OK...I needed a small nut with a bolt that fit 'cause the self-tapping
screw needed to fix the final thing on the washer stripped. Hubby is at
I went down to the scary and mysterious place called his workshop and
Just one question .....sort of a poll.
Do you keep a coffee can of nuts (of all sizes and types), and one of
bolts (same combination) ? The cans started being filled by his
grandfather, and I added my Dad's collection when he passed.
Do you keep them all together in one huge can
do you SORT them and PAIR them up and store them in smaller
containers by size ranges??
Please separate your votes by male and female.
I want to know if asking hubby to assign some sort of order to the lair
is asking too much.
Please, no cussing!
Your husband is a busy man.
Like most of us there are sorted ones and the ones to be sorted when he has
some spare time.
The unsorted bin is larger than the sorted ones.
Even if he had the time what would you say if he was in the shop playing
with his nuts? :):))))
But never throw any of it away because for sure you will need that exact
part before the month is over.
I have several plastic (and metal) drawer bins, in these I have most of my
hardware sorted. Next to them I have a large plastic pretzel container that
I throw bit and pieces into, when I have no projects on hand I still have
something to keep me occupied and SWMBO thinks I'm hard at work in my shop
and thus stays out of my hair!
You are braver than my wife. BIG coffee cans. The only time things are
sorted is when there is a large quantity of one thing. Usually whats in
the cans are the various odd and ends. Sometimes I find what I want,
often I cant. Sometimes I go the hardware store thinking I need say a
10-24x1" machine screw. When I am there I often second guess myself. Is
1" really long enough? crap, maybe its not 10-24, better get 1/4-20 and
8-32 while I'm at it in 1", 3/4", 1-1/4" etc. Extra nut or two for each,
a few washers. When I'm done I have spent $2.00 when I could have spent
I do this because I measure job complexity in number of trips to the
store. I look at a job and say ah - thats a 2 trip job, or a 1 trip job
or a zero trip job. I like zero trip jobs. The worst are 1 trip jobs
that end up being 5 trip jobs.
Stay out of his shop.
I have a little bit of everything.
I have new boxes of the stuff I use a lot.
Sometimes when I am really bored I will dump out some of my coffee
cans and sort them into labelled drawers
but I also have a roto bin rack that is just roughly sorted by which
pocket I am dumping and what most of the screws are in that pocket.
That's the one I use most for those "I just need a couple screws"
I always whine that I need to do a little more sorting but I never
seem to find the time.
Thanks for all the interesting replies. There's a lot of diversity out
there. We never throw any spare parts away - thats why we have
Grandpa's and Dads nuts. Don't even go there:)
I can't stay out of "his" shop. You might have noticed that it was me
putting the washer back together after removing the clutch assembly,
having it rebuilt, and putting it back in.
Hubby has macular degeneration and will likely lose the rest of his
sight in a couple years. He is only 55, and lost his driving
priveledges this year. I'm doing work I never thought I could do, but
have been learning a lot.
He can't see well enough to put a screw in the hole. Don't go there
I was a chemist in industry for 26 years, and always was a bit
obsessive about keeping an organized workspace. Dad taught me to clean
my tools when I was done with them and put them back where I got them.
I will not be using his favorite concept though, rest his soul...the
pegboard with the outlines painted of what hangs there. Too much like
chalk lines around a body (LOL)
I guess I will not whine about it, and work on it when I have "spare
time". I like the concept of a "Hell Box". No matter how organized you
get, there has to be one place to throw the things that just don't fit
Thanks again for the lively discussion..
My "miscellaneous" stuff ends up in the bottom of a large tool tote for a
few months at a time. Then, I start having nightmares about it and I sort it
into one of those cabinets with little drawers. It still doesn't help - half
the time I don't have exactly the hardware I need.
No, it's a basket on the shelf in the laundry room. No basement or
garage. Gorgeous wicker trunk in dining room is for the really big
stuff - wrenches, pry bars, etc. Front closet for the average stuff,
including duplicate power tools.
Those I inherited from my mother were, of course, sorted, put in jars,
and arranged according to size. Almost time to dust them :o) Women, I
am convinced, find things visually or by ESP. Men have a magnet that
pulls them toward the needed item, as they NEVER know where they left it
or where I put it when I put it away.
About as much chance as getting his approval to clean off the top of his
dresser. Just did it recently, and filled a plastic storage bin with
the refuse/tools/sales slips/ rusted Leathermans, etc.
The cold solderer he accused me of losing was on the back seat of my
car. It either walked out there to go for a ride with me, or HE LEFT IT
Then don't stir up old enmity :o) Only cussing is when I ask "Where did
you f------ leave it!!!!?!!??? :o)
MY tools are in bins under the bed in the guest bedroom, camouflaged
with a dainty dust ruffle. He wouldn't go near them :o) My mom had her
own workshop, until she died at age 82. Who has time to dig through
hubby's pile of stuff to find a tool?
Some time ago, the local KMART had a sale on
1/2 pint and 1-pint square freezer containers.
( ten for a buck ??? )
I bought a bunch, built a wall-shelf to hold 'em.
They're PERFECT !
They hold a fair amount of hardware,
you can write on the front with a marker,
they won't break if you drop 'em.
I've never understood why a guy'll spend
hundreds of dollars for tools, but they'll dick around with
jars, cans, and cardboard boxes to hold hardware.
I waited way too long, but I finally
threw out all of my slotted wood screws.
I like all the neat ideas.
The nut and bold I found sort of worked. It threaded nicely just in my
hand, but when put under tension to hold the clamp tight, it didn't
tighten down. <sigh> One trip to home despot.
I think I will try to sort them this summer when I am sitting outside
on the porch...good light and a nice breeze. I have been feeding
babyfood meat to the old cat (recovering from dental work) and have
lots of babyfood jars.
Dad had a bunch of lids screwed to a 2x4 hanging in the shop, and just
took down a jar when he needed what he could see what was in it, got
out what he needed,and then screwed the jar bAck on the lid. He had big
and little jars. The plastic boxes sound great for things too big to
fit in the little jars. I guess seeing the jars put up like that brings
back fond memories.
I'm gonna paint my 2x4 pink..LOL And a matching "hell box". :)
Hallerbe...he has the "dry" form of mac degeneration. They can't do
anything about it yet, but Cornell is working on a computer chip eye
implant that actually hooks into the optic nerve. I hope your aunt does
Are these baby food jars glass or plastic? (not having kids, I honestly
don't know what standard issue is these days) IMHO, and others will disagree
with me, glass is a bad idea for parts storage. When one breaks, and they
WILL, those glass crumbs get in everything. And when you are pushing screws
around on the bench with your fingers, looking for just the right one, a
glass sliver is a very unpleasant suprise.
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