How do you organize your tools?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by clovis, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    I have alot of hand tools. Probably not as many as some of you.

    I could use some ideas on organizing my tools.

    I have both mechanic and carpentry tools.

    Do you just throw your tools into a toolbox, or do you have them separated out into categories?

  2. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

    Nov 24, 2005
    I have just moved into a bigger work truck, it is a 1 ton GMC U-haul type van with a 14 foot box. Before I had a Dodge D50 with a tool box and several ammo cans that I had hand tools, painting tools, ect. in.
    Now that I have this truck with alot of space I am trying to organize everything, I built a long shelf on the right wall to hold my power tools on. I put them in order of everyday use. Skill saw and drills are the closest to the back, the laser level is up towards the front. Screw drivers and the such are the easiest to get to at the back. Socket wrenches and pliers have thier own place up at the front also. I would love to have a blue print as to how it should be layed out but I am working on it day by day.
    So to reply to your question,, I try to place everything in order as of use and ease of convenience.

  3. Northman

    Northman Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Work tools I keep in a Snapon triple bank tool box. it's 6' x 6'. (mechanical tools, wrenches, sockets ,scan tool etc.) also keep a mobile tool cart which I hang my creeper from and keep a rollaround seat under. I screwed a couple of those window hanging soda can holders for penatrating oil, silicone spray and whatever else.

    Home tools I keep in a 40"wide craftsman tool box (mechanical and small wood tools.) other tools like circular saw, sawzall, laser level and bigger cased tools I keep in an few lockers which are free standing. also have a tool bag for often needed tools around the house which I keep in a spare room for easy access.

    Also keep some tools scattered about in each vehicle (pliars, screwdrivers, knife, etc.)

    For small parts and things like wire butt connectors,terminals, relays, breakers, and fuses I bought some of those Plano tackle boxes for easily locating without digging around for hours looking through misc. drawers and piles of crap.

    I am a toolaholic, I am hopelessly addicted!

    Can't have too many tools and organization is a MUST!

    Learned that fast working flat rate.
  4. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

    Aug 25, 2002
    Southern Ontario CANADA
    I suppose it depends how and where you do most of your work. An electrician or plumber has to be mobile, so I'd guess that they'd have many seperate/smaller tool boxs. A mechanic usually works out of a shop, so things can stay put.

    Personally, I have a large "mechanics box" (top + bottom + side cabinet) - its on wheels, but it is too large/heavy to be considered "mobile". In this, I keep the majority of my smaller tools and most often used tools - sockets, wrenchs, drill bits, screwdrives, hammers, etc. For rolling around, I use a pair of "shop carts". For larger tools and tools which are seldom used, I usually have a double-door shop cabinet with shelves.

    Industrial auctions are the best place to "furnish" your shop - at many, things like work benchs, storage cabinets, shop carts, etc go for dirt cheap.

  5. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2005
    Last used on top. Needed tool on bottom.
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    I seem to never have time to put the tools back where they can be readily retrieved. However I do seem to have time to look for them when I am on a project. The last tool I used is on top of the pile in the floor. After the pile gets totally uncontrollable I take time to resort and place where they belong and start over. My friend owns a pawnshop and often I find it is easier to replace to search for. I have enough screwdrivers, hammers, pliers and combination wrenches to equip a garage! My biggest headache with the tools is that the farm where I live and the farm where the majority of my equipment is stored are not in the same county. What I need is always at the other place! Always buy land that is contigous if possible.
  7. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 4, 2005
    first you convert the old horse barn that 60 x65 in to a shop for the mechanical tools so your garage that is 24x30 can hold the wood working tools, NO the car is made for out side,

    ok the barn is situated with a core building of 30 x50, which you turn in to your mechanical and machine and welding shops,
    on the sides you store supplies and lumber, there 16 x50, and since you raised the hay mow so you have a good 20' head room in 30x30 of the shop area, you put supplies on the original hay mow floor that is left, that is 20 x30, and the raised hay mow for larger supplies like tin work and old automotive radiators belts hoses, and the like,

    you line the working shop with work benches and mechanic's tool boxes, and selves for bolts and the like, and then in about 10 years you start planing your additions of 40x60 on the front of it and building a new wood shop, as it is so crowed you cant hardly work in it,

    so what is the moral of the the above story, no matter what you have or build or buy it will never be enough, and in a few years you will want more and bigger as it is bursting at the seams.

    SIZE=6]If you have space you will fill it[/SIZE

    if your wondering what the back shed holds, is one 15x16 stall, a milk room for the goats, restroom, meat cutting room, walkin cooler and a walk in freezer,
  8. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    wyoming/ now tennessee
    I have many places I keep them. So I can hunt for them each time, kinda like easter egg hunting. Only not fun. I like to find the tool I was looking for a couple of days ago before I got side tracked. But I don't need now, because I lost the part I was fixing last. shadowwalker
  9. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    New York bordering Ontario
    Well, the ones I use the most are in the tractor. They would be the flat wrenches, the sockets, the hammer, the crescent wrenches and assorted other tools. This way they don't sit in the milk room where the milk plant inspector will see them and score me as having "litter" in the milk room. Then there's some in one out building that's has all of the old plumbing scattered on the floor (so it's easy to see what you are looking for). Under one window there's all the New Holland parts, and on the sill itself is the battery terminal cleaning tools. I use those a lot. Then as you work down the work bench you get into stuff that doesn't get used too much. By the time you get to the house garage, you've down to the lesser used hand tools and all of the power tools. The place is totally cluttered but most of the tools have been kept in the same places for 20 years or more, so even if everything is heaped up towards the ceiling, I can usually find what I'm looking for in a very short time.

    I guess you can say the place is organized, but I'm the only one who knows where anything is because you can't tell by looking at it.

  10. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

    May 12, 2002
    New Zealand
    I am afraid my workshop is a combination of good intentions and the last-tool-on-top method!

    Seriously though, I haunt the shops that sell old office furniture and never fail to buy any plan cabinet or any other cabinet that has shallow sturdy drawers. The good thing about shallow drawers is that the tool on the bottom is also the tool on top!
  11. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    i keep my electrical tools in one place plumbing in another and so on small things i use a lot i keep in a 5 gallon bucket with one of those aprons full
  12. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

    Oct 24, 2005
    Central & South Mississippi
    Since I currently don't have space enough to put them up the way I want, I have various small toolboxes full in different places. I have some in a truck box, some in a box just inside the garage, some tools in the storage building and MOST of the rest are in a big drawer type box and 5-6 small boxes in the garage storage room. And it may be a day or two before I do it but I always put them back where they go after using them.
  13. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    We use the roller cabinates with multiple small drawers, and nails on the walls for bigger wrenches bolt cutters etc. My house tool box is a smaller tool box with drawers, and yeah they're all organised by type. At least until we get rushed but I try to take time to reorganise things at some point. Its about the only place I do try to stay organized! I also try to keep some tools in the vehicles and tractors, it's like keeping chocolate in a bowl though, someone's gotta have it before its been there too long. I'll load a small tool box with spares and needed tools for road trips too, then it's a top load, and cram method.