Author Topic: Tool storage - what do you use?  (Read 3824 times)

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Offline online421

  • Posts: 71
Tool storage - what do you use?
« on: August 03, 2017, 10:14 PM »
I need to sort out my tool storage.
 
How do you store your tools? drawers/cabinets under your workbench?

what if I dont have a workbench? I need ideas for guys like me who dont operate with a bench, I use the surface of my combination machine as a work bench, or the floor for something large.

Tool box such tool chest for the mechanic? such as Snap on/Knig Tony? will the fine timber dust be an issue for the drawer mechanism?

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Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 454
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2017, 11:15 PM »
From someone who has seen more tools boxes than most, working in the automotive field, for a happy home owner, I would recommend going somewhere like Costco, or finding something decent on sale at the box store, assuming you are in the USA. You will not open and close the drawers enough to wear them out, so spending thousands on a Snap-on box makes no sense when you could be spending money on the tools that get the job done.

Drawers are great if you got a place for them. Same concept as a tool box, except you can make them whatever size you want. I often use bins and have over 70 bins storing everything for our household , including my tools, plus materials. My shelving is always set up for bin storage.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 663
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 06:07 AM »
Craigs List and yard sales can be a good source of used roll around tool boxes.
You might find a nice Gerstner wood tool chest which are great for storing precision
measuring tools.

Older Craftsman boxes were decent, I don't know who made them for Craftsman
but the 10 drawer chest I have from the 70s is still going strong. I have MAC
and SnapOn boxes too from the 70s and 80s and other than the drawer glides
they are not much better. Some people rave about the HF boxes but I don't know.
They probably come from the same factory as everything else on the market these
days, but that doesn't mean they are built to the same quality level. Still, depending
on your budget it might not hurt to have a look see.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 09:49 AM by Bob D. »
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline RobBob

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Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 09:34 AM »
I recently bought the 44" wide top and bottom US General Pro rolling tool chests from Harbor Freight.  They were $250 and $350 respectively, on sale.  I keep mechanics type tools in the top chest and woodworking hand tools in the bottom chest.  My shop is in the garage so I wanted the ability to lock everything up.

The consensus on the Garage Journal forum is that the Harbor Freight US General Pro series of rolling tool chests are the best bang for the buck.  Someone created a spreadsheet comparing number of ball bearings in the drawer slides, sheet metal thickness, cost, etc...  The US General Pro came out on top.  However, they only come in red.

There are some new boxes on the market that you may like better.  The Husky flat black boxes from Home Depot are worth a look.

Take note of the depth and width of the drawers on any that you are considering.  Full width drawers and deeper drawers are more useful.  Some tool chests have drawers that are so shallow, only very thin tools laying flat in the drawer will fit.

Watch some of the youtube videos to see how other people store their tools in their rolling tool chests.  There are a lot of options out there to hold wrenches, pliers, sockets, etc.  These tool holders usually require a little deeper drawer.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 07:25 PM by RobBob »

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 916
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 10:19 AM »
For my auto tools, I prefer a traditional toolbox.  Mine has an assortment of 2-4" drawers so I can pack it pretty densely, it's 24" deep with full extension slides so the long tools can be arranged front to back allowing me to preserve more space in the front of the drawer for frequently accessed items.  Top drawer is full length and deep to accomodate deep sockets standing up. 

But for the woodworking stuff I have no desire to use a similar box.  I think a smaller number of shallow drawers for layout tools is useful, beyond which some 3-4" drawers would be more helpful for other tools and supplies.  Add some cabinets and sliding shelves for larger items and a tool wall for chisels, planes, rasps, drills, chargers, etc. and I'm happy.  You could build a cabinet on casters that is the same height as your existing table to give you a little more flexibility, and build the drawers and storage into that. 

So I would think about what you want to store and how you want it stored before you buy a generic box.  If you find you still need to buy a box, at least outline what you want to put in it so you can narrow your search to the right drawer combinations.  Personally, after having used an ill-conceived craftman tool chest for my auto tools, I just found myself dumping tools in there any way that fits.  There was little order to it and it drove me nuts. 
-Raj

Offline bigred00

  • Posts: 30
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 10:37 AM »
I recently bought the 44" wide top and bottom US General Pro rolling tool chests from Harbor Freight.  They were $250 and $350 respectively, on sale.  I keep mechanics type tools in the top chest and woodworking hand tools in the bottom chest.  My shop is in the garage so I wanted the ability to lock everything up.

The consensus on the Garage Journal forum is that the Harbor Freight US General Pro series of rolling tool chests are the best bang for the buck.  Someone created a spreadsheet comparing number of ball bearings in the drawer slides, sheet metal thickness, cost, etc...  The US General Pro came out on top.  However, they only come in red.

