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Old Jan 07, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Grand Rapids, MI
Joined Jun 2005
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Build room / table organization tips

I've seen threads posting pics of your shop, but how about some tips on keeping things organized?! WHat do you do with all of your rolls of Monokote? What about the scraps? How do you organize all of your misc screws & servo parts? Share some pics of your shop and how its organized!
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Old Jan 07, 2014, 07:16 PM
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United States, CA, Clovis
Joined Mar 2004
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I've found being "organized" is work in progress. I generally build in stages, changing/configuring workspace as needed, trying different set-ups and dialing things in for a particular project.. it depends on size, intensity, and how long I project each step might take.

I've got ALOT of covering(mostly Monokote, but actually I acquired a tad of most brands).. up until a few years ago, I stored it in kit boxes from kits that I'd completed. Then one afternoon after X-mas, the wife and I were at the store strolling/shopping, and it hit me that I needed some "totes" for my coverings... It was the gift-wrap totes that got me.. I knew the measurements of the rolls.. (I figured 24"-28" rolls).. so I picked up some, longer then the covering rolls.. so when I stack/pack them in, I can stagger them for an instant visual, as well I got transparent totes, so at a glance I can see what color base I've got in what tote... I used empty inner-rolls, and empty paper towel inner-rolls as filler, so when the tote is moved/stacked, everything stays in place... I think each tote holds 20-25 rolls or so(3-layers of 6-8 rolls per layer).. I went for the generic rubber-maid type..

Hardware... about 30yrs ago.. a family friend gave me a plastic sorter/drawer cabinet.. it had what looked to be a ton of drawers at that time.. I instantly was attached to it, and started stocking smallish stuff..IE washers, screws, nuts, ..stuff.. and I'd take the package label and tape it to the inside of the drawer, so to obviously ID it for future use.. that's stayed with me all these years, and been expanded to a second "drawer set". I use alot of all over the house and beyond..

I buy some hardware in bulk.. IE 6/32, 8/32, 4/40, 2/56, etc.. washers, machine-screws, locknuts, etc..etc.. and do try to save hardware to.. smallish stuff..unless its grimy and jacked up.. I'm a box saver too.. somewhat.. its got to be functional.. and alot of them are dual-functional..

I'd bet alot of consumers don't realize how much of what they pay for goods is in packaging alone.. heck.. printing of packaging alone.. so.. I've got a few pics of examples... and .. no.. I'm definately not a hoarder(excepts RC kits they say)... but.. some ideas for ya.. I wish you well.. have a nice week.

PS... yes... some of those labels on the drawer chest are 30yrs old... haha..
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:13 AM
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Grand Rapids, MI
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Great ideas DGrant!
I started using pegboard last year, since most of the small stuff is sold to hang on pegs. I got a bag full of short and long ones from the hobby shop that they were getting rid of. I have a very small closet to store my rc stuff in. So I put shelves high and one in the middle, with about 18" high pegboard inbetween. Has helped keep the small packages more organized and off the shelf.

I also put 4 cup hooks under the shelf, front and back, and tied a string between the two with lots of slack. I then rest my rolls of Monokote on those strings. Works well, but its now full, and seeing the colors quickly is difficult.

I also just bought 4 Plano 5 divider #3449 plastic storage container to help organize & group some of the small stuff. I put my JST, Deans and deans easy soldering plugs into one, with male/female in their own compartment. The next one I used to keep servo arms separated by servo type. And the next I used for different bullet connector sizes.
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:22 AM
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Albuquerque, NM USA
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I have a bunch of kitchen type cabinets in the shop. One of the drawers holds all my covering material. I tend to throw away most of the smaller scraps. Larger scraps I put back on the original roll. If I think about it I will also label each partial roll with what it is. Sometimes it is difficult to tell a roll of Solarfilm from a roll of Parklite or Coverite.

On the workbench I like to keep a stock of tools available. I have one of these at one end of the bench

http://www.manzanolaser.com/html/building_aids.html

(ps this is a commercial plug since I am manzano laser works )

I also have pegboard all over the place to hold various tools.

charlie

PS I buy cabinets from the Restore. They have these places in most cities. Here it is run by the Habitat for Humanity group. It is old house fittings that are sold at discount. Complete kitchen and bathroom sets. Great, especially if you don't care if everything matches. Add a solid core or hollow core door for the cabinet top and you have very inexpensive shop furnishings.
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:23 AM
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Albuquerque, NM USA
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PPS for smaller nuts and bolts, clevises, etc I use plastic ice cube trays in the drawers. Yes, if you tip them over everything spills out, but, they are cheap and convenient.

PPPS also the containers that some people use for their daily medications are nice. Usually 7 or 14 containers per box with individual lids. Nice cause if you tip them over everything doesn't fall out
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Traverse City, Michigan
Joined Dec 2005
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I organize everything neatly on my work bench. This allows quick access to my tools and supplies when I need them.
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:37 AM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Canada, ON, Kingston
Joined Mar 2004
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I organize everything neatly on my work bench. This allows quick access to my tools and supplies when I need them.
Hey, what are you doing in my shop?!?! You can leave that big wing there when you go...

