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Organizing Tools

Old 02-28-19, 02:35 PM
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Organizing Tools

Got a soft-ball question :-). I'm in the process of gradually doing more of my own bike maintenance and purchasing my own tools. Still pretty basic, but it's a start. The thing is, I'm quite unorganized ... curious how you home mechanics organize your tools in a way that makes them accessible and find-able. Thanks!
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Old 02-28-19, 03:09 PM
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If you don't have the space to dedicate to bike work then storing tools in a tool box or wrap is a easy solution. But if you do have the space I have used peg board for decades and only work out of a tool box when off site.

One way to look at what tool should be stored where (within the overall location) is what tools are used more often. These should be the easiest to reach. Then there's the aspect of a tool's size and how that meshes with the other tools and storage manor. Example of wheel tools is a dishing tool. Rather large but only used when building wheels (or doing serious truing), so it can be pretty well out of easy reach. But the spoke wrench or tire levers will want to be at hand.

This is just like clothing storage. Socks and underwear tend to be reached for more often then jackets or sweaters are. Andy
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Old 02-28-19, 04:19 PM
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I am also pretty new to working on my bikes. I also struggle with the organization of tools, accessories and parts. I have dedicated one of my spare rooms to be my bike area. Getting it set up is an ongoing process. Using an apron with pockets has helped me to keep my tools accessible while I am actually working.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:31 PM
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Most of my bike specific tools are in an old Brookstone leather wrap -- except for the three way hex wrenches sitting amongst the chain lube bottles on the top of my workbench. General tools live in the Craftsman tool box, and are harder to find.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:32 PM
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Careful! If your tools get organized, you may find them costing more, demanding better work hours (no more of the all-nighters to get that new - to you - bike ready for tomorrow's ride) and who knows what else.

Seriously, the best thing I've ever done is pick up an on-sale mechanic's drawers on wheels at Sears. Put a plywood top on it, then built a back and half height sides to hang tools from. Painted it with gloss white oil based sealer-primer. Screwed dowel 1/2 rounds to the front sides so I can lean bikes up at will without damaging paint. Wow!

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Old 02-28-19, 04:40 PM
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Professional toolboxes have a lot of shallow (ball bearing) drawers, and so the wrench sizes can all be in a row...


when the bike shop had the tools, each had a nail and an outline, to put it back.. .. same was done at the co op. ..







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-28-19 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 05:43 PM
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Tool box for me. Separate from my car tools though.
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Old 02-28-19, 05:49 PM
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I ditched the peg board and now use a piece of finish grade plywood, stained the right color and finish nails to hang tools from. Allows me to space them to my liking. Kinda petty, but it makes a difference to my eyes.
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Old 02-28-19, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dennis336
Got a soft-ball question :-). I'm in the process of gradually doing more of my own bike maintenance and purchasing my own tools. Still pretty basic, but it's a start. The thing is, I'm quite unorganized ... curious how you home mechanics organize your tools in a way that makes them accessible and find-able. Thanks!
Here's my advice, from hard-won experience: If you're a disorganized person, your tools will be disorganized, no matter how you store them. Technology will not organize the disorganized person.

For example, I have a nice old Kennedy mechanic's chest with drawers, and it's a mess, and most of the wrenches are somewhere else in my house right now.

The two best things I've done have been: 1) Focus on making it easy and quick to put things away. I have a small pegboard with a few things on it, but then I just have a number of larger containers for different categories of tools. When I get motivated to clean up, I can just toss tools in containers, and I'm done.

