(Topic ID: 68317)

How do you organize your parts (and tools)?

By Deaconblooze

8 years ago


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  • 29 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 43 days ago by northvibe
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 8 years ago

    I struggle with how to separate my parts. How specific do you get when organizing parts? Do you put together all IC's and dig through them when you need a specific number? It seems harder to keep inventory that way, but it definitely saves some space and keeps things more compact.

    I've got a 'travel' set of items, but it's really more than I'd like to carry around. I leave behind what I can, but often bring it all for insurance:

    -Tool bag (portable soldering iron, screwdrivers, ratchet/sockets, nut drivers, diagnostic equiment, q-tips, toothpicks, etc, etc, etc)
    -Electronics organizer (IC's, resistors, diodes, connectors, BRs, transistors, etc)
    -LED organizer

    The organizers are quite nice, with removable and re-arrangeable part bins. I took a pic of some of my favorite tools that help me to keep things "light". The socket holder works well, it's nice and compact while holding things securely. The bit holder is one of my favorites, I hate having to carry around those bulky vacuum formed cases. The butane soldering iron is nice when I know I won't be getting into any PCB work, if I do need to, throw in the hakko soldering/desoldering irons.. I despise the need to pack those items.

    At my house, I struggle with what to do with used parts, or bulkier items. Should I break down old flipper assemblies? Should I bother filing them in wall hanging organizers, or toss them into open bins?

    I'd be interested to hear what others have done to organize their parts. Bonus points for compact/portable. My pictures show things in their current mid-organizing state

    20131028_214851.jpg 20131028_215108.jpg 20131028_214836.jpg 20131028_214827.jpg
    #2 8 years ago

    I have nowhere near the set you have but just ordered the Plano 787-010 for my parts storage.

    plano.jpg

    Good enough for my needs right now and certainly portable. They have a lot of other cool options as well.

    #3 8 years ago

    Yup, I went w/ the tackel box route as well. Just an old one i had in the basement. One side is for pinball related stuff the other is for RC stuff.....need to find another place for the RC stuff.

    #4 8 years ago

    This thread is getting buried! Must not be enough controversy. WoZ. MM. There, that should do it.

    #6 8 years ago

    I wish my parts box looked anything like the above. I have spilled my entire parts box over twice now and the second time I was in a hurry and just scooped it all back up. I need to go organize now.

    #7 8 years ago

    I guess what l've pictured does look kinda organized. .. but I've got a lot of the other bulkier parts in pinballlife boxes waiting for a home.

    That, and those drawer organizers are mostly empty, I grouped most the parts that uside to reside there into more general bins in the yellow stanley carry organizers.

    Im interested to see what others with spare parts do for storage!

    #8 8 years ago
    Quoted from gtown:

    I have nowhere near the set you have but just ordered the Plano 787-010 for my parts storage.

    Good enough for my needs right now and certainly portable. They have a lot of other cool options as well.

    Dude, that case is awesome! One on order for me! I have been using a smaller, single case that has run out of room. I think I paid almost half of what that plano case costs a Fry's for mine.

    #9 8 years ago

    I don't know where to start. I've probably got enough parts to build a couple pinball machines that never existed. Lots of rubbermaid style tubs, tackle organizers, etc.

    #10 8 years ago

    A tackle box such as Gtown's is nice, but I know I'd find myself with a bunch of open boxes without any clear organization at the end of a job. That's just me. I like my open mouth bag for trips so I can quickly throw some of the bigger tools in and sort later. They all have a place (to a degree), and eventually they find themselves back there because they're open and easily accessible.

    #11 8 years ago

    WOW, I wish my parts were as organized as yours. Mine are usually still in the bags they were shipped and in a box marked "pinball" on the shelf. I search through it each time I need something. This might sound trivial, but I have LOTS of parts.

    #12 8 years ago

    But what about plastics? Are there drawers big enough for slingshot-size plastics in those kinds of boxes? I've got a bunch of stuff ready to go on my TZ and TAF when I do a full playfield strip/clean/fix/replace, but finding "safe" spots for them is tough. I'm pretty sure the train wreck plastic won't fit in one of those tackle boxes...it's a biggon.

    #13 8 years ago
    Quoted from Miguel351:

    But what about plastics? Are there drawers big enough for slingshot-size plastics in those kinds of boxes? I've got a bunch of stuff ready to go on my TZ and TAF when I do a full playfield strip/clean/fix/replace, but finding "safe" spots for them is tough. I'm pretty sure the train wreck plastic won't fit in one of those tackle boxes...it's a biggon.

