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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a narrow (29” wide) rolling tool chest with five drawers, but I’m trying to figure the best way to store my screwdriver's, wrenches, sockets, etc. in the drawers. Any suggestions?
 

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Google any of the following

Tool chest organizers
Tool try organizer
Socket organizer
Wrench tray

Or you can get Kaizen foam and make you own.Harbor Freight has some decent tool organizers and sectioned trays for tool boxes.

I am am huge fan of tool organization. If every tool has a spot and in in order they are easy to find and easy to tell if any are missing. One thing about tool organization is you must be willing to religiously put stuff back where it belongs when you're done using it.

I have gotten in the habit of putting tools away as I go as to not clutter up my work area. Especially limited or single use things. Why have a hammer in the way for the next 4 hours if you only needed it to drive out one pin at the beginning of the project? Also at the end of each project/task or the end of the day (if its a multi day project) all the tool are cleaned up and put away and checked to see if anything has gone missing.

Cheers,

P-14.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your responses. I took a look at Harbor Freight thinking they would be a good option for dividers and tool holders. Unfortunately, my local HF did not have many of the storage options indicated online. Looks like I'll have to order things online. I figure slowly, but surely I will find what works for me.
 

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This thread got me reinterested in continued improvement on my tools/tool storage and organization. The top drawer of my tool chest is dedicated to screwdrivers. The drawer is bifurcated to separate Phillips from straight blade screwdrivers but that about it. They are all heaped together. Most of my screwdrivers are Sears Craftsman but several have broken tips or are bent or otherwise disfigured. So today I went to Lowes and bought a new 12pcs screwdriver set ($20) along with a 5 pcs Torx set ($10) and a pack of mini/ignition files. I also ordered a screwdriver organizer tray off of Amazon so come Sunday I'll have an organized screwdriver drawer.

Honestly, I would have bought Harbor Freight screwdrivers, but I do not like the fact that if you lose one or need a replacement you cannot buy individuals you have to buy a whole set. That reason alone is why I went with Craftsman. I can replace individual like for like, if needed.

Next task is a set of Tee handle Allen wrenches that come in a compact tray. Again, my current ones are just plopped in the drawer beside the organized wrenches.

Cheers,

P-14
 

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Little project this morning. So in my screwdriver organization quest I also got 5 Torx drivers that are used far more frequently that screwdrivers. Since the can holders also have screwdriver holes I thought since these are used very frequently why not put them where they are easily accessible. Problem #1 accessibility, solved.

Next as I've gotten older and my eyes are not as good it is hard to tell the difference between the Torx sizes by looking at them, so I printed some simple labels and used the garage laminator (packing tape) to label the slots.

Liquid Fluid Gas Aluminum can Drink



While this was good there you still had to look at the size on the handle to get them back in their respective slot. We all know as time goes on the handles get dirty and the sizing information get covered in crud or worn off so this was a good 1st attempt but more was needed. I was looking for different colored paints so i could color match the handle to the corresponding slot then I realized I had some different colored shrink tubing. So I remade my labels with colors above and below the size and then used shrink tubing to color match the Torx driver to the corresponding slot.


Blue Light Gas Electronic device Electric blue


Now with everything color matched its easy to get the right size tool and then put it back in order each time, every time.

Gas Automotive lighting Machine Paint Electric blue


With use of a printer, clear packing tape and a few pieces of colored shrink tubing the garage is a bit more organized and efficient. It's the simple 5 minute fixes and continued improvement that make for efficiency and organization.

Cheers,

P-14
 
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While not tool storage it's another continued improvement.

The wheel vise on my lift has no graduated marks on it to let you know how far it is open. Now it does. Another simple solution to take the guesswork out of it. One too many times I've backed a heavy bike onto the lift only to find the vise was not open far enough for the rear wheel to fit. A simple ruler eliminates that.

Next up a few stick on felt pads under the lower left leg of the wheel vise to keep it from metal to metal contact when adjusting in/out

Wood Flooring Office equipment Floor Gas


Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Wood Bumper
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Once I started organizing all my tools into the rolling chest, I realized I had more tools than I thought and if I was going to organize things in a chest--I really wanted to organize it. So, the conclusion was to purchase the five-drawer tool chest that's designed to sit on top of the rolling chest. Yeah, this might be a bit of an overkill, but I also figure this will give me additional space for those tools I know I will end up buying in the future and everything will be centralized.