I have one of these too. They're fantastic and great value. I've been slowly putting kaizen foam in the drawers to keep things organized. The large, shallow drawers are great for storing things like squares, rules etc as well as 99% of your hand tools. The power tools are mostly in systainers

Online SRSemenza

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Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 02:26 PM »
   I did a shop storage reorganization  a few months ago. I wanted to get all my smaller stuff into a mechanics type tool chest in order to open space in larger cabinets for Systainers and bigger items.     

  I got one of the Husky matte black chests a few months ago. I think it is the largest (56"?)  top and bottom. It has a good mix of drawer heights. Seems built well enough. Had the best / most drawers for the dollars. I am completely happy with it so far.

      The drawer height mix desired will depend what you want to put in them. I looked seriously at the HF boxes. I think they are very well built and the price is great. For my use though there were too many deeper drawers (4"?) and not enough shallow. I would not have had enough density. Also remember to check the front to back depth of the drawers when comparing units. Makes a big difference on square inches and what will fit.

     Some example pics of my use. All my drill  and drive bits are the smaller drawers (not pictured).  These can really hold a lot of stuff. It is easy to picture only putting "tools" in this type of box but other things can go in just as well EX- my drawers of screws.

                                                    



Seth

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 454
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 03:00 PM »
Tool boxes like Ridgid, Dewalt Tough boxes, and the new Milwaukee boxes are also nice for storing items in. I have tons of the Ridgid boxes as they are $100 for a stack of three, when they are on sale. Depends if you need to be mobile or not. Even if I wasn't mobile I like EVERYTHING in my garage to be on wheels. Makes rearranging and cleaning far easier.





Offline TealaG

  • Posts: 66
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 07:35 PM »
I was floored to learn that a Snap On Toolbox could cost $11,000!!!!   I waited and got some similar drawers at Lowes on Black Friday special.  :)  I built my workbench around the smaller boxes.   

but if I didn't have a workbench, I'd build a tool wall like I see on YouTube.   I'm going to build a tool wall on my Tool cabinet on wheels.  It won't have every single tool I own, but the ones I use every day and put away the tools that I use less than 1x per week.

Offline Lettusbee

  • Posts: 33
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2017, 11:45 AM »
Seth, where did you get all the plastic bins for your fastener storage in the big husky box?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 663
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2017, 01:40 PM »
Another choice would be a Stanley Vidmar or similar cabinet. New they are expensive, but you can find used ones in various condition from $100 on up to over $1000. They come with various drawer depths, internal dividers and most have heavy duty drawer slides and can handle 100# or more per drawer.

You should be able to find dozens locally on Craigs List in the tools section.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 663
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2017, 01:44 PM »
I was floored to learn that a Snap On Toolbox could cost $11,000!!!!   I waited and got some similar drawers at Lowes on Black Friday special.  :)  I built my workbench around the smaller boxes.   

but if I didn't have a workbench, I'd build a tool wall like I see on YouTube.   I'm going to build a tool wall on my Tool cabinet on wheels.  It won't have every single tool I own, but the ones I use every day and put away the tools that I use less than 1x per week.

In stead of spending $11K on one box, why not bump up the price to $20K and get three tractor trailer loads of storage cabinets. Ad says sold as lot only, so you better have a big shop or a dozen friends to split it with. This is in Allentown, PA according to the ad. I'm no where near there.

https://allentown.craigslist.org/tld/d/huge-lot-of-used-lista-parts/6243763154.html
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2017, 02:27 PM »
I need to sort out my tool storage.
 
How do you store your tools? drawers/cabinets under your workbench?

what if I dont have a workbench? I need ideas for guys like me who dont operate with a bench, I use the surface of my combination machine as a work bench, or the floor for something large.

Tool box such tool chest for the mechanic? such as Snap on/Knig Tony? will the fine timber dust be an issue for the drawer mechanism?

Have you thought about storage under a mobile bench or under a mitre station?

If you want storage for smaller items them do what I did, bite the bullet and get some of the Sys storage options.

Peter

Online SRSemenza

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Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2017, 04:29 PM »
Seth, where did you get all the plastic bins for your fastener storage in the big husky box?

    Those are Raaco inserts. Same as come in the Tanos Racktainer boxes. Or you can order them from a couple online places.  They are modular. Come in a about 15 - 20 sizes. The Racktainer boxes do not come with all the sizes. They are very easy to change size or configuration. By pure chance the modular sizing fit those drawers on my tool chest almost perfectly in both directions.

The modular size for the smallest insert is 54mm x 39mm, all are 47mm tall (outside dimensions). Inserts are available in increments of that smallest module.


Seth

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1561
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 05:05 PM »
While I have at least 90+ systainers, I also four cheap Sears drawer cabinets...all bought as scratch and dent...less than $100.00 @.  My Makita sliding chop saw resides on one with 8' 8020 out riggers on either side. The others reside under my table saws or under the outriggers mentioned above.

