I know we've beaten this to death somewhat, but I'm looking for some cheap
portable parts storage. I might have 50 types of screws to deal with, then
the bolts, washers nails, etc.
I kind of like these:
But for the price I could buy all new hardware with shiny new boxes. Some
kind of mini boxes I could store inside a larger flat box would be OK. Did I
mention it should be cheap.
How about egg crates? If you've got just a few of each, you can fit a
dozen different sizes per container.
The old standby 35mm film canisters still do their job, but they're not
as cheap now that digital's become popular. (That is, not everyone has
Styrofoam cups could work too.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
Most screws are 2 or 3 inches, with lots of 6" lag bolts, bolts, concrete
screws, etc. Metal screws and decorative screws are mostly under 1". I
typically have about 100 of each screw type or 200 if I forgot that I had
some left. :) I'm not too worried about storing the big stuff, as it tends
to stay in it's baggie or go into some kind of plastic tub.
The problem is that the shop is in an old bedroom in the basement. So there
is lots of storage (closet space), but it's not all easy to access. I don't
really want to rip out the closets only to rebuild them if I sell. Some
drawers would go a long way to solving the problem. but that would block the
part of the shelf that does not have a door. Perhaps one of those large
plastic toolboxes that I could throw on the shelf. I need something I can
pull out to see what's buried at the back of the shelf. Maybe I'll just
stack some of those Sterilite containers and label them. I use the larger
one for my electrical/electronic components.
... you did say "cheap":
Best "tip" for small parts storage I've seen in a good while:
Multiple 1/8" kerfs, cut across the grain in board a little wider than a zip
lock storage bag ... pick your bag size.
Put the small parts in the bag, close the zipper, and slide the bag into the
kerf, with the zipper uppermost and keeping the bag from falling though the
You can get dozens of bags on a board of decent length, with all parts
visually identifiable and easily accessible.
... you did say "cheap"!
Don't know if this helps, but for years I've been
using those little plastic craft boxes from hobby lobby.
They have about 12-15 compartments and hold alot of stuff.
I've built a shelving unit to hold them in the same manner
as going to Ace hardwares screw department. Now I have
every screw I need without going to the store.
Well, there are these:
But they're not very portable (the drawers slide out if tipped. But
you could build a box with handle to put them in, or hinge a door to
hold the drawers in place. And as I have no idea what size the
hardware is, I don't know how much space you need.
Since this is a woodworking forum, is there some reason you can't
build a plywood box containing divided drawers that either lift out
the top or slide out the front? Some 1/4"-3/8" plywood, a few dados
and rabbets, some 1/8" hardboard for the dividers, and some glue.
A handle would top it off.
Fishing tackle boxes are also handy. Like this:
My interpretation of your problem is that you need a way to organize a
closet space, cheap. I was in Walmart yesterday and was amazed at how
much tool box I could buy for $10. They were so cheap and nifty that
I tried hard to find an excuse to buy some.
If I had your problem, I'd put in a few shelves, buy some cheap tool
boxes, and then some of the plastic food containers and some water
based magic markers.
Put small stuff in the containers, containers and larger stuff in the
toolboxes, tool boxes on the shelves and mark the outside with the
contents. Stack the tool boxes as needed for access. Change the
marking as needed. 4-5 tool boxes would handle my storage needs.
Stuff you don't use often can be kept on shelves that are less
accessible in boxes, tubs or what-have-yous that seem to accumulate
around the house.
I always find that my shop is more fun to work in when I have stuff
put away and (sort of ) organized.
Who needs to do another pick-up and organize in the shop.
Thanks, shelves I have already:
One long closet with pole, holds all my clamps (closed on pole).
Miscellaneous crap gets put in bags and zip tied to the pole to keep it off
the floor. Underneath the pole goes all the none woodworking parts/tools in
stacked Sterilite boxes. Mechanical tools/tool box are also in this closet.