My next project is to get socket organizers and move the sockets out of the plastic organizer it came with. This worked up to now, but with tool chest I want the sockets easier to get to. More to follow.
 

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There are really nice magnetic socket organizers on Amazon. I’ve been thinking of upgrading to them.


I started out with a 4 drawer top tool box then years ago Santa bought me a 6 drawer base cabinet. I found that once organized that included getting rid of one use specialty tools, junk or duplicate or broken/damaged tools I actually had a lot of space to grow. I’ve also found that for most of the work I do I don’t use that many tools and could easily work out of my 4 drawer roll around. I’ve thought about stocking the 4 drawer roll around with my sockets, Torx,Allen’s, screwdrivers and some other common daily use stuff then moving the big tool chest/cabinet out of the way to use it to house the stuff not used so often and/or specially tools.

Even among my hundreds of socket I essentially use about 5 or 10 of them on the regular basis. 90% of the sockets I have will never get used. That 9/32 socket and the like are mostly dead weight.

Even taking stock of my combo wrenches I have a small set each of SAE and metric that out of them only a few get used. I did end up putting some red tape around the 10mm wrench as it is by far and away the most common one I use. With the witness mark I always grab the 10mm and not the 11 or 9 mm on either side. I need to borrow a bit of nail polish from the kiddo to mark the 1/4" drive 10mm socket.

Here is the new scredriders and organizer set up. Much nicer than before where all were heaped together.

Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Machine Auto part


Combo wrenched. Can you easily tell which is the 10mm?

Gas Food Machine Office equipment Electric blue


When I bought the Buell I needed SAE Allen sockets. Since Buell also uses metric and Allen wrenches being impossible to delineate SAE from Metric with he naked eye I painted the ends of SAE one hot pink. Now its very easy to tell which are SAE and which are metric.

Also as you can see the 3/8" extension is missing out of the upper right hand corner. My brother borrowed it the other day and I'll be reminded of it until he returns it. If it did not have a specific home I would probably forget about it. The visual reminder makes inventory easy.

Gas Bumper Auto part Machine Automotive exterior
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PerazziMx14,

Thanks for the photos. Given your last photo, I hadn’t thought to remove the top portion of the case for my socket set, then just place the bottom portion in a drawer. My first thought was not to cut the top off, since I won’t be able to take the set anywhere, but then I realized in 15-20 years, I’ve never really needed the set anywhere other than in my garage.

I like the magnetic socket holders you put a link to, but they’re a little tall for my top drawers and the sockets I have don’t come close to needing that many holders. I’m leaning toward the swivel socket rails for the sockets that are not in the bottom tray of my set. This way I can spin the socket so I can read its size.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08ZMJNT6S/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2RELSLU085IPU&psc=1
 

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PerazziMx14,

Thanks for the photos. Given your last photo, I hadn’t thought to remove the top portion of the case for my socket set, then just place the bottom portion in a drawer. My first thought was not to cut the top off, since I won’t be able to take the set anywhere, but then I realized in 15-20 years, I’ve never really needed the set anywhere other than in my garage.

I like the magnetic socket holders you put a link to, but they’re a little tall for my top drawers and the sockets I have don’t come close to needing that many holders. I’m leaning toward the swivel socket rails for the sockets that are not in the bottom tray of my set. This way I can spin the socket so I can read its size.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08ZMJNT6S/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2RELSLU085IPU&psc=1
For the longest time I did not want to dedicate my plastic tool case to the tool chest but like you I realized I do not take it anywhere. Eventually the plastic hinge was breaking so I took the plunge and cut the lid off and used the bottom of the case as an organizer. Its been well worth it.

I also have another similar set of Craftsman sockets I bought off a co-worker 25+ years ago. I do not think it has left the garage since the day I brought it home. It sits at against the wall and every once in a blue moon I need two of the same sockets I'll use it.

Quickly look in eBay there are empty tool cases for sale for cheap. If you are hemmed up on cutting you existing case buy a donor and hack it up and reserve you case for......well probably never :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quickly look in eBay there are empty tool cases for sale for cheap. If you are hemmed up on cutting you existing case buy a donor and hack it up and reserve you case for......well probably never :)
The cheapest solution is to keep the top and if I need to take it with me, I'll just use a small strap to keep the lid on and tight.

