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  • Storage, small parts

    Huot boxes for reamers, drill bits, end mills and the like; pricey, are they worth it? In terms of quality and parts organizing? I think I've evolved beyond the "toss stuff in a plastic bin" stage. Any ideas as to what system, home-made or bought, works good for small parts storage?

    Thank you,

    Gary
    Gary


    Appearance is Everything...

  • #2
    I probably don't have as many bits as you. I use the cheaper 15 dollar walmart tool boxs with multiple compartments to hold all my endmills, cutters, HSS lathe bits, collets, etc. They work great for me.
    Andy

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    • #3
      Yes, they are worth it but try to find them used. Drafting room drawing storage cabinets have large shallow drawers that are good for stuff like that.
      It's only ink and paper

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      • #4
        goose: 9 drawer 27" wide toolchest... expensive yes, but actualy lets you quickly find things, and lets you keep them 'flat' layed out. You can't have endmills just banging against eachother in boxes unless you want a box of chiped and dull endmills. So if you do box them make sure to wrap each one or secure it in some kind of (wooden, plastic, etc, not metal) holder so it can't bang its cutting edges on anything harder then plastic.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by vpt
          I use the cheaper 15 dollar walmart tool boxs with multiple compartments to hold all my endmills, cutters, HSS lathe bits, collets, etc. They work great for me.

          I've got a few of those myself, I've also got a number of Akro (spelling?) brand plastic bins.

          I find the sizes and shapes aren't conducive to certain tooling, example: long reamers and drill bits, etc.

          Also, organizing, I'm interested how you guys sort your tooling. Such as by size, or steel versus Aluminum cutting, and brand-new versus tooling that's been used already?

          Thanks,

          Gary
          Gary


          Appearance is Everything...

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          • #6
            Well, first off I am not as anal as some here about laying reamers, drills, taps, endmills, etc. in a drawer and letting them roll about. I mean, everyone has to have fun and if you segregate and restrain them how can they have fun . Actually I don't keep endmills laying in drawers, I keep them standing up in holes in 2x12x12 pieces of wood. I can find the little buggers easy that way and they never touch, at least while I am watching them .
            It's only ink and paper

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            • #7
              Originally posted by goose
              Huot boxes for reamers, drill bits, end mills and the like; pricey, are they worth it? In terms of quality and parts organizing? I think I've evolved beyond the "toss stuff in a plastic bin" stage. Any ideas as to what system, home-made or bought, works good for small parts storage?

              Thank you,

              Gary
              New...no...not in my opinion.

              I have found similar flat shallow storage for much less than Huot.

              Map files, index files, middle cabinets of tool chest/cabinet combos...they all allow SHALLOW single layer storage of cutting tools.

              TMT

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              • #8
                I agree, they are well worth what they bring used, but not new. I bought a Huot fractional box at auction for $30, and it came mostly stocked with good quality (not Chinese) drill bits. Got a few others over time. But for whatever reason, I've yet to acquire a letter size box.

                Anyway, those big boxes are where I store my spares, and special grinds (brass/bronze, lefty, etc). But I have single bit Huot (and similar) boxes that hold all my "in use" bits. I use a bit till it just starts to dull, and put it in the big box "backwards" (so I know it needs sharpening, I think I got that idea from someone here). I've got complete single bit sets for fractional letter and number, both jobber and screw-length (six total), so I never have to worry about grabbing a dull drill.
                Russ
                Master Floor Sweeper

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                • #9
                  I wanted Lista or the equivalent but found I could only afford one drawer

                  The best darned storage system I've found for small hardware and parts are Plano (the tackle people) utility boxes, around 9 x 14. They are sold at Wal-mart and other sporting good stores.

                  When I get around to it, one of the woodworking magazines had plans for a cabinet that hides and stacks these boxes. I think the Plano is a 2-3700 Pro Latch series. The moveable dividers let you set it up for efficient storage of stuff that varies in size. I also store endmills, knurls, inserts, etc. in them. They would not be efficient for longer items such as drill bits.

                  Den

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                  • #10
                    I see someone beat me to the tackle box suggestion. As was pointed out above, in use tooling in the easy access trays, new stock in envelopes down below. Can be found cheap at yard sales and flea markets.

                    I have one for taps and dies. I even keep the tap drills in my most frequently used sizes in there. Plenty of room in the bottom for tap handles, die stocks and envelopes with more bits and bobs in them.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nheng
                      I wanted Lista or the equivalent but found I could only afford one drawer

                      The best darned storage system I've found for small hardware and parts are Plano (the tackle people) utility boxes, around 9 x 14. They are sold at Wal-mart and other sporting good stores.

                      When I get around to it, one of the woodworking magazines had plans for a cabinet that hides and stacks these boxes. I think the Plano is a 2-3700 Pro Latch series. The moveable dividers let you set it up for efficient storage of stuff that varies in size. I also store endmills, knurls, inserts, etc. in them. They would not be efficient for longer items such as drill bits.

                      Den
                      Do you recall the name and issue of that woodworking mag?

                      Thanks

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                      • #12
                        TMT, June 2005 Popular Woodworking

                        They have an abstract with image. For the bifocal impaired, here's a magnified view:

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                        • #13
                          Hmmm...how did I miss this last posting?

                          Very nice idea.

                          Has anyone else done this and if so, please show us your efforts.

                          Thanks

                          TMT

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                          • #14
                            Haven't but it's high on my to-do list. While the Plano boxes stack nicely, they start getting heavy when you have to move a stack around to get access to a specific box. The largest hardware I store in them is 1/2" socket cap screws up to 2" in length.

                            I've also started to store completely random items that are worth keeping but deserve better than a junk box. For these items, I add their "slot" number to an index kept on a clipboard. So, box 3, b1 has small timing pulleys, b2 has some special o-rings, etc.

                            This was an old thread and not meant to detract from the OP of the other new storage thread. Den

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                            • #15
                              Plano Storage

                              62 Plano boxes, accumulated over a number of years. They don't change.(so far)





                              A separate shelf for each on would be nice, but I'd loose space.
                              As nheng says they start getting heavy as you stack them. I need to rearrange my shelves to better balance the stacks.

                              In a few of the boxes, I have carved out a few sections of divider for larger objects.
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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