Offline online421

  • Posts: 71
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 07:00 AM »
I need to sort out my tool storage.
 
How do you store your tools? drawers/cabinets under your workbench?

what if I dont have a workbench? I need ideas for guys like me who dont operate with a bench, I use the surface of my combination machine as a work bench, or the floor for something large.

Tool box such tool chest for the mechanic? such as Snap on/Knig Tony? will the fine timber dust be an issue for the drawer mechanism?

Have you thought about storage under a mobile bench or under a mitre station?

If you want storage for smaller items them do what I did, bite the bullet and get some of the Sys storage options.

Peter

I dont have a mitre station, however I have a double mitre saw... under neath double mitre saw there are space for sys storage...
Robland NX410Pro
Masterwood OMB1V
Omga AL129
SCM 5 RCS110
Chicago Pneumatics CPRS10500
Ceccato CDX 12
Holytek DC006
Festool DF700XL, CT36, LEX3
JLT 190BM2, JLT 79K10
Danfoss VLT 2880
Sicar TOP6
20 x Bessey, 12 x Urko 4003, 4 x Frontline, 2 x Lamello
4 x Record

Offline bobberner

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Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2017, 10:34 AM »


In stead of spending $11K on one box, why not bump up the price to $20K and get three tractor trailer loads of storage cabinets. Ad says sold as lot only, so you better have a big shop or a dozen friends to split it with. This is in Allentown, PA according to the ad. I'm no where near there.

https://allentown.craigslist.org/tld/d/huge-lot-of-used-lista-parts/6243763154.html
[/quote]

darn you!!! This guy is about 15 minutes from my home!!!! now i gotta see if I can scrounge up $20K!!!!!
As addictive as crack but more expensive.

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Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 663
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2017, 11:58 AM »


In stead of spending $11K on one box, why not bump up the price to $20K and get three tractor trailer loads of storage cabinets. Ad says sold as lot only, so you better have a big shop or a dozen friends to split it with. This is in Allentown, PA according to the ad. I'm no where near there.

https://allentown.craigslist.org/tld/d/huge-lot-of-used-lista-parts/6243763154.html

darn you!!! This guy is about 15 minutes from my home!!!! now i gotta see if I can scrounge up $20K!!!!!
[/quote]

You're welcome. I get no commission, just doing my part to help out another FOG member part with the hard earned cash. :)
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline BJM9818

  • Posts: 146
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 12:40 AM »


In stead of spending $11K on one box, why not bump up the price to $20K and get three tractor trailer loads of storage cabinets. Ad says sold as lot only, so you better have a big shop or a dozen friends to split it with. This is in Allentown, PA according to the ad. I'm no where near there.

https://allentown.craigslist.org/tld/d/huge-lot-of-used-lista-parts/6243763154.html

darn you!!! This guy is about 15 minutes from my home!!!! now i gotta see if I can scrounge up $20K!!!!!
[/quote]

I'm an hour away. Would chip in $5k if you can find two more people we could split it in 4.

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 580
Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2017, 09:58 AM »
I have an eclectic collection of storage units:
*  Under-bench storage on all of my workbenches.
    - Some from leftover construction material.
    - Custom drawers from maple and walnut. ($200)
*  Custom 5-drawer router cabinet. ($250)
*  One metal standing cabinet. (free)
*  A couple of old kitchen cabinets scrounged from different remodels. (free)
*  One cheap Craftsman metal tool cabinet. ($180)
*  4 industrial strength shelving units - 2x4, 7' high. ($30 each)
*  A couple of plastic drawer units from Office Depot. ($50)
*  Two 4', 2 drawer lateral filing cabinets. (free)
*  Several pegboard panels. ($20)
*  Lately Festool systainers have started showing up :) - they get stored wherever there is space at the time. (you know what they cost...)

Like my tools, I accumulated these over a 25-year period.  Some of it is borderline junk that I bought for next to nothing to serve an immediate need - and then I just never got rid of it due to inertia.  Some it is solid and serviceable, but not pretty.  Some of it is very nice stuff that I made for a specific purpose.  I could probably make a nicer-looking, better organized custom setup that would be very cool, but for the most part the storage just needs to work for me, and it mostly does.  When I do make improvements, they are usually targeted at particular details that I want to improve.

I think I'm pretty much stuck with this setup until I move, which will probably mean downsizing, which will probably mean making a nicer-looking, better organized custom setup that is cooler than what I've got now.  I'll deal with that when I have to.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 10:24 AM by HarveyWildes »

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Tool storage - what do you use?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2017, 11:59 PM »
Systainers, strainers, spur shelving with some thin cabs w/ drawers and shelves
Loving the Calif sun....