I just added magnetic labels to the drawer fronts. We use magnetic writing pads on our fridge as a grocery list, and I have a few of the magnetic cardboard bases left over. I took my label maker, made some labels, stuck them to a cardboard magnetic base, then cut them out. If I ever rearrange the tool chest, I can just move the magnetic labels. Best of all, it was quick, custom and inexpensive.
 

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The cheapest solution is to keep the top and if I need to take it with me, I'll just use a small strap to keep the lid on and tight.

I just added magnetic labels to the drawer fronts. We use magnetic writing pads on our fridge as a grocery list, and I have a few of the magnetic cardboard bases left over. I took my label maker, made some labels, stuck them to a cardboard magnetic base, then cut them out. If I ever rearrange the tool chest, I can just move the magnetic labels. Best of all, it was quick, custom and inexpensive.
(y)

A few pics for the gang would be nice.

As for magnets HF has some nice magnetic hooks ($5.49) with something like a 25lb pull that work great for having stuff off you tool box. I have a couple of them. One holds a 4' aluminium ruler, 12" ruler, fly swatter and the other is used for the air hose off my compressor that I use in conjunction with Wrap-it storage straps.

I'm also using more of the HF rectangular 1" x 2" x 1/2" ceramic magnets ($0.99 for two) as tool tray stays in drawers where the organizer trays only take up part of the drawer. When you open/close the drawer the trays slide around. Place a couple magnets behind or on the and the tray stays put.

Audio equipment Circle Metal Fashion accessory Titanium


Rectangle Font Gadget Bumper Electric blue
 

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like you I realized I do not take it anywhere.
I have one of these I’ll throw in the car or truck when traveling. Nice case with handle and doesn’t take up much space. On sale for $40 at moment, I got mine when they had a coupon for $30.
 

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Here is my chest...you can see a magnetic drill/driver bit storage just on the right side of it. Labels are simple printed file/folder labels.

Wood Rectangle Grille Gas Automotive tire


Really like my wrench storage. Ihad to cut the racks down to fit like that. they were too long.

Engineering Gas Circuit component Electrical wiring Passive circuit component


And the socket-type storage...the blue box is a set of hex driver bits.

Rectangle Tints and shades Facade Metal Electric blue


Screwdrivers and pliers are a mess. I've not done anything with them yet.
 

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Not so much tool storage/organization more continued improvements. A few weeks ago I added LED lights in the basement workshop and man what a difference. That got me thinking I wanted to get rid of the fluorescent lights in my garage. Unfortunately I did not want to change out the fixture base as that would lead to painting which then some drywall patching would be needed be fore painting which would mean the whole garage would get freshened up. If I remodeler the garage before the bathroom I think my wife would flat out kill me. So while looking for some small LED lights to put under my lift I stumbled upon plug-n-play direct swap 1" x 48" LED bulbs for $19 a two pack. These are also adjustable from 4000K, 5000K or 6500K by simply moving a slider on the bulb. The other nice thing is when the ballasts go tits up you can bypass them and wire direct to the bulb. Within a few minutes they were swapped out and set to 6500K and what a difference. Bright white light and not dim or flickering lights while the ballast heats up. I have to go back to Lowes and get 4 more bulbs for the other side of the garage.

Originally my garage had two incandescent bulbs. Once converted to fluorescents it was an amazing upgrade in lighting quantity and quality. Now upgraded again the quantity and quality of light is much improved again and power consumption continues to dwindle.

LED's are nice white light the fluorescents are dim and yellow by comparison.

Building Wood Shade Flooring House
 

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I pulled down all the fluorescents in my 3 car garage and put up these:


My garage looks like an operating room now with just 4 of these lights. I enjoy working on my stuff late in to the evening sometimes and it's very satisfying to have proper lighting.

I keep saying every winter that I'm going to install a built-in 220V heater out there. Maybe this year is the year for that.
 

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I keep saying every winter that I'm going to install a built-in 220V heater out there. Maybe this year is the year for that.
I have a heater in our garage and definitely would recommend. The thermostat is normally at 41F in the winter to keep stuff from freezing but when doing a project nice to kick it up a bit.

Ignore my mess, you guys are way more organized than me!
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle Motorcycle
 
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