LumberJocks

Re-Thinking Tool Storage….Again

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 11-13-2014 02:27 PM 1699 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“OOOooooOOOh…Look at where my feet are pointed!... Can’t you see which way I’m going?...” – Olive Oyl from the film ‘Popeye’

If you are a woodworker or DIYer worth his/her salt, you are probably on a constant quest for the ultimate tool storage and transport scenario…one that is versatile enough to ensure that all the tools you need are at the ready, protected, easy to find, easy to access, and readily movable from one place to another.

In ‘handsawgeekland’, such a quest prompts periodic and frequent re-shuffling of tools.

This past weekend I got the ‘tool arranging’ bug again and set my mind to the task, when I really should have been working on the lathe stand. (sigh…)

The problem was not with the hand tools in the HTOZ. Those are pretty much arrayed exactly how I like them, and never leave the area. All are neatly placed in close proximity to the workbench and are at my instant beck and call.

The issue in question concerned the DIY tool kit.

The one that gets hauled around the house, garage, and yard.

The one that contains all the most-used tools for doing the basic fix-up projects around the ol’ homestead, whether they are of wood, mechanical, plumbing (yech!), or electrical nature.

In this instance, the tool kit itself is well established – it contains all of the essential items for performing just about any fix-up project encountered. (If any of you LJrs are curious about what the handsawgeek considers to be the ideal general purpose DIY tool kit, let me know and I’ll make up a list.)

The problem was with the box in which these tools were stored.

This consisted of a metal tool box with a removable small-item till. This box is adorned with stickers from my model rocketry hobby days. At one time it was filled to the brim with model rocket motors and accompanied me to numerous model rocket sport and NAR competition meets.

My entire DIY kit fits inside this box, but the tools were WAY too crowded, and difficult to find and retrieve. And since the geek is all about convenience and efficiency, this just didn’t fly.

It just so happens that I have a fairly large sized traditional wooden tool tote that has been banging around in the garage for a lot of years. It is sturdily constructed out of ¾” plywood. I didn’t build this box and I don’t even remember when or where it was acquired. Most of the time, the tote has only seen use as a storage repository for garage ‘junk’. Other times it has had its contents dumped out so it could be used for hauling tools and supplies outside for yard and garden projects. It enjoyed a brief stint in the HTOZ as a place to store hand drills and clamps, but that didn’t work too well…

This tote is just the perfect size to comfortably hold my entire DIY tool kit.

Hmmmm……Why not?

After all, it does appeal to my sense of doing things the traditional way……you know, the vision of the old fashioned workman arriving at the job sight with a wooden tool box full of well-tuned and cared –for tools. Kinda’ like Roy Underhill at the beginning of each episode of The Woodwrights’ Shop…..

Of course, the one drawback to using the tote was the fact that it consisted of one large space, meaning I would be right back to rummaging through everything to find the particular needed tool, just like was being done with the smaller metal box.

“No good”, declares the geek.

So, a significant portion of the past weekend was spent in the shop fashioning scrap wood into dividers, small-tool racks, and a removable till to fit in this old box.
I am now convinced that the end result is the be-all, end-all solution to the handsawgeek’s DIY tool kit dilemma !

Right…..Yeah….Sure…..Time will tell….

The Tool Box of Doom…..

At any rate, the ‘model rocket’ tool box has now been freed up for holding my electronics tool kit. These tools were previously housed in a smaller metal fishing tackle box (also a veteran of the model rocket days and decorated with stickers), which was in turn, too small for the number of electronics-related items it was required to hold.

Consequently, the newly un-filled metal fishing tackle box has now been re-purposed….as an actual fishing tackle box!

The really small metal tool box that previously held the fishing stuff can now be used for something else.

Confused? Me n’ ike, too!

This whole story is a good general illustration of how the handsawgeek shop operates.

Evolving chaos!

Now, what to do about this old home-built tool tote cobbled together many years ago and handed down from gramps…….

Thanks for looking !

-- Ed



7 comments so far

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#1 posted 11-13-2014 03:18 PM

Decisions, decisions. When I get the organizing bug, high-anxieties are sure to follow. We need minions, Ed. Lots of them. ;)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2724 posts in 2897 days


#2 posted 11-13-2014 07:13 PM

Every time I re-organize, I can’t find important stuff for weeks.
I need a list to remember where everything is stored after the clean up.
Ugh!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#3 posted 11-13-2014 07:14 PM



Every time I re-organize, I can t find important stuff for weeks.
I need a list to remember where everything is stored after the clean up.
Ugh!

- ellen35

Yes! I know! I drive my wife crazy with my rants.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 860 days


#4 posted 11-13-2014 10:42 PM

I’m the same way…. if I get too carried away with the re-org. This project, however, differed in that it centered on a better way to store items that were already organized. Now I am able to find and retrieve any tool I need with the greatest of ease.

-- Ed

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#5 posted 11-13-2014 11:31 PM

No can knock success. I’m glad you are in a better situation. I’m slowly getting there. My challenge revolves around so much stuff that there’s no place to put anything temporarily that isn’t underfoot. We were supposed to clean out the dungeon before autumn set in. Now it’s like a Rubik cube. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Sarit's profile

Sarit

514 posts in 2604 days


#6 posted 11-15-2014 03:39 AM

My DIY arsenal has grown to the point where it’s better to keep the tools in a massive tool chest and then cherry pick the required tools for the particular job into my various tool-belts. Since my chest is organized by trade (plumbing, carpentry, paint, electrical, drywall) it’s fast to load and unload the right tools for the job.

View Cantputjamontoast's profile

Cantputjamontoast

416 posts in 2897 days


#7 posted 01-11-2015 01:08 PM

Can I see the list you mentioned for home projects, Handsaw?

In this instance, the tool kit itself is well established – it contains all of the essential items for performing just about any fix-up project encountered. (If any of you LJrs are curious about what the handsawgeek considers to be the ideal general purpose DIY tool kit, let me know and I’ll make up a list.)

Thank you in advance.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

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