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Stock storage - horizontal or vertical ?

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  • Stock storage - horizontal or vertical ?

    Looking for ideas and inspirations on material storage. I know this subject is touched on from time to time, but I find my needs always changing and evolving. Mostly I use solid round of various diameters, 3 to 4 feet in length tops. There's many commercially available storage solutions, such as a rolling cart thing, but I don't want to waste precious floor space unless I have to. I was thinking of wall hung brackets or shelves, but weight is always an issue.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

    Appearance is Everything...

  • #2
    I cut up 4" cardboard tubes and stuff them vertically tight in a milk crate. Short tubes for short pieces, long for longer. Shorter than 18" goes in a long drawer. I find with horizontal storage I can never find what I'm looking for.
    Location: Jersey City NJ USA


    • #3
      I have the long pieces (3 to 6 ft.) vertical in a triangle rack that sits on the floor. Shorter pieces (1 to 3 ft.) are in horizontal shelves in the same rack. Pieces less than a foot are in a cabinet with shelves with different materials each having their own shelf.
      Kansas City area


      • #4
        I use 5 gallon metal buckets for most of my thin stuff. Long pieces in one or two, medium pieces in a couple, and short things in another. I leave just enough space that I can grab and pull the back pieces to the front to get a new perspective. It's rather easy to sight down the into bucket to see what I've got. Smaller than that ends up in milk crates, or small wooden boxes. Sheet goods are against the wall behind the buckets.

        Ain't pretty but I can find just about anything... unless I forget that I have it somewhere in the first place.


        • #5
          Yep, that's it. Most of the stock storage systems are either horizontal or vertical.

          For long stuff, I am presently leaning to horizontal. I have a lawn shed behind the house and have mounted a bunch of those screw in "J" hooks that you find at the home supply stores in the exposed roof trusses. Then I can store rods of various materials in them, overhead and out of the way. I have a short step ladder out there so reaching them is no problem. So far, so good.

          I am presently working on my shop and am thinking about making some more or less horizontal bins with rain gutter or PVC pipe for horizontal storage of shorter lengths. I'm trying to figure out a way to make some kind mechanism to prevent short lengths getting lost in the rear. Perhaps I will tilt them up at an angle, 15 to 30 degrees, and putting some kind of door on the front so they slide toward the front instead of the rear. If I put it along side a desk that is already in my garage/shop then it will be about 24" deep and that is a good dividing line between short and longer storage. Or should I go for s space that would allow 36" (3 feet) or one meter deep? A lot of stock is sold in those lengths.

          I have ONE and only ONE draw for storage of real small scraps. When it gets full, something goes; either old stuff from the drawer or the newer scrap I was going to save. You just gotta set a limit. But I have often reached in there and found exactly the right size of something that I needed, so it works.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


          • #6
            Paul has it- store both horizontally and vertically. Just make it work.

            I made some drawers one day for storage of small diameter stuff like rods, threaded rods, drill rod, tubing, etc where pieces are less than four feet in length. These drawers are about 6 inches wide and stacked 4 high, along the back of one work bench. They are the same length as the bench is wide. They can be slid out from either side, so short pieces don't necessarily get lost. The top of this drawer cabinet is just another shelf, and losing 6 inches of depth on that work bench is no big deal. There are no slides involved, just drawers sliding in cavities. I used floor laminate to make the cavity dividers, so the drawers actually slide quite easily.

            It comes to mind that this could have been made as a self-standing thing, on castors, and with many more drawers- perhaps even longer. A 6 ft long drawer could be pulled out at least 4 ft to either side, so a lot of smaller stuff could fit and be found again- an important consideration Castors may have to be substantial depending on what goes into it, but the structure could do double duty as a support equal in height to a work table- something to help support long pieces while you work on them for example.

