Register now to get rid of these ads!

Customs Tool Box organization

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gr8punkin, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Gr8punkin
    Joined: Aug 25, 2017
    Posts: 29


    I know it's a topic that's been discussed here before, and it's as much a personal choice as boxers or briefs. But what have you guys found as a good way to keep your tools organized and within reach?

    I ask this because I'm in the process of organizing my shop, it's become so cluttered that when I go out there I can't even focus on a build at all. My toolbox is the next thing on my list (now that I've organized my bolt horde), and it has been described as having no "toolbox chi". So what are your do's and don'ts?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 456

    from Louisiana

    A different way to think about tool storage. How you use the tools vs hiding them out of sight.
    mrspeedyt and Gr8punkin like this.
  3. Gr8punkin
    Joined: Aug 25, 2017
    Posts: 29


    Great video! I always loved Mythbusters.
    Thanks for sharing.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,027

    from California

    here's a don't... don't put things in your tool box that are not tools.

    sockets and wrenches need to be on racks so when you grab the wrong size the next one is right there, plus you will see that one is missing at the end of the day.

    the guy in the video above does not look like anyone I would take tool advice from.
    Chucky, Poh, 302GMC and 4 others like this.

  5. Check out garage journal,you will probably find a lot of anal tool origination threads.

    I have found that most,not all but most people that are super organized,every thing in it's place and a place for everything rarely complete their projects.HRP
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  6. Mark Roby
    Joined: Sep 29, 2015
    Posts: 96

    Mark Roby

    My tools are laid out like a surgeons tools. They go back every night in their place. 10 minutes wiping them down and putting them back where they go saves a lot of time while working. They all rest on tool box liner as well

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    jim snow likes this.
  7. BTW,I have a good friend that uses a wrench,wipes it off and put's it back before he does anything else.
    His shop is like a operating room,it's almost sterile and he does impeccable work but he couldn't work in my shop. HRP
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,399


    I have a wide tool chest with a deep top drawer. I use that drawer only for parts etc that I plan to use soon. This way I don't have to hunt all over the garage for the special place I stashed the unobtainable tail light lenses or the little baggie of trim clips it took me 5 years to find. Its also a good place to answer the question, what do I need to work on next?
  9. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,223


    My dad always had a mug on his desk that read "A clean desk is a sign of a sick mind" I apply that motto to my tool box.
  10. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 652


    I collect old wooden toolboxes. It always amazes me when I find a box from a real machinist, every tool is the same distance apart,like a surgeon, every sharp surface has a shop rag wrapped around it, with black tape to keep it from unraveling, NO rust, always pristine,like they were owned by the same person. MY toolboxes, however, not so much. I can still admire their dedication and perseverance, however.
  11. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    I may not as organized as some. I have what I call, "pile organization."

    For instance, all the pliers, chanelocks, vice grips and wire cutters, and tin snips are literaly thrown in the pliers drawer. Sometimes from across the room. I don't want to spend the time to put them in thier own hollowed foam cavity or even in a pouch or a pocket. It's quick and easy to see all the pliers, usually without even having to move the top layer.

    Sockets are about the only exception. It's no fun digging through a drawer full of sockets so they get meticulously returned to their holder. However, extensions and ratchets also get the pile treatment.

    About the only other organization I do is for specific tasks that I do frequently. For instance, I have an air conditioning box that I pull out when I get one of those jobs. Everything I need is (usually) in that box. Sometimes I have to buy duplicates for it if it's not too expensive. Saves me from having to go back and forth to the pliers pile.

    I also have a weird tools drawer where I keep things I dont use very often. No sense searching around them every day.

    Lastly, there's a tiny tools drawer.

    The reason I organize is do I dont spend a lot of time searching. So I dont want to waste a lot of time organizing.

    Seeing everything neatly on its place does nothing for me. I will admit that its easier to see if something's missing. But that's not a big enough benefit to trump the time saved by piling.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    HOTRODPRIMER, jim815 and Gr8punkin like this.
  12. Gr8punkin
    Joined: Aug 25, 2017
    Posts: 29


    I typically have my tools the same way, especially pliers have just gone into the Pinche (spanish slang for F*ck) because those are the ones that pinch.
  13. I have 2 roll around tool boxes with a top cabinet w/t drawers and a lower cabinet,I also have a 3 tier cabinet I bought from a friend that was moving and couldn't thak it with him.

    I never move the boxes and they are positioned around the shop,I have a lot of hand tools but invariably what I need will be in one of the other boxes,they are easier to find on the work bench! :D HRP
    Dirk35, 64 DODGE 440 and Gr8punkin like this.
  14. 26hotrod
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 931

    from landis n c

    Foe tool box shelf liner I used the leather out of my old recliner. Cut it to size and it works like a charm, besides it was already paid for............
    czuch and Gr8punkin like this.
  15. Gr8punkin
    Joined: Aug 25, 2017
    Posts: 29


    I think that would be called up cycling.
    Mark Roby likes this.
  16. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    [Foe tool box shelf liner I used the leather out of my old recliner. Cut it to size and it works like a charm, besides it was already paid for............[/QUOTE]
    I did an OT seat that way. C/L had a red leather couch for free.
    I pulled up in my pick-up and we put it in the back. I cut the back out and dropped it off at the good will.
    Looks bitchen.
    As far as tool box organization,,,,,,,,,,I have 3 roll aways. I can tell you if its in Box 2, drawer 3.
    Pile theory.
  17. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,257

    from Nicasio Ca

    Keep all the odd shaped tools that are guaranteed to catch on the drawer above in one specific drawer.

