Thanks for the idea.
Shop organization is a woefully-underaddressed and deceptively complex issue, even in the culturally rich DIY internet world.
It's also difficult to establish which organizing activities are efficient uses of time, and which are just outlets for neuroticism. You can see the contrast in comparing Knolling vs. Punding. Knolling is considered positive, disciplined, and efficient, whereas punding is a marker for mental illness. Do a good job organizing your shop, and you'll likely find yourself engaging, even unknowingly, in both activities.
I made two styles. The finger holder, and the index copy. I like the index copy better. If you make the index one drill each hole with the next size up drill bit. I also masking taped the two hole rails together to drill them out. Then I put some bits into it on each end to align them while I glued it up. The back I cut out of some heavy cardboard for stiffness. I get this Arm & Hammer kitty litter in these really tough boxes. That cardboard is great! So many uses around the shop for that stuff. I don't throw those boxes away. Though often I just use them as storage boxes. I keep my blocks of home melted HDPE stock in them.
I guess I'm afflicted with the punding disease? Because I've made a lot of wooden boxes. I'm close to being on the autism spectrum. Especially when it comes to my tools. Here's a couple wooden boxes I've made to hold tools
But I've made lots of wooden boxes, just to make boxes. I don't know about hundreds, but maybe?
I've just recently been through the once a decade exercise of getting my drill bits reorganized. I have very few metric drills and keep them well segregated. So fractional and letter sizes are easy to measure with calipers well enough to reliably sort.
I carefully grind down high spot damage on the shanks and then wire brush them clean. Sizes about 1/4 and up are easy to mark on the shank with a new black sharpy pen if the stamped size is hard to see. Smaller sizes get sorted into separate containers if there isn't a place for them in a drill index.
But the number drills are a different story. My favorite method turns out to be the "General No. 15" drill gauge. It's a beautiful piece of American precision you can still buy for $15-$20 on the net. I got mine from Amazon. It covers #1 to #60.
For #61 to #80 General used to make a No.13. They are getting hard to find now. And pricey. But you can't beat it for sorting sizes below #68.
For storage of small drills I try to use the plastic tubes or envelopes they came in. Lacking this or if I have a mix of different types of drills important to keep separated I either buy lots of 25 or 50 clear plastic tubes with caps on eBay (square ones with square caps are really neat and useful for storing other long thin tools) or make my own for the real tiny drills from clear plastic drinking straws and taper sanded inch or more long cutoffs from wood dowel stock to plug each end. The wood plug material lends itself to clear size markings or color coding. Drinking straws are also nice for storing lengths of small gauge wire, jeweler's saw blades and small diameter tubing. My source of clear drinking straws is the drink dispensers at the lunch counter at Costco. Most of the other fast food places use larger diameter straws with opaque graphics. Any tip for clear larger drinking straws or other cheap straight and transparent plastic tubes will be appreciated. The wood plugs are easy to form on a belt sander and can even be made from dry small tree twigs. Just pay careful attention to where your fingers are when working close to a moving sander belt. (Hey, this sounds like an excuse to buy one of those cheap little Chinese wood lathes. Might be lots of other uses in the metal shop)
My wife often tells me that my organisational skills remind her of disorganized chaos since I will place seemingly completely unrelated items together in a drawer especially when it comes to used nuts and bolts new ones are a different matter altogether or Metric and fractional SAE combination wrenches and screwdrivers to me the flat head screw drivers should never be in the same drawer as the Philips so one goes in a drawer with the SAE combination wrenches and the other in the drawer with the metrics there is no particular reason that I know of for doing this that I can determine. but when she helps me put away my tools she will ask me which drawer does this or that wrench go in rather than tell her the metric drawer or the one with inch sizes I just say flat head or Philips
Never try to tell me it can't be done
When I have to paint I use KBS products
It occurred to me that that chart is contained in the DATA.ZIP archive on my page. Folks who want a copy can simply download it from there rather than emailing me, although, if you do email me, I'll send a copy as promised in my earlier post.
Last edited by mklotz; Oct 5, 2017 at 08:12 AM.
After sorting and housing tools in bought or made containers, how you arrange them becomes an expression of your mentality. Some possibilities include:
arranged to be located easily
arranged to be accessed easily
arranged to maximize use of available space
arranged to perform recurring jobs
All of those options make sense and combinations of them are even more desirable although often impractical.
You can't just go out to the shop and straighten up; you need a goal for the straightening.
I've never seen square plastic conduit here in California. What kind of product,construction or manufacturing application is it commonly associated with?
Related to this subject is the use of short lengths of PVC pipe standing up together in a convenient sized box. Applicable to many types of hand tools they would also be good for a drill index of sorts for large sized drills or taper shank tools. Fot this purpose a somwhat wider base may be needed to keep them from being tipsy.
I cut short end cuts of 1/2" to 1" in the various schedules of wall thickness on my bandsaw 3" to 4" long and stuff them tight in small sturdy cardboard boxes. My favorites for this purpose are one end of the common 5 liter boxes cheap wine is sold in. They are heavy cardboard about 9" x 11" and 4" wide and easy to cut (after you pull the plastic liner out) on a bandsaw through the 4" width or either the 9 or 11 inch end. Holes that come in the boxes can be covered with leftover pieces of cardboard and some yellow carpenter's glue. I stack the PVC peices in the box with wood spacers if needed. Or hotmelt glue between a few of the tubes to keep them standing up straight if needed. If you have an portrait ready neat shop these boxes take spray can paint nicely and you can color code them if you like. Get a little creative here.
Drifting a bit away from the subject I want to note that a box of this sort stocked with common pliers, scissors and screwdrivers is placed sturdily on a cabinet corner at the busiest spot in my shop. The pliers are stored with one handle in a tube and the other handle overhanging the outside of the box. It's wonderfully handy when a commonly used hand tool is needed at a moment's notice. A nearby spot contains a short 8 oz. tin can with a few rare earth magnets held in place by a wrap of tape around the outside lip. It's for common hex shank drills and screwdriver bits for my cordless drills. The drills with electronic shrink tube color coding bands go inside and the screwdriver bits stick to the magnets on the outside. These rare earth magnets come from China via eBay and are dirt cheap.
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