            The drawers I made have a laminate bottom also, so I only lose about 5/16 of height, and these are about 1-1/2 high so unless I really load them up I don't have a problem seeing everything that's in there.
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


            • #7
              Another thought that I have been playing around with is to box in that (6-8 inch high) space under the usual foot rest on my work benches. My feet can rest on top of that box and with a drawer or two a lot of storage can be had under there.

              As a bonus, if I do the boxing right; dust, dirt, and the inevitable dropped small parts can not get under there.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


              • #8
                You know those book shlef systems - two vertical rails and clip-in horizontal arms? I stuck some of those up, and on the arms I mounted sleves of folded galvo. High at the back so stuff doesn't get lost, and 40 mm high at the front.
                One shelf for SS, one for Al, one for brass and small tubing, one (stuffed full) for plastic, and one for steel. Excess heavy steel goes on a plank on the floor underneath.
                Sheet stuff gets stacked against the wall further along. have to keep it vertical so it doesn't warp.
                Sigh - then there are a couple of discarded drawer units for small stuff. Pinch them from the neighbour's heap of junk when the Council has a clean-up.
                Resources, resources, must have resources ...



                • #9
                  I'm enjoying this thread 'cause I'm fighting the materials storage issue myself. I've designed a bench/cart for my Benchmaster
                  mill, which is all torn apart in the middle of a reconditioning, and in this cart (which is 24"x24"x 38" high) I have included a
                  space 6" wide full width and height. It's space that comes as a result of not wanting drawers 2 feet deep. In that space will
                  be a half dozen shelves going right across the width. I can store up to a bit more than 2 foot long pieces and a fair amount
                  of shorter stuff say down to a foot. It's across the back of the cart but I will have access to one side, maybe both.

                  I haven't figured out what to do with the other materials, which is why this thread is so great. I'm getting lots of good
                  info to think about! I have limited wall space but vertical looks promising. The triangular rack described by toolguy is on
                  my short list but floor space is limited. Nothing new there!

                  1973 SB 10K .
                  BenchMaster mill.


                  • #10
                    When I relocated across the state in 2014 I wanted to move my metal stock vertically to prevent it creeping around the moving van. I bought several lengths of 8' x 4" PVC irrigation pipe and several caps. I cut them to 4' and capped the bottom only, and loaded all the metal, presorted by type (flat/round, Ally, steel) as best I could. They're not so heavy I can't move them individually. The shorts got plastic-wrapped with shipping vinyl. It's been over a year since and they're still being used. This won't work where water can drip into them because I didn't drill any drain holes, but knock on PVC, that's not yet been a problem.


                    • #11
                      The best way I have found is to buy more acreage.


                      • #12
                        Hello Group,
                        I have used the PVC pipe idea on the wall in the corner next to my mill. 12"up to 36" long. I have also made el brackets out of angle iron for longer pieces and they are near the floor. One tip I might offer about the horizontal PVC pipes and pieces lost inside, I have made a 1/2 moon #10ga sheet metal piece on the end of a rod with a90*, this stays in all the time and when I need to check the bottom of the tube I pull the rod and everything out for a check on what's in the tube.
                        Long explanation but it helps a lot to get those lost piece's.
                        Great topic.

                        Mr Fixit for the family


                        • #13
                          This is what we have at work - mostly for storing drill or threaded rod but could be easily adapted for your use.


                          • #14
                            I like it.

                            Originally posted by JeffKranz View Post
                            This is what we have at work - mostly for storing drill or threaded rod but could be easily adapted for your use.

                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            Make it fit.
                            You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


                            • #15
                              I've always been a fan of vertical storage for longer bits. When storing them horizontally, there is always the tendency to push something in front of the rack, so when you need something, you have to spend time moving crap out of the way. Vertical storage takes less floor and wall space, which means you have more wall for shoving other junk against.
                              My favorite 'rack' was made from an old auto axle, bolt it to a plate, weld brackets etc to it, and stick it in a corner, when you need something you can turn the whole assembly while looking