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Old 01-31-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
mrjaw14
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Default show me your DIY socket organizers

I have the HF 44" tool chest with the single full-length drawer that's 38" x 18".
I have the HF socket organizer and the 3/8" and 1/4" are fine, but the 1/2" are too long because I don't have a complete 1/2" socket set. I don't have 16mm, and several of the other sizes. My craftsman 1/2" socket set starts at 9mm...and yes I know that 9mm in 1/2 is kinda pointless, however I have it, and it has no home. Also the tray goes up to 27mm & 1 1/4 sae and I don't have or plan on needing sockets that large. I do have them in impact, but I have a separate organizer for those and will use those with a ratchet if I need a socket that large. so I have small sockets that don't have homes, and homes for large sockets I don't have.

That's the issue...now here's what I want: My socket set will evolve over time as I replace my cheaper stuff with nicer stuff. so I want the ability to arrange my sockets without a lot of empty space that I'd get with a hansen organizer if I don't have that size (like a 16mm) also I want labels. I don't like having to hunt for sockets. I thought about a magnetic socket holder, or some of those ernst style socket holders, but alas there's not an easy way to label anything that way. I know the ernst comes with tiny labels for the plastic socket clips, but in a high density drawer things would be spaced so close that the labels wouldn't be of much use.

I am thinking about dowel rods, painted blue and red for mm and sae, then printing labels and heat shrinking them onto the dowel rods. I don't really want to have a wood base, would make it large & heavy. I can't figure out a way to attach those to a ernst style or the metal socket clips that would be customizable like I want and still have labels

I'd be very interested to see your setups that might help me make mine.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I had somewhat the same issue with a lot of orphan socket sets and spares I had inherited. Gives me a place to store them and also add/subtract.

I made this assembly out of socket rails from HF and some scrap 1" aluminum in about 15 minutes. As they change, I just take a bolt out of the end, and slide the socket clips on and off.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtneer_man/7819974698/

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

This might be overkill........

Another socket organizer I made years ago. I used an Excel spreadsheet, measured each socket diameter and plugged it in the spreadsheet. Then created a formula that worked out the C/L spacing for the wooden dowels the sockets slide over, so I had the same spacing in between. I used pre-cut joiner dowels. 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2"

I then converted that information in Visio to full size templates, attached it to the plywood and drilled the holes for the dowels.

That was back when I had a lot of time on my hands But it's worked well.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtneer_man/359112057/
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

do a search. a quick serach turned up these.













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Old 01-31-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I've seen all those. they are A) wood bases, and B) not labeled. I was looking for more elegant solutions as indicated in my post. I'm getting real sick of people jumping on the "do a search" wagon. There's not a thread dedicated to DIY organizers that I found, and what about new stuff made since then....maybe people that made those have changed or have input after using it for a while.

besides, searching for threads isn't what keeps forums open. people talking does!
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

Well you said you wanted to do them with wood and dowels.
youll notice some have the bases made in sections so its not one heavy big-ass piece of plywood (its gonna get heavy with the sockets anyway). You can customize or replace that section instead of redoing an entire board. Then just buy a label maker and put the numbers.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

These are one of those things that are cheap to buy and so many options out there. Dont see much point in making your own unless your extremely board.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNN37 View Post
Well you said you wanted to do them with wood and dowels.
youll notice some have the bases made in sections so its not one heavy big-ass piece of plywood (its gonna get heavy with the sockets anyway). You can customize or replace that section instead of redoing an entire board. Then just buy a label maker and put the numbers.
True, but I was thinking more along the lines of using them just for the retention and label portion. if I drilled a small hole in the bottom, then had a bunch of holes in my base material, I could rearrange the dowels at will by screwing them into another hole. The solutions I've seen thus far are permanently fixed to the wooden base, which is not easy to change if you change your setup. I'm torn, I want the nice labels the pre-made organizers offer, but all the options I've seen like the HF trays or the hansen trays are not configurable. The ernst and similar solutions are very configurable, but not easy to tell what stuff is
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjaw14 View Post
True, but I was thinking more along the lines of using them just for the retention and label portion. if I drilled a small hole in the bottom, then had a bunch of holes in my base material, I could rearrange the dowels at will by screwing them into another hole. The solutions I've seen thus far are permanently fixed to the wooden base, which is not easy to change if you change your setup. I'm torn, I want the nice labels the pre-made organizers offer, but all the options I've seen like the HF trays or the hansen trays are not configurable. The ernst and similar solutions are very configurable, but not easy to tell what stuff is
You are way overthinking this, to the extent that nobody here is going to have what you want.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

For expandability and maximizing use of space, it's hard to beat rails...

