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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Keeping track of your tools.

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Brent Zappe

07-27-2020 07:50:48




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This past year has been challenging to me in keeping and finding tools fast. I have looked for affordable tool boxes. Like always living in a small town tool boxes are never for sale. So this last year I took and used my used peg boards by hanging them up in the tool room. My ideal was simple to hang a lot of the tools up because every time I was in the room I would kick a tool box full of tools. The problem was simple the big wenches where always hiding from me because they where in tool boxes i was kicking on the floor. To be this problem is solved and will be a big help to my tool room. Enjoy the pictures of what I had done. It is cheaper than buying the new tool boxes that I wanted.

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redtom

07-30-2020 11:52:28




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
I have a small snap on roller base and side cab that worked for a while. and now have drawers under the bench. This results in multiple locations. I am toying with the idea of using 3/4 plywood and making an "A" on a steel cart with casters and hanging all tools on the two sides. sockets could go on small ledges/shelves. power items like impacts go in the ends spaces created by the "A", on shelves. We had similar set ups at trades school.

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K Effective

07-28-2020 08:48:15




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
When my neighbor moved away, he gave me several items he couldn't sell or take with, one was a two-shelf steel cart. Handy as heck to grab the tools I'll need and wheel them over to the vehicle or tractor. Gives you a place to set the tools and parts during the job and wheel them back to be put away when you are done.
BUT, it is an open, horizontal surface that fills itself with junk while you sleep, just like every other work bench, cabinet top, fender, refrigerator, etc...

Lately, I've been buying the locking Vidmar/Lista/New Era cabinets at auctions and refurbishing them for tool storage. Seems like a safe place to put everything so I won't be able to find it.

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Tgrasher

07-28-2020 08:24:35




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
All my tools are stored in my workshop which isn't big enough to work on a tractor. When I have a repair to do, I put the tools I need in a cardboard tray, to tote out to the work site. Lays them out easy to find and when dirty just throw away. Get the trays free at Aldi or Sam's. Also use them to pick garden produce, tomatoes do better and if they leak, no big deal.



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Steve in VA

07-28-2020 08:01:57




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
I rely on friends and neighbors to borrow my tools w/o letting me know so I am unburdened of the task of losing them myself.



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Determined

07-28-2020 07:33:01




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
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Amen to that, I have over 140 drawers when you add up all my boxes.

I tell my boys if you put something away in the wrong door you might just as well throw it away, be darned if I am going to go through every door to see if it might be in there.

Occasionally I still find the odd tool in the wrong door, sorta like finding an old friend when it happens.

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Determined

07-28-2020 07:14:12




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
Some days after being in a hurry to get back to the field after a breakdown the shop is such a mess that if someone wanted to rob me it would take them half the night to sort and gather up enough to steal.



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rossow (mn)

07-28-2020 07:12:30




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
My questionable solution has been to buy multiples of all kinds of tools at swap meets and yard sales over the decades, so that now I have boxes and drawers full in each of my garages, machine sheds, trucks, even basement. I never have to do much digging or walk too far to get a particular tool because I have them stashed everywhere. It's a system that would drive purists nuts, but it works OK for me.

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Tony in SD

07-28-2020 07:08:28




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
I have my mechanic tools in the same place in the same tool box since 1975. Guess I know where they all are by now.. The only change over that time has been a move from the farm I grew up on, now my brothers, to my farm.



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DoubleO7

07-28-2020 06:35:24




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
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"or pawing around in a pile looking for your 10mm socket"

Just imagine the hours spent rummaging for tools over a 50 year span.

Money flying away by the minute.



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Fawteen

07-28-2020 06:55:53




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to DoubleO7, 07-28-2020 06:35:24  
When I was stationed in Japan in the early 70's, I worked part time for a small-time motorcycle dealer. He was a Japanese national that worked on the base and sold a few bikes to GI's out of a little shop behind his house. No money involved, just got good deals on bikes and parts and kept me out of the bars.

I showed up one afternoon and had nothing better to do, so I cleaned up his bench, made a tool board on the wall and just generally organized the place.

Came back a week later and everything was in a pile on the bench and floor again. Just how some people are used to working I guess. It'd drive me nuts.

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jniolon

07-27-2020 20:22:42




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
most (99%) of my tools are in my shop..50= feet from the house. If I have a house project, I gather all the things I need in the shop and carry them in a tool tote or in my bucket boss on wheels... but, invariable I make another 15 trips back to the shop to get something I didn't know I'd need or forgot. Well, I tell my doctor I do exercise.

j



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Robert (ID)

07-27-2020 19:22:21




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
A wise neibor of mine has a sign just inside the door to his shop.. It simply states the truth.. "He who has a full set of tools , has no children"



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miangus

07-28-2020 07:27:43




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Robert (ID), 07-27-2020 19:22:21  
When organized putting a tool in the wrong place is like losing it. My kidís just figured this out. They are 25.



