Another Question on Tool Storage

6 Days of cleaning and organizing, I finally got the new lathe to fit in. Not well, but in. I built a tool holder for the lathe that mounts on the table behind the lathe and high enough to reach all my tools. I thenb moved the lathe near a wall and mounted the rest of the items I have on some pegboard behind it.
After my wife asked a few questions about how I store stuff, I decided to ask all of you this question.
How do you prefer to store your tools and accessories? Open racks (pegboard like)? Cabinets? Tool Boxes?
I have found that I am not a big fan of cabinets, tool boxes or tool bags. I like my tools out where I can see them and get to them quick.Not through need, but I seem to use the right tool for the right job more often and spend a little more time selecting the tool than I do looking for it. So, I have a LOT of pegboard and just a few cabinets, and my main cabinets are either open (no door) or have a glass door. Yewsterday I spent about 2 hours figuring out where to mount some of my Pinnacle and Starrett measuring tools and now I am looking for an effective way to store some items like my Incra and Veritas gauges, dovetail gauges, marking gauges, enginners squares and one of those combination squares with 3 different level devices.
I do have some drawers that I built that are under some of my larger tools, 3 drawers under my router tablke to hold router associated tools, under my high speed grinder for nothing since it is usless, under my carving table for carving wood storage, etc.
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For my main bench in the garage (mild climate in "Slower Lower" Delaware), the majority of my tools -- woodworking, household repair stuff, etc. goes on peg boards above and to one side of my bench. I have a tote box to load up with whatever I need for a given job around the house. Some tools, like small set of 1/4" sockets and a box for drill bits are on a shelf to one side.
Sets of drawers for small power tools like jigsaw, electric drill, sander.
Automotive tools -- mostly 3/8" and 1/2" sockets, wrenches, etc. are in a tool box that can be taken to the driveway, or other part of the garage as needed for car or lawnmower work. I really should have these in a box on wheels, but I really don't have enough space. I might re- think that.
Specialized tools, like my gun smithing and reloading tools are in a separate "tackle" box with compartments for the small bits and pieces.
Tools for model building are in a separate toolbox - really a fishing tackle box with small compartments. Another toolbox is devoted to small tools for delicate tasks, electronics, etc. That one lives under my desk in my office at home which doubles for small "clean" projects. LIkewise artist's supplies - acrylics, watercolors get their own storage boxes.
I find that "Sportsman's Dry Boxes" that you can get in any sporting goods dealer make especially good toolboxes. The better ones have trays. There is an "O" ring seal around the top to keep dirt and moisture out. One is used in each of the cars for emergency tools and stuff.
There are obviously some duplicates -- multiple sets of gaspipe pliers, screwdrivers, etc. here and there, as needed.
Assorted small parts, etc., live in a couple of sets of those gadgets with little drawers that you can bolt to the wall. Larger quantities of stuff are in jars, boxes, etc. in a couple of large cabinets.
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I am not an organized person, never was, even tho the U.S. Army tried, and never will be. I will tell you that I spend a lot of time redoing my workshop because things are just too easily "lost" and hard to find.
I have tried a number of things to at least "collectively" gather like items together. I recently built a rolling storage rack for my growing plywood off-cuts, bought several rolling tool carts (Sears brand, on sale) and put up cabinets along one wall. In each, I've tried to keep like things together. So for instance, in one of my carts, I keep all of my drill and router bits together. In another, measuring instruments, even pencils, etc. In one shelf in the cabinets, I try to keep all of the sanding pads, block, paper.
The power tools, if they are portable (like circ. saws, drills, etc.) are either kept in their hardshell cases or on a shelf unit, also installed last year.
My shop is not the neatest, tho to be honest, it's getting easier to find things and I am resigned that it will always be in a constant state of re- organization and cleanup. I have been to shops that have a place for everything and it amazes me to see these. I just don't have the mindset to do that so what I will finish with is this: you have decide what works for you.
If you can easily find things, no matter what method you use to store items, then that is the what you should go with. You are the one that will have to live with the way things are. You need to find something that works for you. In the end, you truely are the decider in this regard.
Take care!
MJ Wallace
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For the most part the smaller wood working tools and power tools are stored in a large roll around 9 drawer chest that I built. Pictures available up on request. It is about 24" D x 42" W x 66" T. The mechanical tools reside in my old roll around chest and top box. All other stuff goes in shelves and cabinets.
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Mechanic/metal bashing tools in a rollaway. Smaller woodworking tools in a stationary tool cabinet opposite my workbench. Some chisels, jigs, braces under workbench. Tablesaw tools, fixtures, jigs in drawers under saw and on shelves next to saw. Lathe tools under lathe. Drill bits in tray on drill press. Household/general repair tools in toolbox for easy carting around. Emergency car repair tools in bag in wheel well of car.
You get the picture.
Also, for less expensive tools, I find that if I need to go to another spot to grab a tool more than a few times, I buy a duplicate to store near the work. Thus, I have more than one set of wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers. As I get older, the time wasted going downstairs for yet another tool is worth more than the money that a second tool costs.
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I got some old drawers from a under-the-bed. I built some sides. Holds my bulk nails and screws. three old freezers. Holds my portable power tools. roll around tool chests for bits, blades...
Donald
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