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Forum topic by Trackeng posted 02-12-2012 02:05 AM 9753 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3655 days

02-12-2012 02:05 AM

Hello All,

I moved five months ago and went from a 2-car detached workshop to a 2-car attached workshop. Yes my workshop is my two car garage that will probably never see another car. That is the joy of living in southern California.

My new shop is three feet deeper and wider, with higher ceilings than the old space. Also, since the house is larger I have been able to move all of the extraneous storage out. This frees up a ton of space. It is nice to be able to move around the table saw without turning sideways.

The question that I have concerns hardware storage. I have a couple of those small parts storage cabinets with the sliding plastic drawers. These are the ones that we all have that seem to be missing a drawer or two because they fell of the bench and broke at one time. I am looking to get away from these to a more efficient storage system. I also am trying to avoid having to pick up all of this hardware off the floor when after an earthquake.

I have been looking around for something better and more effiicient. Are there any ideas on this?


17 replies so far

View northeaster's profile


52 posts in 2734 days

#1 posted 02-12-2012 02:28 AM

There is already at least one good thread here on exactly this topic which might be found with a bit of searching (sorry, I don’t have it immediately at hand).

My own preference is for divided plastic boxes like the Plano 3700 series (see They have movable dividers which offer two useful advantages. First, you can make compartments long enough or short enough to accommodate whatever size screws or small hardware you want to store. Second, the dividers (when the lid is closed) prevent mixing of the contents, so you never have the mess of a handful of mixed screw sizes/threads/etc.

You can either make your own racks for them or settle for the bright red plastic ones offered by the company. I find them a little expensive, but they last for years and mine have survived a few drops without splintering.

Good luck!

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3354 days

#2 posted 02-12-2012 02:30 AM

I have started using these types of containers:

They let you adjust the size of some of the compartments, and you can carry them to where you work. I like to dedicate each one to a type of hardware, like one for flat-head, one for round head, etc.

If you go shopping for these, check different departments in whatever store you look. At Wal-Mart, they have the exact same item except for a different color label in both the fishing tackle section and the office supply section, and with about a $1 different price tag. Once you peel off the label you can’t tell the difference.

I probably should have looked in the craft section too, might have been even cheaper. Hmmm…..

View Trackeng's profile


27 posts in 3655 days

#3 posted 02-12-2012 03:52 PM

This is a great idea. I had not thought of something like this. I can create a rack for these or put them on a shelf.

Thanks for the input.

View biglarry's profile


76 posts in 2930 days

#4 posted 02-15-2012 02:17 AM

I picked up a bunch of plastic boxes at one time and I filled them up very quickly and ran out of space.

I built this cabinet because I scrounge all the hardware I can find. The cabinet holds a number of clear glass and plastic jars. I’ve tried sorting areas by wood products, screws, nuts bolts, etc but it still takes me awhile to find tines.

The cabinet is attached to the wall but I’m afraid that an earthquake would result in a pile of hardware and broken glass.

When you figure out what works best for you let us know how you did it, picture would help.

-- "When the going gets tough, switch to power tools." - Red Green

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2819 days

#5 posted 02-15-2012 05:04 AM

I’ve been using the plastic storage boxes for a while now, and while they work great for storage, they’re inconvenient.

I have a couple filled with screws and misc hardware and to get to a single compartment I have to pull the entire thing from under the bench and take out the one bin I need.

Recently Mcfeely’s had a sale on their stack and hang bins. I bought 72 bins and am working on 2 hardware cabinets for them (two sets of 36 bins). That way I simply take the bin I need and put it back when I’m done.

And I hate those small cabinets with the drawers too.

Also, for misc things around the shop, I have friends and family save plastic coffee and mayo jars. They definitely come in handy.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3890 days

#6 posted 02-15-2012 05:41 AM

Earthquakes are not a problem with small parts storage
drawers. If an earthquake big enough to dump your plastic
drawers on the ground hits you’ll have much more serious
things to worry about than spilled screws.

I admit the drawers are chintzy but they are effective.
I have about 200 little plastic drawers in various cases.
The transparent fronts make it easier to see and
remember what’s in each one without fussing with

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8623 posts in 2570 days

#7 posted 02-19-2012 03:36 AM

My dad screwed small glass mayonase jar lids to the bottom of a board and then used the jar to hold screws, screwing it off of the fixed lid to access the contents and then back on again to stowe.

I guess us kids must have eaten a lot of mayo

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View LeeInAZ's profile


41 posts in 2717 days

#8 posted 02-19-2012 06:02 AM

I started with these parts containers from Harbor Freight.

After I started to fill them, I built drawers and took the individual bins out of the cases. These are basically an exact copy of the ones made by Stanley and sold at the Borgs.

-- Lee - Phoenix, AZ

View SCBOB's profile


4 posts in 2586 days

#9 posted 02-19-2012 01:35 PM

This is the only picture I have..
128 drawers, 64 short on ends and 64 long on sides, sitting on a $10 dolly from HF.
I use 1/2X2-inch label on each drawer.

Hardware Storage

-- SCBob in South Carolina

View Trackeng's profile


27 posts in 3655 days

#10 posted 02-20-2012 12:45 AM

Now that is pretty cool.


View Marcio Wilges's profile

Marcio Wilges

35 posts in 1539 days

#11 posted 12-02-2017 04:38 AM

I have faith in the same plastic storage containers that they recommend as well. Even though they run out of space fairly quickly, they can easily be bought in a large quantity to be stacked on top of one another. This means you can save further space while organising the bits and pieces without them going missing.

-- Marcio Wilges @

View bilyo's profile


478 posts in 1344 days

#12 posted 12-09-2017 03:42 AM

This is what I did (I like peanut butter).

View rustfever's profile


763 posts in 3552 days

#13 posted 12-09-2017 04:00 AM

My local Fastenal retail store had some freight damaged pigeon-hole bins. They are about 3’ x 3’ and have 8 wide and 8 tall pigeon-holes. Price was ridiculously cheap. I keep screws, bolts, and all other fasteners in them as well as some other similar items. They are about 10 or 12” deep. Used a label maker to help in inventory control.
Works great.

Little plastic bins are an absolute PAIN-IN-THE-#$% and they don’t hold very much, either

-- Rustfever, Central California

View bilyo's profile


478 posts in 1344 days

#14 posted 12-09-2017 03:37 PM

This is what I did (I like peanut butter).
- bilyo

Sorry about the above strange post. I started writing and then couldn’t find my image. And, then when I got back to it, I couldn’t edit it.
Anyway. This is what I did. It looks as if biglarry and I conferred. Except, he apparently doesn’t like peanut butter:

Most of the jars are plastic peanut butter jars. The smaller pill bottles, baby food jars, etc. are gradually being replaced with small plastic spice bottles. The door shelves are one jar deep and the main shelves are two jars deep. All are adjustable.

View Redoak49's profile


3744 posts in 2230 days

#15 posted 12-09-2017 04:10 PM

I take too many prescriptions and some of the larger bottle are threat for screws and such. I used a label maker to put contents on top of each.

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