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Brent Zappe

07-27-2020 19:55:32




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Robert (ID), 07-27-2020 19:22:21  
Like that sign. There is only on thing I am not married nor have any kids. Back where I use to live in Riverside California. I had people breaking in to my property and you never ever made a tool easy to find. Since I moved to a rural area living in the stick I can organize my tools in my shop. Yes I have to admit I have thrown a tool at a Deer ounce in a while. If you know what I am saying about wild life gettin in the way of things.

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M-MAN

07-27-2020 18:03:59




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
Nah, I prefer organized chaos. That way I know where it is and at least my son and son in law have to work for it when they borrow it.



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showcrop

07-27-2020 16:01:40




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
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I don't have enough time to not be organized. Stephen, many of us know that you spend a lot of time working on your own van instead of doing the work that makes you money.



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Brent Zappe

07-27-2020 19:49:27




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to showcrop, 07-27-2020 16:01:40  
Some how I have to agree with you. When I live in Riverside California I had learned that you do not hang out tools. People who break in to your property can steel quicker this way. Now I live in the sticks and the hanging up tools work great. I can see and grab quicker. Just have to remember to put the tool back up on the hanger.



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Stephen Newell

07-27-2020 19:18:47




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to showcrop, 07-27-2020 16:01:40  
I do a lot of different trades however a mechanic is not one of them, just maintain my own vehicles. I do have to use the same tools to repair and maintain the equipment in my shop. Spending time organizing tools would just take time away from paying work. I've done time evaluations in my shop putting every tool back in a particular place opposed to just throwing them in a drawer or a general place and I could do about 25% more work throwing the tools in a drawer. The only way that kind of organize would help me is if I had a helper doing it and I'm not sure the salary would be worth it.

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DoubleO7

07-27-2020 15:37:55




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
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That can be a vicious circle and an expensive one, both financially and mentally.



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Stephen Newell

07-27-2020 09:00:27




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Brent Zappe, 07-27-2020 07:50:48  
I don't like tool boxes, there is always more stuff in them than you can find. Usually end up dumping the box on a table to make the search. My solution is to make drawers for my work bench. At least the tools are spread out enough to look for something.



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Brent Zappe

07-27-2020 20:01:48




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Stephen Newell, 07-27-2020 09:00:27  
Very cool and nice. one problem is that I like to keep a tote tray empty because I put tools in that I will use for that project I am working on. This allows me to stay focus and not get confused because I can get confuse quickly. A hand tote is what I use and it works for me. That is why i have hung tools on a wall because I grab what I can see in minutes. Not hours.



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Fawteen

07-27-2020 09:17:12




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Stephen Newell, 07-27-2020 09:00:27  

Tool boxes need to be organized just like anything else. If you just dump stuff into whatever drawer is open, of COURSE you'll never find what you're looking for.

Screw drivers - one drawer with slots. Phillips on one side, straight on the other

Pliers - one drawer

SAE Wrenches - one drawer with racks, wrenches arranged by size.

Metric Wrenches - See SAE wrenches

Sockets - one drawer for 3/8 and 1/2 drive with sockets slots arranged by size, separated by drive size, regular and deep and SAE and Metric

Second drawer for 1/4 drive arranged the same way

There's more, but you get the idea.

Also, put ALL the tools away after EVERY job. I can tell with a glance in a drawer if I've missed something.

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Stephen Newell

07-27-2020 11:14:15




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Fawteen, 07-27-2020 09:17:12  
While it would be nice to be that organized, I don't have time for it. I do have separate drawers for screw drivers, pliers, metric wrenches and sae wrenches but the tools just get dumped in the drawers wherever. I have so many sae sockets though I have a separate drawer for them. The metric sockets just get dumped with the metric wrenches.



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Fawteen

07-28-2020 02:58:57




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Stephen Newell, 07-27-2020 11:14:15  
I guess it comes down to which would you rather spend your time doing: Getting and staying organized, or pawing around in a pile looking for your 10mm socket?



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Ellis Kinney

07-27-2020 09:23:38




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 Re: Keeping track of your tools. in reply to Fawteen, 07-27-2020 09:17:12  
I really like your partitions, I have done something similar with my new tool box. Ellis



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