2) "Visual workspace" means that you can see where everything is, at a glance, and see if something is out of place. So all of my containers are open-topped, and I can just look in to find a tool.
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Old 02-28-19, 06:53 PM
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I have 2 tool boxes for bike tools. One is the small or commonly used stuff - allens, screwdrivers, cable cutters, small wrenches, chain tool, cone wrenches, lockring/freewheel tools, spoke wrench, etc. The other is larger or occasional use. Bottom bracket tools, headset wrenches & cup tools, chain whip, stuff like that. My automotive/general use stuff is in a couple big roll aways in the garage that I grab what I need as needed working on bikes. Those are well organized by drawer, metric/sae, 1/2 drive, 3/8 drive, flat/phillips, pliers etc. One drawer in each is a "junk" drawer with misc hardware, unobtainium bits, odd ball stuff,

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Old 02-28-19, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I currently work at home in my basement ... which is pretty cluttered (my older son moved from his apartment to work for an out of state non-profit where he moved into a fully furnished group home so didn't need to bring much with him). So, in addition to being my work space ... and my bike maintenance space ... it's a storage area for my son's and my/my wife's stuff. Then, I've got posters on all the walls from my three son's wrestling tournaments (when kids win wrestling tournaments, they get the poster with the brackets showing their path to winning) so I probably don't want to put up peg boards over those although that was an idea I considered.

My work desk is a plain white table, around 3 by 6 feet. I'm kind of thinking when I retire (hopefully in about a year), another option is to just lay the tools out on that table so they're all visible and easily accessible.

But thanks again for the ideas ... sounds like some of you have come up with your own custom solutions!
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Old 02-28-19, 11:33 PM
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I like the idea of just laying out the tools on a table or shelf. Now my "pegboard" is just a piece of plywood on the wall, but I have a couple of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Flambeau-TR24.../dp/B001737P9S

https://www.amazon.com/Lehigh-3N1TH-.../dp/B000MKOWP2

Mine are of a different brand, now discontinued (Akro-Mils 08024), but the above links are representative. These things hold a bezillion little tools and are actually quite rugged.

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Old 02-28-19, 11:34 PM
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Pegboards-not.
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Old 03-01-19, 05:12 AM
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I've got my own bad habits. Right now my availible work space is dominated by a 4x8' work surface/plywood storage stack. I'm stuck with this till i can block out the time to build up the touring bike frame and parts pile that takes up half the surface. Point is i have a large flexible flat surface. All my bike tools have a propper home in a tool chest but migrate out to the work surface and collect in knife and fork kitchen drawer organizer trays, cake pans and cardboard boxes. These containers evolve into semi specific task collections. Absolute chaos is controlled by regularly going through the bench pile an returning tools that i wont need for the next couple projects. I need to reorganize the the space and move the plywood else where. Then I'm going to try a rolling cabinet with a small peg board as a tool collector adjacent to a smaller bench and work stand.
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Old 03-01-19, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft


Pegboards-not.
It's like you hacked my computer webcam and took a picture of my basement
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Old 03-01-19, 06:32 AM
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Thanks again for the tips - appreciate seeing what others have done (or not done )
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Old 03-02-19, 08:19 AM
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I live in a condo and don't have the luxury of a dedicated workspace so this is my solution. Park Tool BX-2. It keeps everything organized and in one place. Yes, this tool box is expensive but it is well thought out. Packs away nicely when I don't need it. When space is limited this could be a solution.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/DjUQBu]
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Old 03-02-19, 10:30 AM
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Old 03-02-19, 10:32 AM
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That is a dyi tool roll which can be augmented with an inner tube
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Old 03-02-19, 10:34 AM
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Old 03-02-19, 10:35 AM
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That is a homemade toolbox that stands open on a bench orcloses for easy transport.
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Old 03-02-19, 10:37 AM
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Old 03-02-19, 10:38 AM
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Another view. Needs to be reorganized a bit since there are way too many wrenches.
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Old 03-02-19, 09:26 PM
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All of my tools are in a roll-away. Dedicated bike-only tools have a dedecated drawer.
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Old 03-03-19, 07:33 AM
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piece of 3/4" plywood and some finishing nails to hang tools on.

[img][/img]

piece of 3/4" plywood w/ finishing nails to hang tools on.
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