipe of various sizes, cut/trepan grooves in wood, glue them in/on. Caps for the same pipe would allow you to remove if needed. Smaller ice cream containers (they do have some that are roughly rectangular), Plano for one make some fishing tackle boxes and the simplest ones are not the expensive (again, not sure of relative cost).

Round appears to give you a choice, IIRC last time I was looking for similar, square or rectangular is a bit more difficult.

would it work to make a grid out of wood that you could drop into place to divide the larger spaces? You would need lots but what I have in mind is a relatively quick and simple sawing operation.

PStechPaul
09-02-2014, 06:38 PM
Maybe you can use the plastic containers that are used for potato salad and such at the deli. They come in 1/2 pound and 1 pound and larger sizes. I use them for all sorts of things, and I've collected probably 100 or more over the past couple of years.

I got them from Mars: :cool:

http://enginuitysystems.com/pix/tools/Mars_Containers_1510.jpg

Here is one with some swarf:

http://enginuitysystems.com/pix/tools/Swarf_1271.jpg

If you need them right away, you better be hungry! Or maybe you can ask the manager to order a case for you. Perhaps you can swap for some repair or improvement on a meat slicer or bone saw or something. They are probably no more than about 5 or 10 cents each, and they are durable and almost water/air tight.

Rosco-P
09-02-2014, 06:54 PM
The oil quart containers may be an idea, may have to see if I can get a supply of them, too bad I don't work on cars for a living any more.

Stop at the quick lube place and ask them to save the quart containers. Not all the oil they use is in bulk.

Puckdropper
09-02-2014, 07:07 PM
Canned cat food comes in a similar container to tuna. The cats love the juice from the tuna and the canned cat food. So obviously the solution is to get a cat and you'll have more containers than you need!

Do be careful, though, as the cans have some rather sharp edges. (Especially where the lid is.)

goose
09-02-2014, 07:13 PM
Akron-mils makes a variety of plastic bins, they come in various colors, sizes and are stackable. Try Enco or MSC, wait for a discount code and they're not expensive at all.

Akro Mils (stupid iphone!)

bcassel
09-02-2014, 07:40 PM
Dollar Tree (at least out west here) or any Dollar or 99 cent store has bundles of trays for a buck a bundle. various sizes means various numbers in each bundle. I use these ALOT! Have a buddy that built an entire cabinet out of wood just custom made for Dollar Tree trays.

Rosco-P
09-02-2014, 08:23 PM
Dollar Tree (at least out west here) or any Dollar or 99 cent store has bundles of trays for a buck a bundle. various sizes means various numbers in each bundle. I use these ALOT! Have a buddy that built an entire cabinet out of wood just custom made for Dollar Tree trays.

Just like these? http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?CatName=KitchenAccessories&SubcatId=DrawerSilverwareOrganizers&Prod_ID=RP091340 Or different?

oxford
09-02-2014, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the replies, I got some ideas I haven't thought of. I would like to keep the entire cost under $50 and I would say 200 compartments for that. I have thought about making the wood dividers but I think I would rather have an individual container that is removable. The PVC pipe is a good idea but would have to come up with an easy way to knock out the bottoms.

Dan Dubeau
09-02-2014, 09:35 PM
I buy canned soup in bulk to store in my desk on those day when I forget my lunch. Cheap, and saves me eating out of the vending machine. More to the point of the story I cut the cans in half (or to the height of my toolbox drawer) when done and roll the sharp edge back over itself with an endmill shank. They work great to hold small bits in my box, and they cost nothing but 2 minutes time. Not a "right now" solution, but they add up after some time.

I wish I liked those little mints that come the little tins with lids, as I like those for hss toolbits and such, but the only ones I've got have come in toolboxes i've bought. I wish I had more.

I always check out cutlery organizers whenever i find myself in a "new" home store, but they're usually relieved in the middle such that all dividers blend into each other. I did manage to get one with a sliding top tray that was all separate that fits in my box perfectly. I wish I would have bought 2 now, as I can't remember what store I got it in.

I'll snap a picture tomorrow at work

Abner
09-02-2014, 09:42 PM
I deserve a crown - "Abner - King of Cheap"
Oil Can - wall of bolts.
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa477/mfnsy/Oilcanwallofbolts_zps5e7e92eb.jpg (http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/mfnsy/media/Oilcanwallofbolts_zps5e7e92eb.jpg.html)
"Blue-blood" bolt section....
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa477/mfnsy/Quarts1_zpsaa32b18f.jpg (http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/mfnsy/media/Quarts1_zpsaa32b18f.jpg.html)
Cur' dog bolt section...
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa477/mfnsy/gallon_zps7a9374bb.jpg (http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/mfnsy/media/gallon_zps7a9374bb.jpg.html)
Bolt 'spouse' and accessory section...
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa477/mfnsy/quarts2_zps6fba5b41.jpg (http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/mfnsy/media/quarts2_zps6fba5b41.jpg.html)

Abner
09-02-2014, 09:43 PM
Electrical parts drawer - Nice when you have a remote project you can load up a box of various containers.
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa477/mfnsy/Electricalpartsdrawer_zps5dc0ff96.jpg (http://s1199.photobucket.com/user/mfnsy/media/Electricalpartsdrawer_zps5dc0ff96.jpg.html)

I use mailing labels. I used to write directly on the containers - that didn't work well for me over time as I changed my mind on how to organize.