One mostly blind closet on the short wall holds sheet goods, compressor and
a a couple of barrels of shorts/firewood. The other closet (disaster) has
all the finishes stored on the bottom shelf, with less used items buried in
the blind area of this closet. The second shelf holds all the fasteners
scaterred about, not sure what's on the blind part of this shelf. :-) Third
shelf holds all the power tool cases and miscellaneous small parts. Top
shelf is open to the closet next door and holds all my longer dimensional
lumber, up to about 16'
Hand tools get stored on a pegboard behing the bench and the bench holds all
the crap that never got put back on shelves 2 and/or 3. :-) Table saw is
used as overflow for the bench.
Yeah I kinda like the toolbox idea. Pretty sure I saw these cheap ($19?) at
HD a year back, but never bought any. I wonder how heavy a TB full of 6"
bolts would be though. I can picture a screw comming loose, a large box of
bolts falling through the bottom or popping a nut trying to lift it.
How many of those are you going to have to buy? Does it have to be
portable? How about something like:
if portability is not an issue? If you don't like the open nature, it
would be pretty easy to trim with plywood and plywood doors to enclose it.
If you only need a few sizes at a time, then you could get one of the units
you showed and fill as needed for a particular job; this would allow you to
store larger quantities of fasteners.
If portability is really important, then what you are looking at is
probably not a bad approach.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Mon, Dec 10, 2007, 9:06pm email@example.com (Bill Stock) doth posteth:
I know we've beaten this to death somewhat, but I'm looking for some
cheap portable parts storage. <snip>. Did I mention it should be cheap.
I like those el cheapo clear plastic continers from the grocery
store, the type with snap on lids. Different sizes. Cost a buck or so
for half a dozen or so. I even keep small amounts of latex paint in
some. Nice thing, besides not expensive, you can easily see what's in
'em, and they're stakable.
Even Popeye didn't eat his spinach until he had to.
I like JOAT's idea and use it myself, but usually use the ones I'd prefer
not to store food in anymore. But if you buy the off brands they are very
inexpensive. Also wire shelves in that closet aren't going to detract from
the house if you sell it.
I've tried a number of storage options over the years including the case
with all the little drawers, tin cans, baby food jars, etc.
The option I like the best are these parts containers made by Stanley:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)-
They're relatively expensive (about $15 each), but are available at any
home center (or online at Amazon). The nice thing about these is they
hold a lot of small parts, you can reorganize the bins as needed, and you
can easily grab your entire screw collection and go work somewhere else.
The clear lids let you see everything in the case at a glance.
I use the ones with the small bins for screws, nails, etc., and the ones
with the larger bins for plumbing fittings, larger bolts, and even use
one to keep computer related items in (ethernet cables and whatnot).
If those are out of your price range, my second best choice are the small
plastic containers made by Plano:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)-
These come in a variety of sizes also. You can find them online, in most
home centers, or in most retail stores where fishing supplies or storage
containers are sold. They're a lot cheaper than the Stanley storage bins,
but they only hold about half as much. And, they're more difficult to
reorganize as your supplies change.
I used the Plano containers for years until I upgraded to the Stanley
containers. We now use my old Plano containers to store Christmas
ornaments in. Works great.
The advantage of these two types of storage containers is you can knock
them over, flip them upside down in your car, or whatever and the parts
won't get all mixed together. Don't try that with the case of little
For larger storage needs (like storing my Kreg pocket screw jig and
accessories), I just pick the appropriate sized Rubbermaid containers at
my local grocery store.
For the REALLY big stuff (Romex cable, large pipe fittings, car parts,
etc.) I use large clear storage bins (Sterilite brand, I believe) I
bought at a department store.
These aren't really "portable", but I have 2 sets and like them a lot..
I do grab a bin or 2 when I'm helping a friend somewhere, but I mainly got them
because I haven't thrown anything away in 50 years and needed to organize.. ;-}
Please remove splinters before emailing
"Bill Stock" wrote in message:
| I know we've beaten this to death somewhat, but I'm looking for some cheap
| portable parts storage. I might have 50 types of screws to deal with, then
| the bolts, washers nails, etc.
| Any ideas/sources?
I built a cabinet with drawers (with adjustable dividers) (28 drawers) and
finally got organized.
Also, I found drawers to be the ticket for my hand tools.
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