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-   -   Quick organization of tools in your garage pays off! (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/quick-organization-tools-your-garage-pays-off-177558.html)

MARTINSR 05-08-2010 03:06 PM

Quick organization of tools in your garage pays off!
 
I am a nut about having my tools organized. I have posted things here before about making foam cut-outs and the like to keep tools organized. At work, it's a no brainer, you need to so things as fast as possible to make more money. At home, you are often cramped for space and you only have a little time out there to work on your car, you don't want to have to spend it searching for tools.

I found myself not wanting to spend the time on tool organization in the little time I had out there and just had a couple of little boxes with drawers on the bench that I would throw my tools into. It was "sort of" organized in that there was a drawer for wrenches and a drawer for screw drivers and the sockets and ratchets on top. Metric in one box and SAE in the other. I thought I was doing pretty well but digging a wrench out of a drawer of wrenches goes against my grain and it was bugging me having to spend that time looking for something that at work I just grab it, not a second lost looking. But I didn't have the space in my garage for anything more, certainly not a real tool box.

Besides, I am a cheap mutha and I wasn't about to spend a bunch of money on something that I already own at work.

I went and picked up this little tool cart (wish I would have sprang for a few more dollars for the one with the drawer) at Harbor Frieght. Yep, the place I preach about and to stay away from. But there are a few things worth getting there, as I HAVE said before. It was about 30 bucks or so and has worked out real well. I had my tools thrown in the top shelf and I was still going back and forth to the tool boxes and fumbling thru the cart looking for tools.
At the last Goodguys swap meet I picked up the wrench holders for 3 bucks each and the partitioned tray for 6. A lousy 12 bucks changed everything!

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSCF3178.jpg

I can now work out of it almost as good as my box at work. Never looking for a thing, it is really pretty nice. I had my sockets in those magnetic trays already (I LOVE those things) and when I am using the tools I simply "stick" them up on the handle of the cart. The cart is small enough that I can roll it thru the garage and outside if I am working in the driveway.

Another shelf or the drawer would really be nice though!

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSCF3179.jpg

Taking a little time to organize saves a LOT of time while using your valuable garage time you find buried amongst your real life time.

Brian

matt167 05-08-2010 05:07 PM

I have the same HF roller cart. I just have a small 2 drawer+ top Kobalt tool box.. my box is on top of it ( raised above the sides with a block of wood so the drawers open ).. I wish I got the 1 with the pull out drawer underneath

matts37chev 05-08-2010 07:06 PM

i find there are two kinds fo mechanics
spotless and very professional at work and a pig in the garage at home
or the other way around
never cleans up at work but you can eat off of their floor at home
my garage has trails in between the piles of parts and tools
but now that i no longer hold onto tools for a living and they are all at home im trying to be cleaner in the garage

MARTINSR 05-08-2010 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt167
I have the same HF roller cart. I just have a small 2 drawer+ top Kobalt tool box.. my box is on top of it ( raised above the sides with a block of wood so the drawers open ).. I wish I got the 1 with the pull out drawer underneath

It scares the living crap out of me thinking about having a tool box on top of that car, it is very top heavy as it is!

Brian

MRGM 05-09-2010 01:52 AM

i have the same cart. the only thing I do not like about is that the front has stationary casters. My brother bought a craftsman on sale for the same or lower price, and all his casters turn. His turns on a dime, mine pisses me off sometimes. I think I will end up replacing the other casters with ones that turn, or wait till the Craftsman goes on sale. I agree that I should have got the one with the drawer.

:)

matt167 05-09-2010 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR
It scares the living crap out of me thinking about having a tool box on top of that car, it is very top heavy as it is!

Brian

I'v got counter balance weight in the bottom that's heavier than the box.. other tools and stuff

Irelands child 05-09-2010 08:19 AM

I guess I never considered tool organization a problem - I just did it even when using them for a living!! Right now my tool boxes are in kind of a mess as we will be moving and I've moved most that were on the bench pegboard and cupboards into what ever space was available in my 4 tool boxes, some empty booze cartons and a couple of wood crates I built. This was done more for appearance sake and to cut potential "shrinkage". The next house - it will be again organized and hopefully even better.