Steve
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:41 AM
I'm a pilot... 100 yrs to late
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USA, FL, Palm Harbor
Joined Jan 2005
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I was able to secure a set of nice quality kitchen cabinet bases that were pulled due to remodel. Wood, nothing wrong with them . so lots of drawers.. in there I have plastic compartment bins you can get from a craft store. Film is stored vertically in the original tubes (less space than horizontal) and the same color scraps are rolled up inside so no need for yet another container. I have pegboard on the same wall the table attaches to with the various clips and bits they sell to hold daily use items, a shelf on it for all my glues, etc. I fouind some nice metal automotive gargae type heavy duty roller cartst - 3 shevles each, out for trash. Nothing wrong but a little rust. Sanded, primed and painted and they hold the bench toppower tools, scroll and band saws, sanders, etc. I drive by the same place each day to work as they work on cars and what not hoping for the next good thing they're tossing out And yes . the place is still a giant pig stye
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 04:37 PM
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United States, CA, Clovis
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I organize everything neatly on my work bench. This allows quick access to my tools and supplies when I need them.
One of the neatest shops I've seen Tom.. no joke.. I'm sure you know exactly where it all is(I'm serious on that one dude).... nice man.
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:38 PM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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Think vertical for starters. Wall area is as important as bench and floor space. And walls with shelving are better than pegboard since the shelves add depth volume where a pegboard only has surface area.

Also consider making up bin boxes using cast off cardboard and a hot glue gun. I'll take some pictures later on of the method I used to make about 50 boxes from good heavy duty corrugated cardboard saved from shipments at work instead of going to the recycler.

A few years back I made up a set of 8 good size shelving units from that pre-finished melamine coated shelving stock. They are 7 feet high by 32 inches wide by 16inches deep. At the time it seemed like overkill. But in reality it was the BEST EVAR MONEY I've ever invested in my shop area. Which has led me to my dream retirement shop and the bevy of cabinetry. Here's a shot of my present method for "tidying up the clutter".



Now this was all custom done in my wood working shop.... which also got its own set of similar cabinetry.... but as already mentioned haunting some of the used building supply outfits in your area or the local Craigs List can often turn up some older unwanted kitchen cabinets for cheap.

But if even that is out of the question some plywood and a skill saw and time can produce a pretty decent set of shelf units. Both floor mounted for the serious stuff and some tidy uppers. If doors and hinges are out of the question some sheet plastic, old bed sheets or even cheap tea towels can serve as dust controlling doors over the fronts to keep out dust.
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 06:04 PM
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Albuquerque, NM USA
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I wish I could dig up the plans my father-on-law found many years ago. It was set up to make up cabinets from single sheets of ply and 1" stock lumber. He did his shop with just a few sheets. Shelves were added with 1/4" or 3/8" dowels like the adjustable ones you can buy. Very simple. He used hollow core doors for some of the tops and solid core where he had tools mounted (like drill press or such).
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 12:41 AM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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The hollow core doors these days are not as solid and sturdy as the doors of old. I'd think long and hard about using one for anything more than very light duty use. And since any bench I build needs to be able to support a full grown adult I'd simply not use hollow core doors as they come these days.

A few posts back I promised some pictures of cardboard containers. Just took a few pics to show what is possible.

The bin boxes are simple one piece cutouts with foldup and glue construction. Made from the sturdy double layer corrugated cardboard or thicker heavy duty single corrugated material these are very sturdy when made as shown.

To make it easy to mass produce them I stacked and pinned 10 to 12 layers at a time using regular nails in the waste portions and used a template to mark out the cutting lines. The stack of blanks was then cut on a bandsaw. In no time at all I had 50 or 60 blanks ready to fold and glue. Folding and glueing took about 2 to 3 minutes each.

Note that no dimensions are shown because you want/need to suit the size to your own shelves. The front to rear needs to fit on the shelf without sticking out so that size is whatever your shelves are for depth. And the width is set to have a full number of boxes fit across the width of the shelf. So if your shelf is 32 inches wide a good width is 7 3/4 inches so four boxes fits on the shelf with a little fudging room to allow for size differences when folding.

Speaking of folding.... with the double layer stuff the side flaps that fold inwards before the back and front are folded up cannot be all folded at the same time.

I found that the boxes folded neatly when pressed hard against a sharp table edge and forced to fold all with simple palm pressure. And because of the thickness you can't fold the side and center flaps at the same time. What I did is crease the side fold lines then flatten the sides back down. Then I folded down the flaps first. You'll feel this pull the whole piece out a little. Then while holding the flaps down with my pinky fingers I pressed the center down. This ensures that the side flaps overlap smoothly with the center part.

Once you try this once you'll see how you can change from folding down the center or outer glue flaps first to get the sort of overlap you wish.

Once all folded up then I used hot glue to glue the side flaps to the center flaps. Hold to cool for a few seconds and you're done.

Along with the bin box pictures and plans is also a picture of my multi cell cardboard balsa bin box. It's made from a double layer mover's china box with heavy duty single layer separators to split the box up into 4x4 cells. The whole center part is full front to rear or side to side plates of board that are slit at the intersections half way up on one set and half way down on the other so they egg crate together. The whole works then went into the box and got tack glued with hot glue. In this case a 3/8 plywood plate was hot glued to the base and small casters screwed to the plywood.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 07:10 AM
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Grand Rapids, MI
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Those bins are exactly what they used for loose product in the stockroom of Target. Good idea!
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Albuquerque, NM USA
Joined Sep 2003
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I agree. I have one wall of cabinets with sold core and one with hollow core. The hollow core are for light work only. I don't stand on them so they are fine for general work tops. The drill press, vises, arbor press and such are on the sold core door cabinet tops.

Shop around too. I found some solid core doors that were being cleared out cause they were too narrow (at Lowes). They were just right for a counter top. I got them for $11 ea.
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Old Jan 11, 2014, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I organize everything neatly on my work bench. This allows quick access to my tools and supplies when I need them.
Thanks for the good laugh... LOL
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