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Using toolboxes for parts storage (and some cheap dividers)

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Using toolboxes for parts storage (and some cheap dividers)

Old 04-18-24, 09:47 PM
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Here's some organization pr0n for you guys. Grab some coffee, sit back, and procrastinate.

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Old 04-19-24, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Here's some organization pr0n for you guys. Grab some coffee, sit back, and procrastinate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXfg4Qib-5I
That "find a horizontal surface to open it up" problem is exactly why I can't stand these particular organizers. Props to Adam for building an Ace Hardware-style slide system for it - though the video clearly demonstrates the problem with doing so: Building the organizer becomes a job amongst itself so large that it takes over whatever you needed the organizers for (and requires new tools that take up even more space).

The OEM for every one of these storage cabinets should have thought of that in the first place.

-Kurt
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Old 04-19-24, 07:41 AM
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I've got some parts in tool cabinets, but functionally some of its just an organized display of loot. After "the purge"(which is only partially bikes) I'm going to track down some blueprint/map cabinets with huge flat drawers, as they provide a lot of deployable "horizontal surface" .
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Old 04-20-24, 09:51 PM
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I went into Harbor Freight for an ordinary portable toolbox with a handle, in traditional red steel. They had one and I got it. They also had one of these, on sale:


I couldn't resist. It stores both parts and tools, and goes with me when I visit my riding buddy in Tucson. One of my better impulse purchases at about $80.
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Old 04-21-24, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
I went into Harbor Freight for an ordinary portable toolbox with a handle, in traditional red steel. They had one and I got it. They also had one of these, on sale:

I couldn't resist. It stores both parts and tools, and goes with me when I visit my riding buddy in Tucson. One of my better impulse purchases at about $80.
I have always admired the wooden toolboxes like that, especially the older ones made from oak with brass hardware. I think Sears had one in their tool catalog, but they were very expensive. I have a machinist chest in the same style, but in steel, from Kennedy Mfg. My grandmother worked there for many years and gave it to me when she retired. I recently acquired the larger model from my dad. He had owned it for at least 50 years. Most of my bike tools are on a pegboard, but I keep some of the less frequently used tools in the drawers. And since it is a machinist chest, I have all my calipers and micrometers in it.


Kennedy Machinist Chest Model 526 and MC-28
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Old 04-21-24, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
I went into Harbor Freight for an ordinary portable toolbox with a handle, in traditional red steel. They had one and I got it. They also had one of these, on sale:


I couldn't resist. It stores both parts and tools, and goes with me when I visit my riding buddy in Tucson. One of my better impulse purchases at about $80.
Those HF wood tool chests are knock-offs of the Gerstner Tool chests... very low quality knock-offs. Even with one of HFs 'coupons' they're overpriced. Laminates over particle board or finger jointed scraps with cardboard drawer bottoms. Gerstner still offers boxes made in the US, but they are crazy expensive. They also offer an 'International' line made in Asia but at least Gerstner's 'cheap' boxes are made of solid wood. See here.
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Old 04-21-24, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Fissile
Those HF wood tool chests are knock-offs of the Gerstner Tool chests... very low quality knock-offs. Even with one of HFs 'coupons' they're overpriced. Laminates over particle board or finger jointed scraps with cardboard drawer bottoms. Gerstner still offers boxes made in the US, but they are crazy expensive. They also offer an 'International' line made in Asia but at least Gerstner's 'cheap' boxes are made of solid wood. See here.
Definitely not high-snoot.

But I spent one thousand six hundred and fifteen dollars LESS! Granted, only $1275 less when the Gerstner is on sale. For two Gerstners, I could have an 8 kg step-through CF bicycle, if anybody made one.

But, thanks to Harbor Freight, even poor people can live like kings!

P.S. Drawer bottoms are thin MDF. No cardboard or particle board. Thankfully, finger-jointed scraps (of real wood) saved me over a thousand dollars, and it still looks nice, and holds together. Long live cheap knockoffs! I run Chi-fi, too, FWIW.
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Old 04-21-24, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
Definitely not high-snoot.

But I spent one thousand six hundred and fifteen dollars LESS! Granted, only $1275 less when the Gerstner is on sale. For two Gerstners, I could have an 8 kg step-through CF bicycle, if anybody made one.

But, thanks to Harbor Freight, even poor people can live like kings!

