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Old 06-20-2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Garage/Parts Organization

I'm about to embark on a garage/parts organization project and wanted to get some ideas from the "community" especially with regard to parts storage. I have parts strewn everywhere with no rhyme or reason (other than those that I bring to the track with me). What kind of containers/cabinets do you guys use to store parts (big and small)? Is there a particular methodology behind your organization? Do you keep an inventory?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:51 PM
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When it comes to storing car parts, one of the best things I ever did was buy a ton of those Sterilite clear boxes in various sizes. IKEA also makes cheap boxes; the bigger ones even have wheels. Clear boxes is the critical part -- you can see into them.

I then went a bit more overboard and put all my car parts into inventory -- I use an excel doc that ties each part to their respective box. I also included a "condition" column, where I note the condition of the particular part.



Also, if your garage is like mine, in that it is not much deeper/wider than the cars themselves (mine is 21'x20', as a point of reference), one thing that really helped was to add a lot of shelving up high -- i.e., above my head. I can't stand cluttered garages and having high shelving both promotes organization without needing to clutter up the floor with crap.

One other thing you might want to consider is to build a fold-away bench on one of your walls. I used a 2'x8' sheet of 3/4" plywood and secured it to the wall using hinges and chains. Then, a clasp holds it up against the wall. The bench works great for holding stuff while working on the car; it's not sturdy enough to beat on with a hammer but it does greatly improve space utilization.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:04 PM
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:05 PM
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I used a combination of the IKEA GORM storage units in the garage. They cheap and study for most things. I also bought peg board and made a 8x6' panel of it raised on 1x2"s which is awesome for hanging most anything.

You can sort see what I did in the background of the first couple of pics here: http://dorkiphus.net/porsche/showpos...84&postcount=1
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:27 PM
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You must climb to the peak of the summit, and sit down with the guru himself, ViceGrip. Bring gifts......prepare to listen. He is wise.
Ooh I want to come too! I love this stuff.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:51 PM
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I got the usual Low's modular shelving and for the most part really like it. I screwed it to the wall (paneled garage) on every inner upright so no tipping issues. I have learned a hard lesson though. It’s best not to have a bottom self. What I mean is I for the most part store my equipment under the first self. Welder, plasma, shop vac, etc. But I did put a couple of shelves close to the floor. My thinking was that I could wash out under them easily. WRONG! Would be even worst if they were right on the floor. As floor space in a shop (no matter how big) is always a premium, storing equipment under the 1st shelf is near genius… just wish I had been smart enough to do it on all shelves. Use the cheap HF dollies for any big item. I have a number of motors and trans on them and it makes moving things around so much easier. Would be nice to be able to push them against the wall too (see storing under selves above). Try and organize your cabinets and storage in some sot of logical way. For example all my air tools, air fitting, gauges etc. are in one cabinet. All my torches, MAP and Propane bottles in another one. All the brake tools and bits, rebuild kits, bleeder, and even my track brake box are in one cabinet. Keep all your odd nuts, bolts, washers, screws, hose clamps, in “right sized” containers. I have an old freezer basket with handles on it that holds enough old square plastic containers (dog treats?) to hold all separately and be kind of sort of portable. I separate metric from SAE too. Have all your chisels, drill bits, files, C clamps, special tools together. Not saying all in one place but like tools together.
Get storage boxes that fit your selves even if it means selecting the containers before the shelving. I didn’t, wish I had. List what’s in the box and put it on several sides of the container. Nothing worst than going through box after box looking for that illusive bit you just know you have.
Mount your compressor as high as you can (see premium floor above). Even if it’s on a cabinet of shelf you gain space under it. I have my 60 gal comp. on a 2 shelf rolling cart so it can be easily moved if needed. I keep some of my welding gear on the selves under the tank.
I used good size air hoses with quick release connectors around the top perimeter of the shop to plumb air tools. Retractable HF house reels makes it easy too
Keep the tools you use all the time in a rolling tool cabinet. Easier to pull it over to where the work is than keep running back for something. OR having your good tools all over the floor.
Buy good tool cabinets, not necessarily expensive, but good quality with ball bearing or the like drawers. Wall cabinets are cheap but real wood stands up better than composites and for dogs sake get ones with decent hinges!

Got more but maybe this would make a good DeVor article!
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:57 PM
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Yes on the clear totes, and yes on the shelf size first so the totes you buy to fit for maximum storage. And not all totes the same size, body work tools take up more room than a box full of random gasket making material. I have found that everything gets put on casters for easy cleaning. A plywwod base or welded metal frame to hold the casters if needed. I have a laterial file cabinet I got at a used office place for cheap. The doors open up out of the way, the drawers pull out to get to the back and it has a pop out shelf built in when you need it. All metal, black and I put it on wheels. Great use of space and looks "garage." I keep big stuff like circular saws, drills, routers in it. I also found this site a while back that I think you will like.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:32 PM
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I got a bunch of shelving from U-Line. Commercial, chrome, grid stuff that goes together pretty easily and can handle a lot of weight.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:34 PM
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RFID tags.

Put 'em on everything.

Get a scanner/ reader, connect to your garage computer, and fire up a database program. If you get ambitious, tie it into a 3D rendering of your garage so you can search the database for a tool/ part and see exactly where it is located.




And yes, I am joking...




...sort of. It would be really cool to see someone do this, and it would make a great dV article. Team up with another computer guru like Jazz or Kirk and make it happen
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoodPin View Post
You must climb to the peak of the summit, and sit down with the guru himself, ViceGrip. Bring gifts......prepare to listen. He is wise.
Embarrassing, largely untrue and funny all at the same time.

Small like nuts and bolts small I like to use segmented bins that have lids. Keeps them apart when you drop the bin and keeps the many years of garage frass and dust from building up.

Larger things. Open bins or well marked containers. Cardboard bins if on the cheap good plastic bins if there are funds.


Shelving I also like to mount shelving on the walls up off the floor. More space on the floor for floor stored things and less dark corners for small parts to roll into and cause you to spend 22,302 hours looking for a little tiny but much needed and only one like it for 200 miles Frigging Fuel Pump Diaphragm Spring. (NOT that that ever happened to me mind you) I like the FDA rated wire shelving from Costco. Strong and you can cut the legs and ajust the shelves to what you want. When fastened to the wall it is strong as hell. I climb all over it and store some stupid heavy stuff on it with no signs of failure or sagging. This also lets you make the shelving cover the entire wall and lets you use the shelving as a ladder if the walls are tall.

Every once in a while Home Depot or the like will have a super sale on big plastic tool boxes. The rectangular ones about 12 X12 X 24 or 30 inch with handles that fold flat into the lid are handy. They are stronger than home grade storage bins, stack nice and neat and can be used for more than storage when needed. I tend to break out some tool types and materials like plumbing or electrical and make up a tool box or two (or 3) for each trade. This way you can just grab the tool box(s) for the trade involved and go with all in hand.

I might have some more Red Bins
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Last edited by Vicegrip; 06-20-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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