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Old 06-02-2010, 09:05 AM   #1
duct tape
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Default Tool chest organization

I'm getting a new 72" Montezuma from Shannon, in fact it's on the truck from Kansas right now. I have a butt load of new, old, and inherited tools which up until now have been crammed into a 24" CM combo or in multiple garage cabinets and drawers. So I'm looking forward to the upgrade.

Any advice, or pics, of ways to organize a new box? Sockets all in one drawer or separated by drive size (1/4", 3/8" etc., or by SAE and metric) into separate drawers. Same with drivers, wrench sets etc.

Thoughts on labels or no labels on drawer fronts? Seems like sacriledge on a new box but even after all these years I still seem to be opening the wrong drawer for screwdrivers when I wanted the needle nose pliers.

Thx for any help.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

I think you basically answered your own Q! I think the key point given all the extra room is that it will allow you to keep all the different size sockets / wrenches in the same drawers . . .

I believe if you place the tools in a logical order of use, you won't require any label tape . . .

There will always be one drawer (junk) drawer which holds all the random stuff which isn't specific to another tool drawer . . . I don't believe there is a right or wrong with placement.

But those who have been in the field for a long time pretty much have similar set ups with respect to top down approach . . .

You will never see a working cart with ratchets at the bottom, unless you're a hoarder / collecter like I have seen some here.

One guy has like 300+ ratchets, and I can assure you its not for using, just a storage bin to collect . . .

Give us all hi res pics when you're done!
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

Check out this list of threads:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=15375
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

I've been struggling with myself whether to put labels on my drawer fronts, the only ones I'd consider are these:

http://www.zcalz.com/

Nice design, color matched, and they're magnets rather than stickers.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

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Wow, the mother lode of organization!!

Thx.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

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Originally Posted by trebomb View Post
I've been struggling with myself whether to put labels on my drawer fronts, the only ones I'd consider are these:

http://www.zcalz.com/

Nice design, color matched, and they're magnets rather than stickers.
You're a God . . .
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GRX: Judging from past experiences my guess would be Racoons. They can easily jump onto the lid if the can is too heavy to knock over. Either that or Man-Bear-Pig.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

Looked over the links. Most are about how to organize sockets and wrenches which I'm set with. This link about how to organize drawers way particularly helpful:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ead.php?t=3616
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

You should have more than enough room to avoid the normal problems of organizing. It'll take a little while, but you will soon memorize the contents without labels.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

As an industrial tech I placed the most used tools in the top drawers and they ranked down as the drawers got closer to the floor. Nothing to say that you can't have a selection of screwdrivers, sockets, and wrenches in one drawer if you find that they are the most used tools by YOU. What you do and what you work on will dictitate how you arrange your tools.

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Old 06-02-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

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Originally Posted by brian90505 View Post
It'll take a little while, but you will soon memorize the contents without labels.
My Kobalt box has slots in the handles for labels so I made some on the computer. If I relied on my memory I'd spend more time opening draws than working.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

I use a Brother Labeler and put the labels on the top of the drawers and not the fronts.
you can see each drawer label clearly as you are standing over it, but not as you are standing back and looking at the Tool Box.
Kinda the best of both worlds.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

I don't label any drawers on my box, but then I'm working out of the box every day, so it becomes second nature pretty fast to grab the right one.
I do, however, keep the shared "home shop" box labeled like KCarGuy suggested, since I have friends / brother all working out of it.
I also try to keep the most used basics in the easiest to get to drawers --ie: a specialty tool only used once in a while goes in the bottom (or very top if it's a tall settup), while all the screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, etc go in the drawers from about "thigh" high to "middle of your chest" high. Anything higher or lower is harder to get to quickly (bepending on how tall the tool box / you are).

Last edited by Heavy Metal Doctor; 06-02-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

my HF box came with these label strips and i had it all labeled. Then i started getting more tools so i flipped the labels to the other side and wrote on that side then i kept changing things and i just got rid of them, i know where everything is anyways.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

I thought the label strips were kind of silly. After sending my wife and kid three or four times to get me something while I was under a car, it dawned on me that those labels would be kinda handy. Now I can tell them "look in the drawer labeled pliers...."
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

Quote:
Originally Posted by trebomb View Post
I've been struggling with myself whether to put labels on my drawer fronts, the only ones I'd consider are these:

http://www.zcalz.com/

Nice design, color matched, and they're magnets rather than stickers.
Very nice. Thanks for the link.

Eric
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tool chest organization

i always tried to keep stuff organized the same way in different set of boxes.
toolboxes at work
toolbox in my service truck
toolboxes at home
toolboxes at my rented shop space.

it was working until i moved out my rented space and moved those boxes and tools back to the house.
then everything went to hell
combine tools from 3 set of boxes back into 2 sets that i have room in the garage for. move 2 empty set of boxes down the basement steps.
shuffle, move, move again, ect ect tools around in the bigger boxes to make room.
just about the time i get it all halfass straightened out, i pick up some more tools, and plans changed again. pull most of the tools out of the boxes and start over.

2 months pass everything fits in the boxes now, and i can usually find what i'm looking for.
'cept i have a line on another set of 31" wide SO boxes for the garage, so all plans are back to square 1 again...

my most used tools stay in the same general area, from mid chest to just below waist level. i've been using the same drawer layout plans for so long it's 2nd nature where anything is.

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