P.S. Drawer bottoms are thin MDF. No cardboard or particle board. Thankfully, finger-jointed scraps (of real wood) saved me over a thousand dollars, and it still looks nice, and holds together. Long live cheap knockoffs! I run Chi-fi, too, FWIW.
I buy HF stuff too. Their US General boxes are a fraction of the pro boxes and are fine for a DIYer, or a tech just starting out. Last month I bought some flare-nut wrenches to replace a leaky hydraulic hose in my car..it worked fine at a fraction of the price of 'real' tools. That said not everything at HF is a good value. Those wood HF boxes are one example. $40? OK. $85 dollars? Nope.
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Old 04-21-24, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Fissile
I buy HF stuff too. Their US General boxes are a fraction of the pro boxes and are fine for a DIYer, or a tech just starting out. Last month I bought some flare-nut wrenches to replace a leaky hydraulic hose in my car..it worked fine at a fraction of the price of 'real' tools. That said not everything at HF is a good value. Those wood HF boxes are one example. $40? OK. $85 dollars? Nope.
Lots of professionals use Harbor Freight as well - not only cheaper but often more convenient than the tool truck brands. The customer doesn't care how much you paid for a tool.

Tool boxes are a different animal - many a successful mechanic would rather have more tools than a fancy box.
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Old 04-21-24, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Fissile
Their US General boxes are a fraction of the pro boxes and are fine for a DIYer, or a tech just starting out.
The US General boxes have become insanely expensive as of recent; even more so than the pre-takeover Craftsman chests from 10 years ago. They seem to be aiming high with fairly thick paint jobs and smooth drawer slides, though time will tell whether these things actually hold up - or if they'll rust up just as well as an entry-level Craftsman box.

I noticed that the US General boxes feel very similar to the oddball series of black-and-red Craftsman boxes that were released in 2017 (same as the one below), which in their own right feel very similar to the current Husky boxes minus the soft-close drawers (which I suspect is simply the slide design). Thankfully, neither the Craftsman nor the Husky have those ridiculous plastic finger grips under the handles that the US General Mistakes have; they're a nuisance and I always ram my fingers into them expecting an open grip space.



HF's ICON series is even more surprising; it's clearly aimed right at Mac and Snap-On. Below US General is one Yukon-branded box; that current Yukon 46" box is clearly off the same tooling as some of the current 46" Husky boxes (and about the same price).

No telling what the lineup will look like in 5 years.

-Kurt
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Old 04-21-24, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888

No telling what the lineup will look like in 5 years.

-Kurt
In five years they will have even more cool colors. OOOOHHH! PURPLE! Next coupon they send me and this is going in my basement.
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Old 04-24-24, 06:43 PM
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Never Harbor Freight.

Someone here recommended their parts washer so i picked one up. Shortly therafter I had a fraudulent charge on my Visa to the tune of $2800 from China. Turns out Harbor Freight's POP CC terminals were hacked.

Thankfully my CU covered it.

Got a form letter from Harbor Freight four months later. Useless.
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Old 04-27-24, 06:28 AM
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Question for everyone - other than the U.S. General S3 42" cabinet, are there any affordable 42's on the market that have two wide drawers on top? Could use one in place of that Husky currently sitting next to the Fartman.

-Kurt
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Old 04-27-24, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by leftthread
Never Harbor Freight.

Someone here recommended their parts washer so i picked one up. Shortly therafter I had a fraudulent charge on my Visa to the tune of $2800 from China. Turns out Harbor Freight's POP CC terminals were hacked.

Thankfully my CU covered it.

Got a form letter from Harbor Freight four months later. Useless.
Presumably that was the fault of a third party.

Corruption at Lowes is institutionalized, in policy.
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Old 04-29-24, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
I've got some parts in tool cabinets, but functionally some of its just an organized display of loot. After "the purge"(which is only partially bikes) I'm going to track down some blueprint/map cabinets with huge flat drawers, as they provide a lot of deployable "horizontal surface" .
As someone who uses flat files for parts, one thing to think about is drawer depth. Some flat files/blueprint/map cabinets have very shallow drawers, not always clear from the the drawer "face" size. We had some really nice ones at my previous work place that quickly filled (to the point of not closing) with prints/blueprint/maps. Drawers were functionally only 3/4" deep, even though the "face" was 2". The ones I have are 2-7/8" deep and when I started putting parts in, I discovered some brakes had to broken down to fit, not a big deal but worth considering.
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