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Old 11-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
lilscorpion
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Default Tool Organization

About three weeks ago I opened one of my tooling drawers looking for a 5/16 tap and it took me about 30 minutes to find it. Even In a pile of taps it never takes me that long. About an hour after that, I couldn't find one of my ball mills...and freaked out. Two weeks ago my son and I made some tap holders/trays and spent the whole day doing it. We used 1/2 red cutting board material I purchased at Woodcraft.

They turned out so well, last weekend I went back and got some green (they were out of red) and tackled another drawer. End mulls and collets are now much easier to get to. Wasn't sure of the color until I opened the drawer a couple of days later. Now I like it better than red.

I had a nice size drop so I made a holder for some small boring bars that have been rolling around in my drawer for years.

I still have to tackle the larger end mills and taps. I ordered some 3/4" HDPE and some larger ball mills so maybe next weekend.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tooling organization

Nice!! I really like the collet holder, I will be stealing these ideas.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #3
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Wow. That looks good. Lemme ask the nitty-gritty questions though. How long did it take you and how much is that material?
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:11 PM   #4
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Today I tackled an idea that I had last weekend while making the end mill trays. I figured that I could make R8 holders that could be moved around between my bench, into the cabinet, or over by the mill. The design seemed simple enough using some aluminum angle iron and some more cutting board (HDPE - man it machines easy). I started by setting a stop and cut up three 4' sticks of aluminum angle. I picked a length that would result in zero waste.

Ran a file over the cut edges (wood blade works but doesn't leave a perfect burr free cut)

Next, I used the mill to cut the three profiles into the angle (for three, four, and five tools). Here's the five in process -

Then switched tools and drilled the holes that will be used to attach the plastic.

Then a rotation and drill the holes needed to attach them to the brackets

and a pile ready to go...
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Wow. That looks good. Lemme ask the nitty-gritty questions though. How long did it take you and how much is that material?
Stuff machines very easily. Plunge all the way in and move the cutter as fast as you can. Multiple passes is a waste of time. It cuts so nice you done need a finish pass. A 24" x 24" sheet is $30 at Woodcraft. I've seen white at other places for a little cheaper. I found some stuff called Starboard on EBay in various thicknesses (also HDPE) but its a little more expensive it seems. I spent a day (maybe 6 hours) on each drawer. My knee is CNC too. It would have taken me a little longer to do it manually with a DRO and quil stop but some of the ops might have been easier.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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you got me thinking now!! I have a sheet of opaque or white somewhere.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Now back to the cutting board. Luckily enough, the optimized size if the angle (remember, no waste) worked out for the 24" x 24" cutting board sheet too. Started cutting it up on the table saw.

A table saw was made to cut HDPE (unlike Delrin that melts). Next cut was to rip the 2.5" wide strips.

For those wondering about me cutting while taking a picture, I had no worries, it's a Saw Stop and I've not tested the fail-safe yet so I figured I'd either get to talk about it or come through unscathed. The latter was the desired and realized outcome. Here's the stak ready for the mill.

And minimal waste.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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I started wi a 5/8" two flute end mill running 2k rpm with .250" overlap running 80imp. Seemed like it was running just fine until on the fourth hole it ripped the plastic out of the vise and slung it. LOL...got my attention. I dropped it to 60 and tightened the vise a little more and had no more problems.

To save some time, I used an 1/8" quarter round router bit to break the edges while the other pieces were running.

Now I just had to screw them all together.

Now for the mounting. I have fabbed french cleat walls around my shop and like how easily things can be organized, moved around, and how strong they are. I decided to hang them off cleats. Here's one mounted. When it warms up, I'll disassemble me and finish the wood (poly or something).

And test fit to the wall.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #9
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Making the mounts the same width as the rack allows them to slide together and look like one long holder.
And the view after putting up four of them. Turned out cool.

I didn't have enough time to fab the cabinet where I will store the racks and the tooling when they're not in use. The plan is a slide out that has the French cleats in the back so they'll hang inside until I need them.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Looks sweet!!!
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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That looks really good.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tooling organization

That is mighty cool. I personally prefer the red over the green. Although I can see how the green can grow on you.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:10 AM   #13
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This would be a cool idea for punches.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:39 AM   #14
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Wow, that is a awesome storage solution!
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:29 AM   #15
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That's awesome!!!!
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
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I am such a slacker. You guys suck. This board has really ate into my "free" time. The quality of my work has improved, but damn, I see so many cool things that went from wants to needs in one page refresh. Great job on the tooling holder, I've been getting by on blocks of wood with random holes drilled in them as tooling progressed. I guess it's time to update. Keith
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #17
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How in the world do you find all the time to do this? It looks good! Maybe I am lazy, but after working 10-12 hours I can't bring myself to spend another 2-4 hours in the garage. Weekends get ate up with spending time w/ the wife (no kids) and maintaining the house. Sorry to whine. Those holders are nice looking. I will save those pics for future inspiration/use.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:09 PM   #18
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Awesome job!

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Old 11-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #19
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Posts like this are what make this site great!
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
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How in the world do you find all the time to do this? It looks good! Maybe I am lazy, but after working 10-12 hours I can't bring myself to spend another 2-4 hours in the garage. Weekends get ate up with spending time w/ the wife (no kids) and maintaining the house. Sorry to whine. Those holders are nice looking. I will save those pics for future inspiration/use.
I spend my share of time with the kids and wife. I'm also an addict. I have to be building something. I'm a software engineer by trade but that job is just mental gymnastics. I gotta do something physical or I go crazy. I jump back and forth between wood and metal and throughout the years, I've managed to learn a little here and there from friends or jobs I held at one time or another. So the way I keep from going mad is to build stuff. I have maybe a dozen projects going at any one time. Sometimes I work on the house (makes the wife happy), sometimes I work on the truck I'm building (when I need some greasy clothes), and other times I work on the shop and try to figure out ways to make working in it easier, faster, etc.. But to be fair, I only get a day here or there. It just so happens I'm burning some built up vacation. Life is busy and normally I have to steal a couple hours here or there...or I can't sleep at night.
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