Rich Carlstedt
09-02-2014, 09:49 PM
Here you go Dan

I have a Drawing File Cabinet that is almost 100 years old
It is wonderful for tool storage
I have 3 different methods as displayed in the following pictures.
First, the cabinet
Second, I made some boxes out of sheet metal. Simple folds and pop rivets, for screw drivers and pliers--sturdy !
Third, slotting some wood boards makes a beautiful file storage method
Forth, take some hardwood (!) like maple, and make boards with rabbited groves for stroring Clamps etc.
Rich

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20Tools/P9020575_zpsb2ff980f.jpg (http://s273.photobucket.com/user/StationarySteam/media/Shop%20Tools/P9020575_zpsb2ff980f.jpg.html)

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20Tools/P9020576_zps1b80e654.jpg (http://s273.photobucket.com/user/StationarySteam/media/Shop%20Tools/P9020576_zps1b80e654.jpg.html)

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20Tools/P9020577_zps6145c64c.jpg (http://s273.photobucket.com/user/StationarySteam/media/Shop%20Tools/P9020577_zps6145c64c.jpg.html)

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20Tools/P9020579_zps309bfccf.jpg (http://s273.photobucket.com/user/StationarySteam/media/Shop%20Tools/P9020579_zps309bfccf.jpg.html)

kendall
09-03-2014, 10:46 AM
My screw/bolt bins are made from square rain gutter, cut to length with wood end pieces screwed in. The gutter costs $5 for 10ft, a 1x4 is about $6, for $16 bucks ($18 with screws) can make 20 1ftx4inch trays and have wood left over for another dozen.

Rosco-P
09-03-2014, 12:07 PM
Here you go Dan

I have a Drawing File Cabinet that is almost 100 years old
It is wonderful for tool storage.

Nice blueprint cabinet! I see you have the base as well. Great for storing hand tools and short tooling in blocks. Another reason to attend Industrial/Manufacturing/Engineering company auctions.

stevet
09-09-2014, 10:04 AM
I was looking for the same idea to organize my end mills and drills. In our area we have a specialty food store that makes up food and packages it to sell. They put the food in small plastic trays that are about 4" x 5" x 1.5" . They also have a size that's about 4" x 6" x 1.5". They are black. the only drawback is they have a small lip around the rim, maybe 3/8". The guy in the back room sold me a bunch for 5 or 10 cents each.
If you want more info, email me at tougi@aol.com

burdickjp
09-09-2014, 11:27 AM
I bought into Sortimo. It's expensive, but really useful. I'm going to take some plate and make a base which fits into my toolbox drawers and allows me to register the sortimo bins in my toolbox drawers as well.

I also have a bunch of the harbor freight organizers.

Dan Dubeau
09-09-2014, 06:40 PM
Here's a few of mine.
this shows the rolled edge I was talking about earlier on soup can. follows the ridges, takes very little time to do, and leaves a nice smooth edge that you wont cut yourself on. Cut to height to fit in your box.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f224/danrdubeau/shop%20made%20tools/4CAFC925-36A3-4EE3-B4F1-C59A804F85FB_zpsdbjfvvsw.jpg (http://s48.photobucket.com/user/danrdubeau/media/shop%20made%20tools/4CAFC925-36A3-4EE3-B4F1-C59A804F85FB_zpsdbjfvvsw.jpg.html)

A cutlery organizer for some toolbits.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f224/danrdubeau/shop%20made%20tools/BF518B64-DD2B-4B51-90EF-5ED8D9F248BC_zpsnpchlk8q.jpg (http://s48.photobucket.com/user/danrdubeau/media/shop%20made%20tools/BF518B64-DD2B-4B51-90EF-5ED8D9F248BC_zpsnpchlk8q.jpg.html)

another junk drawer organizer for some cutters and such.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f224/danrdubeau/shop%20made%20tools/6FEE3122-0055-4008-A7C8-BE5EB20DBBC2_zpscfrhk5oh.jpg (http://s48.photobucket.com/user/danrdubeau/media/shop%20made%20tools/6FEE3122-0055-4008-A7C8-BE5EB20DBBC2_zpscfrhk5oh.jpg.html)

alanganes
09-09-2014, 10:31 PM
I have used those disposable food storage containers from the supermarket for stuff like this before. Cheap and come in a few different shapes/sizes. One example here, but the store branded ones are even less expensive:

http://www.amazon.com/GladWare-Entr%C3%A9e-Storage-Containers-Ounces/dp/B000EG4TLG

Rustybolt
09-10-2014, 01:19 PM
"I need a source or ideas for drawer organizers."

Well. My wife once hired a Mexican woman to clean our house and she organized the drawers in the kitchen.
I can get her number if you want.