    Never open that drawer.
  18. wow... i'm learning.
  19. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    I have a box.
    302GMC likes this.
  20. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,208

    64 DODGE 440
    from so cal

    My theory is keep like things together. Screwdrivers in one drawer, phillips on the left, flat blade on the right. Pliers get their own drawer . Vise grips have a dedicated drawer. Open end and box wrenches intermingle in their drawer and socket wrenches, ratchets and extensions have their own separate drawer. Special engine and chassis tools have dedicated drawers as do any other odds an ends. I have a couple of roll arounds with top boxes, several assorted smaller boxes for travel purposes and the largest cross bed box I could find for our pickup (OT '06 Dodge Cummins quad cab) and the one thing that rings true is before I get done with any job I have a time that whatever tool I nee is in one of the other boxes. Murphy was an optimist.
    czuch likes this.
  21. Hang some stuff on peg boards.
    Gr8punkin likes this.
  22. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    Never. I have a one eyed friend who had peg boards. I'm not graceful enough either.
    49ratfink and Gr8punkin like this.
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,363


    But when I was working in shops for a living everything had it's spot and got put back in that exact spot every time. The spots are still there right where I put the tools in 1972 When I bought that box off the Snap On tool truck and we moved everything from the old box I traded in to the new box. It's just that there a lot more tools now and too much junk that doesn't belong in the box.
    One thing that adds to the mess is that right now I have too many duplicates in the wrench drawer. I need to wean that down to two of each size of combination wrench and stick the rest in another tool box or use some in my wrecking yard bucket That would clean up that drawer a lot.
    The metrics that I didn't have or have very many of in the 1960's and 70's are going into their own tool box along with the specialty tools for the late model rigs when I get the shop built too. That would cut down on clutter and make life easier when working on any of the rigs.
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,363


    I'm not a big fan of pegboards in a primarily automotive or bike shop. They always say woodworking shop to me.
    One over the work bench for tools that you mostly use at the work bench would be great though. My knees don't like standing at a work bench or table for any length of time anymore and getting up to dig a tool out of the tool box that normally only gets used at the bench like the screwdriver I only use for carb seats of needle and seat is a pain at times and that batch of tools could well stay on a peg board above the bench.
    There is no perfect way, it's organize and arrange things to make it simple and easy find them easy to keep track of them and it helps get a job done faster.
    I figured out one thing years ago that helps keep track of tools an that is to have a small tool cart or even an old TV tray that you can set beside the rig you are working on and lay your tools on it rather than on the vehicle. That cut tool loss down for me when working on cars for a living and made things faster as I could pull what tools I knew I needed for a job out and put them on the tray and have them right there.
    Gr8punkin likes this.
  25. Gr8punkin
    Joined: Aug 25, 2017
    Posts: 29


    I agree about peg boards, I put one up over my lathe and it's convenient for things like the collet closer and other lather specific tools that I want to put my hand on right away.
    After watching the video earlier I'm thinking I might build a piece that goes over the top of my box for plier organization. If I do I'll post a picture of it for you guys.
  26. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 400

    from California

    For the first time in decades, I bought a new tool chest to thin out my collection in my main chest. Looked at a LOT of options, settled on a Harbor Fright 4-drawer rolling tool cart for $100 on sale (the black one). I set it up with the tools I use MOST, then roll it out to the car for the task - I wrench in the driveway, with a 1-car garage that is cozy at best. I left the bottom drawer mostly open to store small parts and tools I'm using for the job - makes it easy to pick-up quick and roll back into the garage for a parts run. The more I use it, the more I like it - saves time and steps, pretty good unit for the price! Need to add holders for screwdrivers on the side of the box.
    Mark Roby likes this.
  27. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    I'm the type who never needed to borrow a tool twice.
    I have A LOT of tools. many doubles.
    When I was spinning iron as a paid mechanic, I would loan tools. Some came back, some I had to go get back.
    One Friday I took them all home. Cleaned them, primed them, and painted them lipstick pink.
    I got in early and restocked my box.
    One of the guys, a chronic offender, came over to borrow a tool and recoiled in horror.
    The loan rate was greatly reduced. The recovery rate was greatly increased.
    The laughs were also greatly increased.

    "Who's working on my car"?
    " The guy with the panhead parked outside his bay, and the pink tools".
    wraymen and Gr8punkin like this.
  28. I like having a tool board for the most commonly used tools. The board needs to have a dedicated spot of each tool. Have a row of inch system combination wrenches lined up in order, with another row for metric. A selection of screwdrivers, again in an orderly row. A couple of hammers, a mallet, and a selection of socket extensions. One look at the board and you can see which tool has not be put back in its place.
    The advantage is that those common tools are always handy. You still have to have a tool box with everything else.
    Poh likes this.
  29. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,141

    from red oak

    Placerment of toolboxes is a plus. Put them by your garage doors or by your walk in door. Not back in the corner of your shop.
  30. Gr8punkin
    Joined: Aug 25, 2017
    Posts: 29


    I knocked this out last night, if I find it really useful I'll make a more refined version
    BTW I don't know who's car that is in the picture, or where the pic came from. Maybe someone on the board here does know it.

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.