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Old 04-16-12, 06:04 PM   #1
malcolm_k
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Tool organization and storage

How does everyone organize and store their tools? I'm not asking what tools you think everyone should have (though what you have will impact how you store it); I'm interested in organizational systems.

In particular, do you have a system for making sure you can easily carry tools with you while you ride and not have duplicates everywhere/not lose them? How do you store things in a small space? Etc.

Also, I'm a newb here, so please let me know if this has already been covered (I did search before posting and didn't find much).
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Old 04-16-12, 06:33 PM   #2
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I have a toolbox at home with my bike tools and carry a multi-tool, patch kit and pump on each of my bikes. Tools that are convenient enough to carry while riding seldom make good shop tools. They don't get lost because shop tools stay in the shop and bike tools stay in the sseat packs.
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Old 04-16-12, 06:35 PM   #3
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I have a small portable Craftsman tool box with three drawers and an intermediate chest with 4 drawers. I use a the craftsman accesroies to keep my sockets and combination wrenches neat and orderly.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:01 PM   #4
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I do what CACycling does. My "shop" tools remain at home mounted on hooks and nails on a piece of plywood bolted to the wall behnd my workbench. Each bike has a small underseat pack with spare tubes, tire levers and a multitool dedicated to that bike.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:41 PM   #5
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I have a stacking base and toolbox set from my motorcycle days that houses all my general tools and a smaller three drawer benchtop box wih a lift out top tray for my bike specific tools. My biggest problem is getting the tools back in the box rather than storing them in piles on my workbench. When I finish the walls on my workshop I'll be installing pegboard or something similar to keep my frequently used tools off the bench but in easy reach.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:03 PM   #6
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For tools I'd take with me, I currently have one core kit that I move from bike to bike, adding appropriate inner tubes for the bike of the day. Three of the four bikes also have their own dedicated pump or combo pump/CO2 inflator. But moving one toolkit around leaves some room for human error, so I'm considering giving each bike its own complete kit, it wouldn't be expensive.

For tools at home... well... things are a bit out of hand. I have a toolbox so large I can't move it. For some of the drawers, I created custom-fitted foam liners with cutouts for the tools, which looks great but leaves you painted into a corner if you want to add new stuff as bicycle technology changes over the years.




At work, I go with pegboard at the moment. My toolbox really ought to be here, not at home. The business is relocating before too much longer, so I'm certainly not going to move it right now.

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Old 04-16-12, 08:41 PM   #7
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I have a roller chest and drawers from my days doing maintenance in a factory (we needed our own tools) and some of the more frequently used tools are on the wall at the back of my tool bench.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:50 PM   #8
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The basic issue is to tool box or to wall mount. The way you go for tools might suggest which is best for you. Will you do service in the same spot or need to travel? How many tools do you have, how many do you use commonly? Usually the more you need to reach for a tool the more it might be best on a peg board instead in a drawer of a chest. At work i prefer peg boards for as many as I can fit with the tool chest for the odd or needing to keep clean tools. At home only the repair tools are on peg board. The frame building stuff is mostly in the chests. Andy.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:55 PM   #9
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While I have rollaway, tool boxes, etc.,
The common bike tools are in a couple of cardboard trays.
Portable, flexible, replaceable, soaks up oil- cardboard's pretty useful.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:59 PM   #10
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I just started in the bike mechanic world and just bought a tool box that i really like. I don't have a lot of tools but the top of the box has 20 trays that are big enough to fit parts such as freewheel tools cassette tool, lube, chain tool, and more importantly different parts, screws and whatever the bottom is all open and i was able to fit the chain whip, pedal wrench, degreaser, socket set, wrenches, and more parts there. There is more in there just can't remember off the top what is in there but i have plenty of space still. Got it at home depot for 30$. Like it was said depends on if you are going to work on it different places. I work on my bike different places so i have a tool box with a repair stand that can also be taken places.
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Old 04-17-12, 10:33 AM   #11
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I'm a bit worried about tools getting stolen from my bikes if I were to keep them attached (I commute a lot), so I had been just carrying them in whatever pack I had with me. Course, then sometimes I'd forget (the time I needed them).

The pegboard ideas sound great, but I am limited in space and don't have a lot of tools just yet, either. However, my small toolbox is starting to get cramped and disorganized. Also I have a few tiny jars with nuts, screws, etc. in them. I just did that to get them a little bit organized. I think a trip to Home Depot may be in order to see if I can find a better solution (on the cheap).
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Old 04-17-12, 11:07 AM   #12
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For take-along tools on a bike all you really need are tubes, a set of tile levers, and a a few metric Allen wrenches (4,5 and 6 mm and perhaps 3mm) which can be had very inexpensively even for good quality ones. A small screwdriver and, for a few older bikes, 8, 9 and 10mm box end wrenches may be needed.

