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Keeping track of tools

Old 12-28-19, 08:02 AM
  #1  
big chainring 
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Keeping track of tools

My number one misplaced tool...Stronglight crank removal tool. I misplace it all the time. Its so small and gets lost among my other tools, or takes a tumble to the floor, and I end up searching for it for days. The other tool I lose quite often is my 7mm hex allen wrench. Old Cinelli stems had the goofy 7mm sized expander bolt, some French Pivo's too. I wrapped blue tape on the 7mm wrench to seperate it visually from the other allen wrenches but it still takes an unexpected vacation on me when I need it. Another one is an 8mm, think its 8mm, socket to install MAFAC brake levers. That one too. I search for among my socket wrenches.

So any tricks to jeep these tools from blending in with all the other small tools cluttering my work bench?

Oops. Can mods move this to C&V...thanks

Last edited by big chainring; 12-28-19 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 12-28-19, 02:39 PM
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BC, Why not paint the top of the bolt or try some light gauge copper wire with a paper or tape tag looped around the C.P. and paint or wrap a loop of string on the 7mm....like we do with the barrel adjusters in our stash.
Ben

Last edited by xiaoman1; 12-30-19 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 12-28-19, 05:55 PM
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OK. its back alive. I use tool boxes. I have never had a tool board work for me. When you have 40 freewheel tools alone, a board would get pretty complicated. I have a 44 inch roller cabinet, a 7 drawer roller cart, and a 7 drawer side cabinet. I need to modify it to fit either the cabinet or the cart. Meanwhile, it is self standing. Tools are sorted by drawer, it works well. Of course, only I know where stuff is....

Recently I added several magnetic tool holders to the lid of my cart. There I am putting my frequently used stuff.

I "lost" my Stronglight puller when I took it to the co op to help someone. I eventually found it in a box. Next time, tools won't leave the workshop. If someone wants something pulled, no problem, bring it by.


The new five drawer Harbor Freight roller carts are sweet! Catch one on sale! I use another one for my RV tools.

While I would like to say I use a tool and put it back immediately, this is not always the case. A good fallback is when I finish a bike, I put away whatever is left. Now if I could clear off the workbench, I would be set!!

Last edited by wrk101; 12-29-19 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 12-28-19, 06:26 PM
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What kind of tool box do you have? It is hard to do, but you need to get in the habit of putting tools back in their spot. I've been dealing with very little to no workbench space for years and replacing tools when I get done with them is a much. That doesn't mean things don't collect on my little work space, but when I am done with single use stuff like a puller or fourth hand tool I try very hard to replace it.

I find having smaller spots for different things helps keeping the little stuff organized and easy to find.

These little boxes have been in this drawer for decades, around '91 maybe. Front left was spoke wrenches, rear used to be odd screws n nuts, center was chain tools and right chain ring bolt and cleat tools. Hozan reamer beside it.



This is a new layout since I bought the tool box last year, individual allen slots on the left, assorted allen combos and then assorted small stuff.


Another new drawer. Campi crank extractors have their own little spot now.




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Old 12-28-19, 06:44 PM
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A system glitch seems to have deleted the original post.. Sorry for any confusion.
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Old 12-28-19, 08:22 PM
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I have magnet bars, strips everywhere!
I have stand trays everywhere!
I’ve been buying the big aluminum Park Tool trays to replace the plastic trays on some of my stands...
Most of my flat surfaces are where my tools belong till I put them away!
I pick up a tool, part just as soon as I hear it hit the floor...I also have extension magnets stuck everywhere!
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Old 12-28-19, 09:06 PM
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Oh well, I posted to this thread earlier but it appears to have disappeared quicker than a 7mm hex wrench! I keep my bike tools ina seperate tool box marked Bici. It is on a rolling cart that stays next to my bike stand that is kept seperate from my regular mechanics roll away that I use for day to day stuff. My wife got the cart for me at a crafts store and it has cubbies for all my bike paraphernalia that i use while working on my bikes.
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Old 12-29-19, 08:07 AM
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Organization is not my strong point. I'm more of a pile it up horder type. I dont throw anything out, might need it in the future ya know. But I am liking. the magnetic strip idea. And painting my Stronglight crank extractor is a must do.
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Old 12-29-19, 08:16 AM
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I lose 10mm sockets and 5 mm Allen wrenches.
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Old 12-29-19, 08:37 AM
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I too lose my 10mm socket all the time, and I made sure I have several to choose from....I used florescent orange duct tape (and florescent pink) to mark some of the larger tools, which worked well until the tape inevitably came off and I couldn't find the duct tape to replace it.....
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Old 12-29-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I lose 10mm sockets and 5 mm Allen wrenches.
Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
I too lose my 10mm socket all the time, and I made sure I have several to choose from....I used florescent orange duct tape (and florescent pink) to mark some of the larger tools, which worked well until the tape inevitably came off and I couldn't find the duct tape to replace it.....



I think I have at least three 10mm and I am not sure how many 5mm Allens. The 4mm seems to be my nemesis
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Old 12-29-19, 11:56 AM
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Oh, they are there, lol. I spent 5 minutes looking for my glasses that I keep on the collar of my shirt. Of coarse, I was wearing them.
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Old 12-29-19, 04:27 PM
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There, that’s bettah...


