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Art & Inspiration coffee can storage ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JOECOOL, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. I have my grandfathers coffee cans.....I don't even drink the stuff, but they do work great for holding parts while you work on the cars. I use see through used food containers now (AND have cabinets for the new stuff), the old coffee cans are on display in the garage for no one to appreciate but me.....I remember them in his work shop when I was little.
    fauj likes this.
  2. My dad passed away at 95, 9 years ago and my mom this year at 94. They lived 1400 miles away and my brother, who lived the closest had the job of cleaning out Dad's storeroom a few months ago. I told my brother that I didn't want to hear a peep about what he found in there. I'm a certified hoarder when it comes to fasteners, old tools, etc.
    As things are, I can't swing a short-tailed cat in my garage because of all the stuff I've "saved".
  3. Gregg Lucas
    Joined: Jul 31, 2014
    Posts: 8

    Gregg Lucas
    from Tucson, AZ

    I am a definite hoarder...almost divorced.
    Get this, my dad used to remodel his house. I helped him one summer and realized that he would pull out the 16d nails from the timbers and save them. Then he would straighten them out on an anvil and reuse them. Now I do the same. Why throw out a perfectly good nail, so it is a little crooked, big deal.
    302GMC, 56don, RICH B and 1 other person like this.
  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,587

    from Oregon

    And how :)
  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,587

    from Oregon

    :D I know that feeling.
  6. akoutlaw
    Joined: May 13, 2010
    Posts: 931


    Been there. When I was a kid I straightened so many nails. My dad could straighten the most crooked & pretzeled nails in no time flat. My fingers still hurt thinkn bout it. I can afford to buy nails now so bent ones go in the trash as fast as I can fling em there! Every time I get rid of something I "don't need" anymore, I find myself needing it in a short time & having to buy it again. :rolleyes:
    AVater likes this.
  7. Three Widow's Garage
    Joined: Jan 18, 2010
    Posts: 227

    Three Widow's Garage

    This makes me feel much better
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,111

    from California

    some coffee cans are worth money. my brother has a $100.00 coffee can with rusty hardware in it in his barn. says he paid .25 for it. it's probably still there.
  9. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    Didn't even read the whole thread.

    WORST method of storing anything but coffee. Period.

    I have a friend that has literally hundreds of coffee cans and can never find anything. He even dumped them out and marked cans 1/4, 5/16, etc. Still can't find what he wants.

    I had a few I had kept for years. I finally got smart and bought some cabinets, storage trays, organizers, etc. I have everything labeled and I will admit I can now walk up to a marked spot and actually pull out what I was looking for! Amazing!

    It took me a few weeks do dump every box, can or old drawer and sort and mark but it was worth every second. Never again will I have coffee cans, baby food bottles, old paint cans...….nothing.

    They make those storage systems for a reason and they are 100% worth it.

  10. I used to have hardware in spackle buckets... went through it and tossed anything that was beat up or I had no future use for. We get these strong cardboard boxes at work, they're not big and made to store PC boards. About 2" x 4" x 8" and have covers that close well. I have 1 each for each size of hardware. I got some HF clear plastic storage boxes, separated out my small hardware and electrical stuff. Works great.

    Almost any hardware on my Ford is NEW. I used very little old stuff unless it was acid dipped, cleaned and painted. Of course I wind up with extra new stuff along the way.
    Deuces likes this.
  11. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,867

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    I bought a bunch of Harbor Freight plastic ammo boxes for storing different nails and screws, allows me to take them to job sites without spilling, mark them on the front with what is in them. They take up little room and have handles so easy to carry. Still need to organize nuts and bolts though.
  12. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    Growing up a son of a depression era father . He had 4 lazy susan type screw holders with Gerber baby formula jars . A screw through the lid into a piece of plywood that he could spin around and find any small screw or nut he needed. He has some WW2 surplus bins for the bigger stuff.
    We lived 20 miles from the nearest town with a parts store or hardware store. Never threw anything away.
    I have bolt bins , but no room to put them up since I moved.
    samurai mike, Deuces and Floater03 like this.
  13. Floater03
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 506

    from Byron Ga.

