Organising your stuff

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by sirch2, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. sirch2

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    Occasionally I get an idea and dip my toe in electronics ocean, this happens may be once a year and I either get something made or realise it is beyond me and go back to something else. So whilst electronics isn't my main hobby I have a reasonable collection of tools and parts but I can't justify having a dedicated workshop for it. Generally I work at the kitchen table but this means getting out and putting away all the things I need. I currently have a couple of tool boxes (one for hand tools and one for parts and odds and ends) and a lot of bits in disorganised boxes.

    I am looking for suggestions for keeping tools and parts (resistors, caps, etc.) organised whilst still being portable. I have had a good old dig around on Google and Ebay but nothing really seems to cut it. The thing that seems to come nearest is the mechanics tool chest with drawers but these are fairly expensive and still don't necessarily address the difficulties of small parts. Ideally it would be something I could wheel out, have all my tools and spares to hand and then just wheel away.
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,440
    3,361
    Take your pick:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
    215
    What of the various multi-sectioned plastic parts boxes available at most wallyworld, Orange or Blue stores, or maybe even your local dollar store ??
     
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
  5. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    412
    64
    Heck I have a 30 X 40 shop with a dedicated electronics bench and can't seem to keep it organized. Can't really help but I feel for you..
     
  6. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,440
    3,361
    DerStrom8 and spark8217 like this.
  7. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
    215
    Looks like it hasn't been used in a loooooooooong time :D
     
  8. spark8217

    Member

    Aug 29, 2011
    64
    2
  9. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,029
    3,790
  10. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,869
    1,393
    I have most of my components in plastic divider boxes. For finer resolution, I put resistors by value in 2" by 3" plastic bags, and then group the plastic bags in the divider boxes.

    However, I recently added a new twist. I found that I was continually getting the same value resistors out (100k, 10k, 1k, 4.7k, etc.) and putting them back after using them on a solderless breadboard, so I started leaving them out in a tray. But they soon were a jumbled mess, so I sorted them by third band color code, and put each group into a separate 2" by 3" plastic bag, and put the bags in the tray. Most of the time now, I can go to the appropiate color group bag and find the value I need (or something close) fairly quickly. I will probably do that for caps soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  11. sirch2

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    Thanks for the replies, and I wish could set up a workshop like that, but I suppose my real issue is the time spent getting it all out and putting it away. Divided trays and bags may help but in a rush to clear it away, it's tempting to just chuck the bits in a box with a view to sorting it out later...

    There are times when I have a spare hour and I just can't be bothered to get out the stuff I need and get my brain in gear knowing I would need to put it all away before I got anything useful done.
     
  12. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,029
    3,790
    I pull resistors and caps from organized trays or bags but, once out, I usually sort them by decade into egg carton tray. I use the egg carton as a small "working pile", most of what I need for bread boarding is in there after a short time. I pull out specific addition resistors if needed. Back 6 egg holes for caps, transistors and diodes. Front six holes for resistors by decades.

    If I end up with too much of a mess, I throw away the pile. I dont put them back with the new inventory. I will not sort 100 resistors when they are only a penny a piece. My time is with more than $3.00 per hour.
     
  13. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    2,648
    762
    The scope is on.
     
  14. stoopkid

    Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    136
    1
    Here's my setup, hopefully it can inspire but I really don't have that much. I do all my work in my bedroom with my girlfriend. Things are more pleasant when I stay organized in here.

    I use address labels to label everything (better than entire sticky sheets because you can send a half used sheet back through the printer). Bigger stuff like the drill and soldering station are in the garage.

    I know I should be more worried about static charge but I simply don't have the resources to be able to.

    (protip, if you use a binder leave blank spots so that when you get new stuff you don't have to move everything)
    Here are the sorts of binder inserts I use:
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QO59A2/
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PKDA8C/
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  15. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    568
    193
    Fishing tackle boxes work great for big things - just throw it all in the box when you're done (soldering iron, solder, etc).

    I have a medium sized tackle/divider box that I put resistors, caps, and that sort of stuff in. I don't really organize it much. I use it enough, I know what I'm looking for and where it's at.

    I also have a 5 gallon bucket or two that I fill with tools that I need for any particular job, plumbing, electrical, electronic, etc.

    Store them in the garage whenever you're done
     
  16. SPQR

    Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    379
    48
    I found THESE a few months ago, bought four, and now I've got about 25.
    .
    Categorized as you might expect- SMS resistors, SMS caps, IC's, transistors, drivers, regulators, LEDs, metal screws, nylon screws, etc.

    I store my resistors in a way I learned in high school.
    Cut pieces of fine cardboard in rectangles about 2" x 8".
    Label the front of each with the sizes, then slide the lead into the hole in the edge of the cardboard.
    Arrange the cardboard pieces one behind another, and you can flip through them easily.
     
  17. sirch2

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    I like that resistor storeage idea, I guess it works for any component with leads
     
  18. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    1,320
    304
    just tilt the work surface. when angled nothing will tend to stay on it, either you hold handled items or they have to be returned somewhere ;)
     
  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,278
    6,791
    The plastic drawer method is my choice. You've already seen this pic, but I repost it because it is a good one.

    The bottom line is, it requires space to organize things and my motto is, "A part you can't find is every bit as good as a part you don't have".
     
    spark8217 likes this.
Loading...