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Loose part storage


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Hey guys, I searched but didnt come up with anything, also please move if necessary...

 

Im looking to get super organized with my loose parts. I want to separate everything into categories. In the past, I used the clear small "tackle" boxes, but now that Ive amassed some peoples collections etc, I need to rethink how I do this. Throwing stuff in empty model boxes isnt working anymore, esp now that Im trying to use up some of these parts Ive collected. As I separate, Im also going to be trading off/selling the stuff I dont want, that should help

 

So, what are you guys using for containers? Thanks in advance, and if there are other threads you know of, please let me know and Ill delete this one

 

 

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1 hour ago, chris chabre said:

Hey guys, I searched but didnt come up with anything, also please move if necessary...

 

Im looking to get super organized with my loose parts. I want to separate everything into categories. In the past, I used the clear small "tackle" boxes, but now that Ive amassed some peoples collections etc, I need to rethink how I do this. Throwing stuff in empty model boxes isnt working anymore, esp now that Im trying to use up some of these parts Ive collected. As I separate, Im also going to be trading off/selling the stuff I dont want, that should help

 

So, what are you guys using for containers? Thanks in advance, and if there are other threads you know of, please let me know and Ill delete this one

 

 

i get mine from Zoro..they have all types u can choose from.   https://www.zoro.com/compartment-boxes/c/5620/

 

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I utilize an old bedroom dresser. I use open model boxes and various size zip lock bags. I get them for free from all the parts I install at work. The advantage is you can group similar items in one box and just size the bags for the amount of items you have in them. Since the bags are clear, items are easily identified. Being flexible allows them to somewhat conform to the shape of the box. It lets you put a larger amount of items in less cubic space. (Much better than a whole rack of tiny drawers). When you are looking for something specific, You know what box it is in and you can very quickly find the baggie with your available options.

Top drawer is electronic components (another hobby).

2nd drawer is various sizes of empty ziploc baggies and hobby overflow items.

3rd drawer is my spares, evergreen stock, decals and such.

4th drawer is rattle cans and bottle paints.

5th drawer is dedicated to wheels and tires.

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Edited by Bills72sj
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My storage process looks like this (in order of size)

Automotive or workshop style parts cabinet with drawers

image.png.59b44f55b24f35cbd91b7ef5e4a8738c.png

Next level is i purchased the cheap food prep containers at walmart 

image.png.101080d2e542f2e631d7f0720db6e8fa.png

Then the next size up is various sized Sterlite storage containers, mostly the "shoe" size, but I do have a few larger ones for bodies and stuff.

image.png.d853560c16906e42dbbd84657da22e70.png

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1 hour ago, TarheelRick said:

I have picked up a couple of storage units from Harbor Freight; they have a fairly nice selection of different sizes and formats.

those style boxes were my first thought since theyre stackable. I try to buy US made stuff whenever possible but Ive heard a lot of good reviews on them. May have to bring some of my bigger parts with me and see how they fit haha

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On 9/17/2021 at 3:41 PM, Mr. Metallic said:

My storage process looks like this (in order of size)

Automotive or workshop style parts cabinet with drawers

image.png.59b44f55b24f35cbd91b7ef5e4a8738c.png

Next level is i purchased the cheap food prep containers at walmart 

image.png.101080d2e542f2e631d7f0720db6e8fa.png

Then the next size up is various sized Sterlite storage containers, mostly the "shoe" size, but I do have a few larger ones for bodies and stuff.

image.png.d853560c16906e42dbbd84657da22e70.png

I second this method and they’re relatively inexpensive new ... even cheaper at garage sales 

52B28F6B-0A35-4508-9220-785CD6C58877.jpeg

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so I found a person selling 24 drawer unit today and in a rush she gave me the wrong one. it was sealed in the box. I was also in a rush, so I didnt even check. 

she apologized numerous times when I contacted her, but I made out as I got an even better deal than I was expecting.  If the small drawers dont work out, Ill do something else but for what I paid, i cant complain. the rest of my weekend...I could complain for hours haha 