    You beat me to it southcross2631, my father had the same set up. I kept dropping the jars though, glad my little sister was still keeping him in replacements at the time.
  14. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,274

    Ned Ludd

    I wonder if my own tendency to keep stuff is a reaction against my dad's pathological neatness. He used to have a fairly good collection of nuts and bolts and things, all classified into little plastic drawers in boxes on the garage wall. He got rid of a lot of it when he started slowing down. He turned 83 in June and he's still active enough to drive my mum up the wall.

    Indeed, I've come to regard excessive neatness as something to do with having too much energy. I have very little energy, not enough to allocate any to getting random stuff to stand in rows. I take after my mum that way. Before he retired my dad would come home from work every day and go through the entire house shifting ornaments a half-inch this way or a quarter-inch that way. There's no way I'll be doing that when I get home today.

    And my dad loves to throw things away. He used to have a complete set of Road & Track 1960-c.1980, and I asked him one day if I could look something up, only to be told that he'd sent the lot to recycling. That I put down to an expression of ownership/authorship informed by frustrated creativity. My dad never had the opportunity to develop his natural creativity, and so he can only exercise authorship through ownership, which includes getting rid of things very dramatically.

    My dad and I are very close in a strange way, but we're chalk and cheese. My mum says I just completely baffle my dad.

    There's another aspect to hoarding, though, on a more social/cultural level. Not-hoarding is today embraced as a kind of aesthetic minimalism, and aesthetic minimalism is almost always an expression of conspicuous consumption. It implies a high turnover of possessions enabled by ample and secure means, and the sure knowledge that the systems and structures in force will always provide just the thing you'll want next, not to mention the probable existence of several hidden basement storeys where you keep your actual stuff. By contrast, the poor everywhere in the world will hoard whatever they can. I'm inclined rather to stand with the latter.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    Algoma56 likes this.
  15. turdmagnet
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 382


    Learned it from my dad too. Nothing goes to the curb without being salvaged for hardware, switches, wiring etc. He passed 6 year ago now and my moms kept everything as he had it. Just the other day I needed some perforated sheet metal for a cover - sure enough there's a box label sheet metal pieces and found exactly what I needed.

    My two daughters have the gene in them too. Even in their small apartments they have a small tool box of junk they might need.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Deuces likes this.
  16. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,417

    Jalopy Joker

    when growing up My Dad showed me the importance of not wasting anything - even straighten out bent nails - a Second Cousin of his passed away a few years ago, and I ended up being in charge of estate - major hoarder - part of the "treasure hunt" was to find any hidden cash/etc - had coffee cans & jars full of old screws, etc inside closets, a storage building with a very unique door opener, etc - no special finds and most went for scrap - I still save nuts & bolts, etc - but set up more like Chappy 444 - hard to let go - when I have to go buy a bolt that I do not have I always buy extras in case needed some other time
  17. Dump the coffee can... Find Bolt.... Use magnet to pickup remaining nuts and bolts.... Back in can they go!
    Deuces likes this.
  18. I keep stuff in coffee cans nuts bolts usable old parts that are just not quite good enough, but will get someone home in a pinch.

    I have started using the modern plastic ones but they seem to take up a lot of space. I do still have an old Chock Full O Nutz full of greasy dirty nuts bolts and washers for someone who needs stock stuff or for when I am in dire need. LOL
  19. Moselli
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 101


    I love coffee cans for storing stuff that I will never be able to find again. It gives me a good feeling not throwing away and wasting things that I have no use for. Since I'll never likely be able to find anything useful when I need it, I don't waste time marking the cans with the contents.

    I have shelves full of coffee can stuff. My friends says it's one of the most impressive collections they've seen. Occasionally I kid myself into thinking that one of the 138 cans contains the nut, bolt, fastener, etc. that I need for my project. I do a random pick of three cans, open them, dump them out and scan the contents. Over time, this has proven to be a valid statistical sampling. I then put the stuff back in the cans and go to the appropriate store and buy the hardware I need.