    I have all my plastics stacked up in a single box and put away, I don't feel like that's a real "repair on the spot" issue that warrants being in a collapsable/portable kit.
    -mof

    #14 8 years ago

    I just picked up the Plano 787-010 from Academy for the same price as Amazon! Man this thing is huge! If (when?) I fill this sucker up, I will be in budget trouble!

    #15 8 years ago

    Hmmmmmm.............
    Guessing that "spread randomly all over the pool table and air hockey table" puts me on low end of the organization scale.

    #16 8 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Hmmmmmm.............
    Guessing that "spread randomly all over the pool table and air hockey table" puts me on low end of the organization scale.

    Dont feel bad - wish I had more room to spread it out. I have a pile on my desk from PBL, Marco, Great Plains, Jameco sitting next to my TV. Reminds me how unorganized I am with every glance...

    #19 8 years ago

    I went the cheap route....zip lock bags. Each value of component goes in its own snack bag. Then all the snack bags go into gallon bags with like components, ie: resistors, diodes, capacitors, chips etc.

    Whenever I have to buy components, I always over buy. 7 years of collecting components and it all gifts into 5 gallon bucket. Very easy to travel with for house calls.

    As for Playfield and cabinet parts, I use the $1 plastic bins with lids that stack. I have a bin for coils, screws, plastic posts and lane guides, flippers, pops, etc... I have a bookshelf that holds the 30 or so bins quite nicely.

    #22 8 years ago

    Oops.

    I just ordered some more bins stackable for larger or used parts. I figure I'll build a shelf unit for them.

    #23 8 years ago

    This is my organization, if you can call it that. A work in progress. Almost embarrassed by these pics.20131031_223924.jpg20131031_223803.jpg20131031_223752.jpg20131031_223709.jpg20131031_223648.jpg20131031_224145-91.jpg

    #24 8 years ago

    I have about 15 different containers that hold pinball parts. All the tools are in two large rolling under the bed style rubbermaid containers. Its amazing how fast I can pile up pinball parts.

    #25 8 years ago

    Just ordered this from Amazon for $45 shipped. Looks perfect for the job!

    http://www.planomolding.com/product.php?PID=645

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    amazon.com link »

    #26 8 years ago

    New go her. Used go here. Fix it stuff goes here. Nuts,bolts,& bubbles go here. That's it.

    #27 8 years ago

    Harbor Freight sells these plastic storage boxes that work well for me. Last time they were on sale for $2 a piece I bought about ten. Other than that, I've got a few plain old toolboxes and a couple of shelving units from Sam's club.

    To really get organized, I need more work space!

    http://www.harborfreight.com/18-divider-storage-container-medium-94457.html

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    1 week later
    #28 8 years ago

    So I've been sorting through my mess of parts. I opted for some parts bins of various sizes, but mostly smaller ones. I've got them sorted out into fairly general groups, for example:

    Flipper Coils
    Specialty Coils
    Plunger Assys
    Coil Stops
    Plastics
    Rubber Rings
    Rubber Posts
    Bulbs
    Screws/Bolts
    Nuts
    Washers
    Leaf Switches
    Micro Switches
    Playfield Switches
    Diodes
    Etc etc etc.

    This is a lot better than my previous "cardboard box filled with random shit" method. I've got a french (freedom) cleat system in my shop. I plan to build some tilted shelves with lips so you can easily see and rifle through each bin without having to remove it. Here's a pic of my (dis)organization:

    20131108_193551.jpg
    7 years later
    #29 43 days ago

    sterilite 1 (resized).png I'm going to bump this thread. I'm in a storage and organizing conundrum. I work on things in my game room but when not using, they need to be put away in my utility room and also the tools and a few parts need to be able to go on the road for mobile repair.

    My current setup is two sterilite three/four draw storage carts. These hold parts and some tools.
    Some smaller parts I have in a stanley that are organized into slots.
    For tools I have a Jensen network/IT bag that does the job

    The sterilite bins are big and aren't good at organizing, just holding lots of stuff. The stanley is nice but "small" and does not attach if I have multiple. The tool bag is big/heavy and has lack of spots for what I need to put inside it. So tools are just thrown in.
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    My thought is, and curious if anyone has done this, get the Milwuakee pack out system. They have low profile and half size organizers to help with the little parts.
    I'd start with the base wheel dolly
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    Three drawer unit
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    low profile organizer
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    Low profile organizer half width
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    working surface
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    multiple sizes of work/tool totes
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    I think this could be nice, expensive but nice, however maybe it is oversized for going mobile? I like the idea of the pack out at home, then if I need parts, take a few, throw them in the tool bag or leave one organizer just for mobile and take that with.

    Thoughts? Note - this was the only pack out brand I found that offered the low pro and half size organizers.

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