Good...not great...
Originally Posted by billnuke1 View Post
I have magnet bars, strips everywhere!
I have stand trays everywhere!
I’ve been buying the big aluminum Park Tool trays to replace the plastic trays on some of my stands...
Most of my flat surfaces are where my tools belong till I put them away!
I pick up a tool, part just as soon as I hear it hit the floor...I also have extension magnets stuck everywhere!

Replaced plastic tray with double aluminum tray eBay score. Already blew up the plastic tray...no comparison!
Replacing the plastic tray on my old Schwinn stand is gonna be a bit more involved...gotta unscrew the stand from the base...gonna start a PB Blaster regimen...


Gotta unscrew this base...definitely worth the accepted effort...

Got this on eBay...not to use...

Can’t wait...after seeing the other installation!

Out with the old....

Like a new stand!

Last edited by billnuke1; 12-29-19 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Added picture...
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Old 12-29-19, 06:41 PM
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I use a tackle box, the dual fold open kind.
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Old 12-29-19, 08:56 PM
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tool box organization is a very personal thing ! my top box is a fishing tackle type box with fold out trays. I have 1/4 and 3/8 socket rails so it's possible to tell at a glance when something is missing. Pliers and wrenches in middle box drawers.

Tool inventory is critical in aircraft maintenance or spacecraft assembly. Generally I don't go for tool board or outlines but I understand why some would !

With bike tools you need to have a way to organize freewheel tools, allen keys and other little stuff like spoke wrenches.

Whatever works for you !

Mark Petry
Coronado, CA
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Old 12-29-19, 09:18 PM
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Cycles René Hubris is run mostly out of an ammo can.



Of course, I have the machine shop at work, that's where the real magic happens and that NEEDS to stay spotless or else I get kicked out
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Old 12-30-19, 12:22 AM
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My work benches lately



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Old 12-30-19, 06:33 AM
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My small bike-specific tools live in what amounts to a tackle box. The only downside is the 40 years of accumulated crud in there. I'm actually in the middle of cleaning it. If a bike is getting a lot of work done, I usually take it down in the basement. Otherwise, most of my bike work is done in the garage. Sometimes the tools are split between the two places, but I usually try to move the toolbox and get them back together as soon as I'm done. I'm not that good at organization, but what I've found is if there is a place to put something, everything is easier
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Old 12-30-19, 06:49 AM
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A place for everything and everything in place. NOT!
Constant battle!
From a macro perspective nearly everything is in the same general location. I don't mean like in the garage. More like which tool box and in which drawer.
I will spend time on projects with the ability to make multiple trips to the tool boxes and then collect everything after a project and dump it on the work bench. Come back some time later to clean and put away.

This sets up false expectations with my wife who thinks projects take less time than they really do. She wonders how I could spend so much time in the garage cleaning up!
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Old 12-30-19, 06:59 AM
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I am constantly searching for my other tools, but my crank removers have a constant and definite home. There are two top compartments on my appropriated tackle box/toolbox. One contains freewheel removal tools, the other has crank removers.
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Old 12-30-19, 08:21 AM
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I have a small shop, so my bike stand has to be up against the wall. I have peg board on the wall behind the stand so I can reach the frequently used tools. There is a magnet strip for my T handle hex wrenches and a couple other things that don't hang well on hooks. My freewheel tools are in a drawer in my tool chest. Putting tools back in their place right away is key to staying organized. The peg board makes it easy to see when something is missing.
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Old 12-30-19, 09:15 AM
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Toolbox for me. Big tools in the bottom, small bits in the trays.

Keeps things organized and offers portability, so I can work in the garage/house/yard or remotely.

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Old 12-30-19, 09:37 AM
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1. A dedicated work space devoted to mechanical work. No sharing with another family member for other purposes. Plenty of light and work surfaces designed and dedicated to particular tasks. Small similar individual tools (dental pics, wire brushes, punches, tweezers, files) stand up in storage cups at the back of the main work bench.

2. An elaborate system of peg board for any tool that possesses a "hole" for mounting. Longer items (breaker bars, torque wrenches) are suspended with hooks on the board. Dremels and other "active" tools hang just adjacent to the main workbench, already plugged in for quick use.

3. A mechanic's tool box with drawers organized to display loose small tools flat, with no stacking or tossing into a heap. Drawers are organized by function (tire/wheel repair, hex wrenches and hex drivers, multi-tools, picks, etc.) Stacking compartment trays for small parts like bearings, derailleur pulleys, cable crimp ends, ferrules, spacers, etc.

4. Every tool goes back into its place at the completion of the day's work, irrespective of whether the job is done. Clean work area, as you would leave a customer's job site. Start each day freshly organized.

This is the way that I do it, answering the OP's question. No, I don't misplace tools. I could find most things in the dark by feel.

The benefits are manifold. When my wife calls me at work, saying that she needs a small tweezer, a magnifier, and a #0 Phillips to repair something, I'm able to guide her over the phone to the items, just as I placed them. This happens frequently.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 12-30-19 at 09:42 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-30-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
My work benches lately


bwillie88,
Wow, it looks so much better after you cleaned it up and got it all organized..congrats!
Ben
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Old 12-30-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
My work benches lately


That cage keep the monkeys from stealing your tools?
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