I used Craftsman rails, black for inch and gray for metric.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I ended up making my own organizers. Didn't get the socket size labels like I wanted. I thought about short dowel rods painted red or blue with a small screw going into the top of the metal socket clip. I tested it, and it worked well except that I couldn't get it perfectly straight so I abandoned the idea for now. I wanted to show what I made and get your thoughts on how it turned out
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I like the way that turned out. The only thing I'd do differently is keep the same size together, ie 1/4", 3/8", 1/2". Currently I have them just thrown on a rail together with the same size, deep/short, and 6pt/12pt in my top drawer. I'd like to get a bigger box or a top box before I organize more.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

That looks pretty good. I'm still trying to make a nice setup like that.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

These are what I made at one time.




After I built my toolbox, I went with something else.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I bought a set of Hanson trays for 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". They had some odd sizes on them (to me at least) such as 1" on the 3/8" tray. Is anyone actually using a 1" socket in 3/8" drive Being the particular bastard that I am, I just started buying the fillers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

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I bought a set of Hanson trays for 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". They had some odd sizes on them (to me at least) such as 1" on the 3/8" tray. Is anyone actually using a 1" socket in 3/8" drive Being the particular bastard that I am, I just started buying the fillers.
This is exactly why I made my own. I have the 44" HFT box, which is a good box don't get me wrong, but it's not very deep. The hansen style organizers just took up too much room. I have 8 rails on the one I made that fits into a 16"x12" footprint that I can arrange any way I want. I actually have the black plastic HFT organizers for my 3/8" and 1/4" sockets. I use the one I made for 1/2" drive and adapters for all 3 drive sizes. here's a pic of the whole socket drawer
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjaw14 View Post
This is exactly why I made my own. I have the 44" HFT box, which is a good box don't get me wrong, but it's not very deep. The hansen style organizers just took up too much room. I have 8 rails on the one I made that fits into a 16"x12" footprint that I can arrange any way I want. I actually have the black plastic HFT organizers for my 3/8" and 1/4" sockets. I use the one I made for 1/2" drive and adapters for all 3 drive sizes. here's a pic of the whole socket drawer
I'm going to end up making something. The Hansons go all the way down to 10MM and 3/8" in 1/2" drive, but only go up to 27MM in Metric. Seems to me it would have made much more sense to stop at 13MM and go to 30MM.

The 1/4" trays go all the way to 15MM which seems weird when you consider the 1/2" tray starts at 10MM.

The 3/8" tray goes to 1" despite the fact that most 3/8" sets stop at 7/8" and there are no posts for spark plug sockets.

just seems weird to me.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

Heres my setup, limited space in my small Craftsman box.

However I didnt really need to label them. In time I would like to get a bigger box and get better organized, but this is the best I could do with the limited space I have.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I sort by size and frequency. Part of my clain to fame is being able to use a common socket and extensions where other people seem to need to come up with something convoluted. I have a box with the "sets" in but 99 times out of a hundred its right there. I dont want to look or sort thru all the stuff I use once in a blue moon, it doesnt even need to be highly orgaiized, will walk to get a socket I use on occasion but I have the commons and the drives easy to reach.

A better tool wouldnt help, an easier one does. A flat rate guy would find it a treat to work in my shop, even parts of my messy box are not bad as the frequency of use for specialty items is low, any given task takes but a few tools.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: show me your DIY socket organizers

I don't have a pic but all I did was take a piece of wood that I painted, and drilled holes through it. Then I cut some Dowel sticks for socket posts. Worked well and was cheap. For my next box, I plan on getting some Hansen trays.
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