    While others might feel that storing all of this stuff is a waste of time and space, I feel good that I had a chance and remain optimistic that the next time I need something, it could be in one of those cans. It could happen.

    Fingers crossed...
  20. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,274

    Ned Ludd

    My dad is the only person I know who, whenever he has to put down newspaper to paint something or whatever, he actually has to go out and buy a newspaper.
  21. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Up through the '60's, back when people still owned lawnmowers, put new cords on dead lamps, etc., EVERY garage had one coffee can. Certified nuts had multiple cans, and the neurotic's garage always contained a failed attempt to organize it all in 200 baby food jars screwed to the underside of a shelf...
    When I was like 13 and starting to tinker with Old Ford I discovered that for minor problems (anything less than a crankshaft!) the solution was nearly always in the single can! If it wasn't there, shaking it and searching again was likely to turn up the answer OR a good kludge possibility, like a 1/4 screw and nut through a hole formerly inhabited by something 5/16.
    By the '70's, the general population had moved past coffee cans and had less and less contact with anything mechanical, and the coffee cans started showing up on junk tables at garage sales as the treasures of geezers were cleared out by their ungrateful descendants. I bought them, and noticed that about 50% of old cans contained some widget that I could identify as an early Ford part...Model A Lugnut, flathead valve guide retainer, Script wrench, like that.
    My Grandfathers both taught me to beat coffee-can nails straightish on a brick. Now I have luxury...a little bench block with a groove allowing the job to approach perfection. Every time I see my block, I wish that I could go back in time and give one to each of them. They would have loved that.
    I've always done things like picking up stray hardware from the gutter while walking dog...even now, when the supply is polluted by metric stuff from Warsaw Pact vehicles. Junkyard trips always included stripping every fastener I could reach from good donors.
    My efforts are largely wasted because I lack any ability to organize anything...If I own 5 spare everthings for a car, I'll need to go buy one when I need it. Owning everything isn't worth much when it is all in one tangled heap.
    If I were rich I'd hire some sort of mechanical secretary who would root through it all and sort it to suit my imaginings of order into polished stainless coffee cans...
  22. Coffee can's are about as Traditional as you can get! :D HRP
    Deuces and Truck64 like this.
  23. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,817


    Medicine bottles from the VA. Amber ones I can see through, white ones I write in sharpie what's in them. Still have to sort through a VW shipping tub to find them. Don't have anywhere near the accumulation of most of you, though. When I had roundbody Falcons, I had LOADS of spares around.... not much left now but a set of steel fender flares for radiusing the rear fenders, a good front '60-'61 bumper , and some taillight lenses. Gave away far too much a few years ago.
  24. Here,s another one who straightend bent nails when i was in the building/construction game in the late 1960s and 1970s. Timber framed 4 bedroom houses with 2 or 3 living rooms. 3 inch nails could allways be used again.
  25. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 463

    from Louisiana

    As a kid I spent a HUGE part of my time on the weekends taking 5 gal buckets of nails, ballpen and a little piece of RR trail. Straightening nails and sorting them into coffee cans. Especially the old iron square nails. My old man got like $25 bucks a can for the square nails back in the 70's from a Antique furniture "restorer" fraud. The other nails he gave to the guys "across the tracks". We would tear down old houses and only the ones built out of Cypress for free. My old man traded/sold the good Cypress to a local lumber yard.
    34 GAZ likes this.
  26. Throw it away. You will then know.

  27. CME1
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 203


    What a great post! I, like every one here has the collection of cans of nuts, bolts and other fastners that I will never use. It seems that when I need some kind of fastner, it is faster to go to the HD store and buy them. If all of us who posted here empty'd our goodies in one pile, WOW!
  28. [​IMG]

    I just don't know where to put the bolts.

    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  29. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    "If all of us who posted here emptied our goodies in one pile, WOW!"
    Wherever we did that would immediately be the new North Pole...
    And best not be in an airliner aloft when it happens!

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