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speaker 2nd June 2011 01:30 PM

Task Oriented Tool Storage
For most of my electronics life I've stored all my tools en masse. By that I mean everything was racked together. That always seemed like a good idea to me have the wall of tools in front of my work space. However, it made for a very complex and multitudinous array.

Because some of the electronics tools were delicate, they were the first to get segregated. I chanced upon a serviceman's tool case, the kind like a briefcase with pallets inside covered with tool pockets. Nearly every electronics tool I owned fit neatly inside it and was kept safe.

As my kids grew, they got involved in small crafts involving metal, wire, and so on. I put together a dedicated tool box for that with all the jewelers tools, bench anvils & pins, rawhide mallets, cutters, saws, & so on. During a project, out it would come and when the project was completed, away it would go. Hmmm.......

Things started to evolve when I began doing more bike repair. That introduced many specialized tools that really didn't fit anywhere amongst the others not to mention, creating new spaces for them in the rack. All bike tools went into a dedicated tool box. Anytime I needed to work on a bike, I'd grab that box (along with my general car tool box). Over time I added a few tools to the general tool box that made it more versatile. I began to notice how nice it was that when the task was complete, the tools went away.

A couple months back I stowed everything soldering related in a dedicated tool box. It became immediately clear how much better my work space was. I don't solder every day but used to leave the irons set up. The cords were always needing to be moved around, etc. After living with this for awhile, the irons are never going back on the bench. Also into this box went the heat gun, all heatshrink tubing, and my thermal wire stripper. They all seemed to relate well to each other.

So that's my thought for the day. It definitely improved my work area and I am not done. Ideally I want it all put away with only the basics visible. For me at least, storing tools this way has made me a bit more efficient.


wintermute 2nd June 2011 10:12 PM

I should take a leaf out of your book speaker! I'm sure it would make my life less frustrating (now where did I leave that tool) and also would earn me a lot of brownie points with the missus ;)


speaker 3rd June 2011 07:56 PM

Try it with something simple Tony. I would put the soldering gear at the top of the list. Unless you solder every day, you'll be amazed at how much simpler your work are is without that gear around. Set-up to use it however is about 30 seconds for me. I have both individual irons like a micro Antex and monster GE stored in there as well as a Weller station. I should have done this ages ago.

wintermute 5th June 2011 12:26 AM

The soldering station always goes back in it's box in the cupboard (3 yo daughter), but the other stuff (wire cutters, solder, pliers etc tend to end up all over the place. I really must try and do something about my desk and get organised. I think it will save me a lot of time, which is currently wasted looking for things...


glennb 11th June 2011 09:06 AM

I use a plastic cutlery storage tray (the type that goes into a kitchen drawer) to store commonly used pliers, screwdrivers, files, rulers, pencils, solder reels etc.

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