Dave W

MARTINSR 05-09-2010 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt167
I'v got counter balance weight in the bottom that's heavier than the box.. other tools and stuff

AHHHHHHH

Brian

MARTINSR 05-09-2010 09:03 AM

I forgot one of the most important things about organizing your tools. For goodness sakes don't put things you rarely or will likely never use in everyday tools! This cart, I don't have flare end wrenches in it, I rarely use them, so why clutter up my cart "storing" them there? I also don't have my torx drivers, hardly ever use them at home, I'm working on older cars, why have to move them to get to the tools I use 99.99999% of the time.

At work, whole different story! At work those torx are in the top, most used drawer. And the SAE tools that are in my cart? I don't even have any! I don't have a single SAE wrench at work, NOT A ONE. Why, I am working on late model cars, they're all metric. I have TWO SAE sockets, yep, two. A 1/4" and a 5/16" because those two are still used for some hose clamps and trim on some domestic cars.

At home, you may notice there is no metric in my cart. The metic at home are rarely used and stay in the drawers in the box on the bench.

I don't have every screw driver I own in the cart. I don't have all the tools in it, not nearly. If you pay attention you will quickly see you do 99.9% of your work with a few tools. Why move around every tool you own for that .01% of use?

This is one of the hardest things to learn for some guys. Why store and move around tools you don't hardly ever use? And why in the world buy a huge tool box to hold them when you hardly ever use them? And why put them in the top drawer of your box and bend over to go to the bottom drawers to get the ones you REALLY are using everyday?

Put what you are going to use day in and day out on that cart and leave the tubing flare tool somewhere else. :)

Brian

MARTINSR 05-09-2010 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irelands child
I guess I never considered tool organization a problem - I just did it even when using them for a living!!
Dave W

Dave, I haven't either, but LOTS of guys struggle every single day looking for tools. I work with a couple that would blow your mind. I have one guy with an $8500 MAC tool box and a matching Mac cart. The cart goes for about $500. He has a few screwdrivers, sockets, extensions, wrenches thrown in the cart and that's it. There are bolts, papers, pieces of tubing, candy wrappers, about half the cart or more is junk. The box, holy crap, I would say it is a quarter full, MAYBE. You pull open a drawer and it has five tools rolling around inside.

I have a box a quarter of the size with MORE tools neatly organized and do the same job. I am no genius, not a "neat freak" by any means, it is far from "anal" clean or anything like that. I just have spent a little time organizing it and spend ZERO time keeping it up because it is organized, I don't have to think about it.

It REALLY helps more than most would think.

I have mentioned here before about the training I have received in "Lean Manufacturing" where you go as far as to have brooms and dust pans numbered and hanging on the wall at the number. Lot's of people look at this thinking it is wasting time, they just don't get it. It saves a HUGE amount of time!

I loose or forget a tiny fraction of tools in cars. I watch the other guys buying tools all the time that they can't find.

Do you want the aircraft mechanic not knowing where he left a tool when he is working on the plane your family is going to fly in? :pain:

Brian

oldred 05-09-2010 09:17 AM

Peg board! How come no one has mentioned Peg board? I love the stuff, I started out with a small piece and it worked so well I went to Lowes and bought 4'X8'X1/4" sheets then picked up a couple of packages of hook assortments. I then spaced it out 1/2" from the wall with strips, painted it then I simply covered most of my walls with everything from grinders to paint guns. I found that you can get specialized hangers for some things but those various shaped metal hooks (the 1/4" ones don,t try to use the 1/8") can be placed so as to neatly hang about anything. After getting everything placed where I wanted it I drew a neat silhouette of each item them glued the hangers (pegs) in place. Those peg assortments come with several long plastic tipped pieces of various lengths that are perfect for setting a small tray on sort of like tiny shelves, I have a bunch of these holding divided trays with different fasteners, pins, clips, fuses, etc and everything is out of the way, easy to find and makes the absolute most of the available shop space!

MARTINSR 05-09-2010 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldred
Peg board! How come no one has mentioned Peg board? I love the stuff, I started out with a small piece and it worked so well I went to Lowes and bought 4'X8'X1/4" sheets then picked up a couple of packages of hook assortments. I then spaced it out 1/2" from the wall with strips, painted it then I simply covered most of my walls with everything from grinders to paint guns. I found that you can get specialized hangers for some things but those various shaped metal hooks (the 1/4" ones don,t try to use the 1/8") can be placed so as to neatly hang about anything. After getting everything placed where I wanted it I drew a neat silhouette of each item them glued the hangers (pegs) in place. Those peg assortments come with several long plastic tipped pieces of various lengths that are perfect for setting a small tray on sort of like tiny shelves, I have a bunch of these holding divided trays with different fasteners, pins, clips, fuses, etc and everything is out of the way, easy to find and makes the absolute most of the available shop space!

