My Dad used to store mixed hardware in baby-food jars. It drove me nuts. Having to dump out the whole jar, pick through to find what you want, and then cram everything back in the jar seemed like a colossal waste of time to me. I vowed to have my own shop better organized than that.
I used to get a lot of miniature hardware from a local liquidator at downright silly-cheap prices. Sadly they came mixed in plastic bags that were the equivalent of the baby-food jars. To help speed the process of sorting them I built the sorting tray shown below.
In use the mix is dumped into the left-hand compartment. Items being sorted out are moved to the right-hand compartment, more often than not using stamp or pearl tweezers (don't want any 'sproing' events). When all the items have been moved the bar blocking the exit ramp is removed (it's a friction fit) and the sorted items are poured into whatever container will store them. This process is repeated until everything is properly separated. And, yes, before you say it, I have a bad case of OCD.
The bar dividing the two sorting compartments is also a friction fit so it can be moved to suit. Not shown is another bar which is used to narrow the funnel 'tube' when pouring into small containers. Describing its operation is beyond my patience right now so I haven't shown it. For really small containers I often use a wide-mouth funnel to guide the items into the container.
Last edited by mklotz; 07-08-2017 at 08:56 AM.
Making your own version of a sorting tray has the obvious benefit of allowing personal variations tailored to your unique requirements. However, if you don't have the time or inclination to build your own, allow me to recommend a pill counting tray as used by your local pharmacist when filling your prescription.
Amazon sells such...
I bought one as a companion to the ones I've already built. It works well but now I have so many sorting trays, I face the task of making a sorting tray to sort my sorting trays.
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