Park Tools sells the MT-1 "Dog Bone" multi-tool with 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm Allen bits, 8,9,1nd 10 mm boxes and a small flat screwdriver blade all in a flat, thin, one piece 50 gm tool for about $10. The allen keys are positioned so the larger ones have good leverage. Get one of these and dedicate it to your bike and you need almost nothing else.
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Old 04-17-12, 11:12 AM   #13
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I bought, (or at least made a few payments) houses for the boss,
thru suppressed wages. [thank you raw accumulation]

So at 65, I'm lucky to have an apartment.

so I have a few tool bags and small tool boxes.

were I organized, I'd sew up tool rolls of canvas.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-18-12 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-17-12, 12:32 PM   #14
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My general home tools are peg-boarded in the basement workshop. That works well because you see at a glance what's there and what's missing.

I have a recurring problem with my bike tools however. I love working on the bikes on the back patio (canopy, and shade, and music, and fridge, and outdoors, and ride in/out, rain-or-shine, great spot!), so I carry large tool boxes, and junk drawers, and plastic boxes, and truing stands, and work stands, and other stuff back and forth a lot. Stuff is always somewhere in between areas. I get significant exercise running around looking for tools. Sort of sucks but better than everything else (except golfing or riding).
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Old 04-17-12, 05:35 PM   #15
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I don't have that many bike-specific shop tools yet, but those that I have go into a toolbox near my "work stand" (which is a homemade thing, the parts of which can be re-purposed for other sorts of projects).

I'm too cheap to duplicate everything, so the portable tool kits consist of a plastic baggie that has a multi-tool, a spoke wrench, tire levers, a tire pressure gauge, patches and glue, some zip-ties, a small allen wrench set and an adjustable wrench. This moves from bike to bike, going into the saddle bag. Permanently in each bike's bag is a spare inner tube, (no two of my bikes use the same tubes...), and in the case of one bike that uses a bunch of weird sized wrenches, a couple of small open-end wrenches that fit. Two of my bikes have their own dedicated pumps that live on their frames. The other two share a pump. I would have probably gone with just a single pump, but this system just sort of evolved without planning.
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Old 04-17-12, 05:40 PM   #16
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I need more space for bicycle tools and parts. The Craftsman boxes I have for other trades have worked for years; I can't afford Snap-on (unless I give up buying tools!). What kind of boxes do people like? Are the big boxstore/wally world cabinets a sound investment? Thank you.
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Old 04-17-12, 08:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubato View Post
I need more space for bicycle tools and parts. The Craftsman boxes I have for other trades have worked for years; I can't afford Snap-on (unless I give up buying tools!). What kind of boxes do people like? Are the big boxstore/wally world cabinets a sound investment? Thank you.
Check out the Harbor Freight tool boxes, very affordable and quality is suposed to be as good or better than Craftsman home owner stuff.
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Old 04-17-12, 08:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacycling View Post
i have a toolbox at home with my bike tools and carry a multi-tool, patch kit and pump on each of my bikes. Tools that are convenient enough to carry while riding seldom make good shop tools. They don't get lost because shop tools stay in the shop and bike tools stay in the sseat packs.
x2
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Old 04-17-12, 10:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Park Tools sells the MT-1 "Dog Bone" multi-tool with 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm Allen bits, 8,9,1nd 10 mm boxes and a small flat screwdriver blade all in a flat, thin, one piece 50 gm tool for about $10. The allen keys are positioned so the larger ones have good leverage. Get one of these and dedicate it to your bike and you need almost nothing else.
I like the MT-1 too. Super-strong, you could undoubtedly fasten an 8mm crank bolt by stepping on the end of the MT-1 for leverage. Speedplay pedal owners may wish to narrow down the screwdriver tip enough that it fits their cleat screws, in the event of a loose cleat.

Besides my MT-1, the other tools I routinely take are a Park Tool CT-5 mini chain tool (since I'm hard on my chains) and tire levers, along with a pump, a CO2 inflator, or both.
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Old 04-18-12, 01:01 PM   #20
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I am into vintage stuff, so in my 1934 workshop, I have a late 1960s Cornwell roller chest, with a mis-matched 1960s Huot top box. I need to find another vintage tool chest. (Of course, in the garage, I have a Snap on roller chest with matching top box from the mid 1970s, so I guess I could move it in....) Personally, I never cared for a tool board, but they are very common.
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Old 04-18-12, 02:32 PM   #21
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Two rollaways and 8' of pegboard, in each of two garages.....and several smaller job-specific tool boxes and bags on the shelves.......and a couple of even smaller bike-sized and backpack-size bags as well.........and then there's the set that I keep in the house for convenience...........

......and yes there are a lots of duplicates. You can never have too many tool.
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