I have them too, they are a great way to get stuff organized right in front of you.

The difference is, what is perfect for one man in one situation is wrong for another. That is the thing about organizing your tools, you need to think about what is best for you.

Let's say you rebuild transmissions on a bench. Having all your combonation wrenches on a peg board over the bench would be great. But if you have a garage like mine where the only place for a peg board is way over against the farthest wall and you would have to walk over there to get the combo wrench for a car you working on right at the garage door, OR even in the driveway like where my Rambler is, that would be a terible waste of time and body.

This all changes from time to time depending on what you are doing most of.
I once made a cart, a very cool cart that was about two foot square and three feet high. It had loops welded to it on all four sides for body hammers. On the shelves were neat little pockets for all my dollys. The top was a work bench. On the bottom of the cart was my shot bag, I had my railroad track dolly, all my metal tools were on this cart. I had a 2500 square foot shop and was doing a lot of metal work, I had no space problems and rolling this cart up to my work was shebang baby. NOW? give me a break, I don't have room to roll something like that around my garage and I don't have a big enough garage to worry about saving time bringing the hammers to me, they are now up on a peg board. Back when I had my shop I would have worn out a pair of shoes a week walking to a peg board on the wall for them. But now it is perfect.

What you use the most, have it RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU at all times! If one starts thinking about it one finds real fast how some tools can be put away for that once a year use and the ones that are being used often can be moved from under the bench in a box to the top of a cart. :)

Brian

oldred 05-09-2010 09:54 AM

My shop is kind of small so organization is a must otherwise I couldn't find anything. I probably try to cram too many hobbies into my time so most of the nooks and crannies in the shop are filled with something. On one side I have a 14X40 engine lathe and a milling machine so that wall is covered with machine tool accessories, bits, etc while the back has the welders and such. The vehicle space (I only have room for one at a time) is off to one side and that wall has the automotive tools and my tool boxes. This type of organization puts everything within reach of what I am doing at the time and makes finding things simple. I have been to some guys' garages that makes me wonder how they can do anything except hunt for tools! Honestly a person will waste half their time or more looking for things and not even realize it. If all a person's wrenches, for example, are just dumped in a drawer how much time do they spend looking for the right one when they need it? May not seem all that long at the time but multiply that by the numbers of "hunts" and it gets scary how much time is just totally wasted, not to mention the frustration when a tool simply can't be found when it is needed.!

MARTINSR 05-09-2010 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldred
If all a person's wrenches, for example, are just dumped in a drawer how much time do they spend looking for the right one when they need it? May not seem all that long at the time but multiply that by the numbers of "hunts" and it gets scary how much time is just totally wasted, not to mention the frustration when a tool simply can't be found when it is needed.!

That is exactly my point. And I did that for years, all the while being super organized in other areas. I had the traditional tool box, a bottom and top box with all the air tools in one drawer, all the extensions in another drawer, all the ratchets in another drawer all the sockets on the top in those spring clip style holders, you get the picture. This is the WRONG way to store tools, it is history, it's like using a pencil paper, envelope and stamp to say what I am saying right now in seconds.

I thought I didn't have the room for wrench holders. I thought I could get more crammed in the drawer or something, I am not exactly sure what the heck I was thinking, but as I remember, that was it, didn't have the room.

Which is true, if you are carrying around every friggin tool you own. But if you thin out your tools to JUST the ones you regularly use, you don't need all the room you thick you did. I like the permanant wrench holders in my big box at work, they are stuck to the bottom of the drawer with two sided tape. But at home I choose to have the ones I can grab and bring to the car.

It makes a HUGE difference in the amount of time you spend looking for stuff.


Brian

oldred 05-09-2010 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR
It makes a HUGE difference in the amount of time you spend looking for stuff.Brian




And it makes a HUGE-ER difference in how much work you get accomplished in a day's time! :)


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