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Edited by chris chabre
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I use a “photo” box from Michael’s. It’s a box of boxes with the inside boxes the size of VHS tapes. It’s just right for detail parts. I have them variously categorized and a small box works nicely on the bench. They sometimes have these on clearance. I got mine for $5. 
EBE4F591-8465-4FBB-8F6A-08E06E75977C.jpeg6F98A53C-27D8-4780-8E64-C65F0FEF1BA0.jpeg

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2 hours ago, chris chabre said:

so I found a person selling 24 drawer unit today and in a rush she gave me the wrong one. it was sealed in the box. ai was also in a rush, so I didnt even check. 

she apologized numerous times when I contacted her, but I made out as I got an even better deal than I was expecting.  If the small drawers dont work out, Ill do something else but for what I paid, i cant complain. the rest of my weekend...I could complain for hours haha 

20210919_193826.jpg

These are great for small parts. Just make sure you check for  a small hole in the bottom of the drawers. Some have them some do not. 

I use these and larger sterolite totes that are for shoes and the next size up from that.  I just put body parts and such in zip-lock style bags to separate by brand. 

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Chris, all the ideas above are excellent and will help you greatly in your quest.  Just remember, don't use round containers!  They can't be filled properly inside and waste space outside.  My garage used to be overflowing with glass jars full of fasteners of every description.  When I went to the flat tackle box style of hardware container, I freed up an entire shelving unit without throwing anything out (except those glass jars!)

So now I want to throw my bit of philosophy into the discussion.  I have written about this somewhere else on here in the past.  When it comes to categorising your parts, remember the golden rule!

Always split, never double up!

It goes like this.  Say you fill a box with tyres.  You don't start a new tyre box, you split the one you have into two new containers, marked street tyres and race tyres.  When the race tyre box fills up, you split into drag race and circuit race tyres,  When the drag tyres box fills up, you split into M&H and Goodyear.  And so it goes on.

When I started doing this over thirty years ago, it revolutionised my model building. If I saw a car in a magazine that I wanted to duplicate, I could dig out every individual piece I needed in an hour. You no longer glue a substandard part onto your model because you couldn't find that perfect carb that you knew you had somewhere, you just go to the four barrel box or the Stromberg box and there it is.

An unplanned by-product of this system is you can now clean up your desk in minutes rather than hours.  Instead of pondering where the best place would be to put the parts for use later on, you simply put them in the correct box because that is the only place you need to look for them when the time comes. I am a very untidy worker but I can get my whole work surface back into shape quickly now, so I don't mind doing it.

Congratulations on acquiring enough parts to need organising, it will be  aboon to your model building efforts!

Cheers

Alan

 

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thanks Alan! thats exactly what Im working on this weekend. Ive gone through all my kits and returned them to "box stock" so I dont have to search. Then I went through ALL my parts Ive acquired through the years...I weeded out roughly 10 model boxes worth of stuff. Next step is to do like you said and organize everything from there. I dont have the time to hunt for stuff anymore, bench time is very limited

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The small drawer cabinets are perfect for me. I have a messed up back so, having things in reach is a must for me. I also use cork boards to hang many parts still in the packs. It’s nice to look up and see what I have as compared to digging through containers. Even though I do have a few containers with mostly pins, wire, chrome tape, flannel polishing pads, and stuff like that. 

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I know a guy who would throw away all the extra parts and the box upon each kit completion. When asked why he doesn’t keep it in case a future model needs a part, he just rolled his eyes and said every kit came with everything you needed to build it! The rest was just clutter!

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16 minutes ago, Tom Geiger said:

I know a guy who would throw away all the extra parts and the box upon each kit completion. When asked why he doesn’t keep it in case a future model needs a part, he just rolled his eyes and said every kit came with everything you needed to build it! The rest was just clutter!

someone take away his modeling card!!! haha Theyre too expensive to not keep extra stuff

 

Some great advice guys!!! Thanks

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