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Thread: Best Stackabe/Modular Box System for Misc Storage?

  1. #1
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    Best Stackabe/Modular Box System for Misc Storage?

    I'm trying to reclaim floor space in my shop garage. Part of this effort is organizing things.
    I had settled on the following product, because they stack, and have lids that close to be dust proof. Clear is nice so I can see what is in them.
    https://www.containerstore.com/s/storage/smart-store/12

    However, they turn out to be a bit fragile for shop use. (Plastic should be thicker). I'm hesitating on buying more to keep going with the shop reclamation project.


    The Festool stuff stacks great, but is a bit pricey and comes in just that one shape. I did spring for two Sortstainers for screws and nails, but they are pretty heavy. Festool stuff and the mobile cart I got are great for going to a job site (which isn't a frequent occurrence for me), but seems like overkill just for keeping odd parts and such in. (But maybe not, I've only ever owned the boxes that have Festool power tools already in them).

    The kind of stuff I need to store (in an organized fashion) are for example all the extra bits that came with the grinder. (guards and such which got removed for the CBN wheel). A box of stuff for the waterstones and sharpening jigs, extra parts for the lathe.

    Anyone have good suggestions? Doesn't have to be cheap necessarily. Everything is cheaper than selling the house and moving to get a bigger shop.

  2. #2
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    Having them in cubbies is a lot better than stacking, and unstacking. Heavy ones are on the bottom row, with only a 1/4" plywood bottom on the cubby hole unit. With these, I don't even have to lift one out, and put it somewhere to access what I need. The cubbies fit tight enough that I can slide one out 3/4's of the way under the one I want to get something out of, and slide that one out all the way, to rest on the one 3/4's out below it.

    Boxes are structural foam, waterproof toolboxes by Stanley/Dewalt/Bostitch/Craftsman, available in 23", and 28" lengths. I'm somewhere over 140 of them now.

    This picture was taken in 2011 or 12, when I first built those cubbies in this flipping house.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tom M King; 09-12-2020 at 7:11 PM.

  3. #3
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    The cubbies look cool. I'm just severely space constrained so not much wall space to devote to this organization project. I'm kind of stuck with one bank of shelves (which are adjustable) which I can use, and space below the lumber rack.
    Up high I could mount some stuff in cabinets maybe (but only 8' ceiling in the garage workshop, so not much room up either).

  4. #4
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    I have used these other plastic bins from container store and they have held up well. A bit pricier, but they often have sales:

    https://www.containerstore.com/s/sto...uctId=11007497
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  5. #5
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    I use kids plastic pencil boxes a lot. I used to have contacts at the local elementary school and I could get all the Boxes I wanted. I use them for things like pop rivets, pen kits and mandrels, and some pinewood derby gizmos. For smaller bits like nuts and bolts, I have a 6 drawer microfilm cabinet. Cheap electric outlet boxes fit perfectly to hold all manner of parts.

  6. #6
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    If you like the format of the Systainers, you don’t need to buy from Festool. They are available as “native” Tanos products and there are some alternative sizes. Lee Valley carries them and I believe Tool Nut may, too. Still pricy, but less than Festool.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Sounds like we are talking about storing smaller items like hardware. Regardless, Tom is right. The stacking systems I have are great for the job site crowd but, in the shop they are a pain. I sometimes find other ways to do things rather than unstack things to get to the unit third from the bottom if you know what I mean. My stack-ables have become long term storage of seldom used items. For frequently used items I use plastic boxes in primarily three sizes. They each slide into a cubby which lets me get to exactly what I am after without having to have enough room to un-stack several boxes to get to the one want.

    My tackle-box-like boxes (Similar to these but, bought long ago) handle 90% of my hardware and small miscellaneous items. Harbor Freight has a similar sized, although not as nice, item and I have several of them bought when the Planos could not be found on sale. The Planos are going strong after nearly two decades, two Harbor Freight versions have already failed. They did replace them however.

    Plastic shoe box-sized containers hold epoxies and cements, sharpening items, straps and cord, Dremel and accessories, respirators and supplies, etc. Latch-lid boxes from Costco (about 3 times the size of a shoe box) store larger parts, small specialty tools and so forth.

    A cubby of sorts could hang from, or set on, your shelves for the tackle-box type solution. I have large banks of these but, also have individual fixtures that only have slots for 5 tackle-boxes. These individual fixtures get moved around depending on the changes that happen over time. The important thing is that they allow me to get to the second from the bottom container without having to find room to un-stack the bins on top of it. A cubby actually takes up less space than a stack in actual use.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-13-2020 at 11:30 AM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
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  8. #8
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    Wood magazine featured a stackable storage system with drawers in the September 2020 issue. Which I'm thinking of adapting for under table saw storage that I desperately need. Wouldn't be clear but labels can solve that.

    But it is free standing eliminating cubby structure and on wheels, which for me in a small basement shop is an absolute requirement. Also, if I need to expand in the future I can build what I need to match vs running risk of not finding the same products. And I can size the heights to what I need, add internal dividers, etc. Seems like a good solution, even though I would have to build instead of buy.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 09-13-2020 at 12:21 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    I have used these other plastic bins from container store and they have held up well. A bit pricier, but they often have sales:

    https://www.containerstore.com/s/sto...uctId=11007497

    I'll check these out next time I'm in. They look promising.

  10. #10
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    We're starting to use the Milwaukee Packout system at work. I like them because they are not too expensive and come in a variety of sizes. Designed to be mobile, but I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work well in a shop.

    I really like the cubbies with the toolboxes. I may adapt that to my own shop, or something similar. I don't necessarily need to see inside my boxes, so I've started using the smaller HDX or Husky black and yellow totes from Home Depot.
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Endres View Post
    We're starting to use the Milwaukee Packout system at work. I like them because they are not too expensive and come in a variety of sizes. Designed to be mobile, but I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work well in a shop.

    I really like the cubbies with the toolboxes. I may adapt that to my own shop, or something similar. I don't necessarily need to see inside my boxes, so I've started using the smaller HDX or Husky black and yellow totes from Home Depot.
    I think Milwaukee just announced some Packout shelves/drawers/wall-hanger-things too. I don't use it myself but it looks nice.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    I have used these other plastic bins from container store and they have held up well. A bit pricier, but they often have sales:

    https://www.containerstore.com/s/sto...uctId=11007497
    I'll second these containers. Have used them for long-term storage for years. Just throw in a ZeRust tab and you are good to go.

  13. #13
    Unless they need to leave the garage for any reason I used a 24ish" wide section of my miter station to have 2 rows of removable drawers. The drawers i made are 2.5" deep 12" wide the box is 1/2 ply with 3 dadoes cut front and back and left and right, Then dividers are cut with 2 dadoes so that I can divide the drawer into 1/2,1/4, 1/9,1/12, or any combo. For the bottom I just cut 1/4" mdf 1/2" bigger than the box and the uprights are dadoed. I figured if I needed to I can change some of the drawers to double deep But havent needed it. This takes care of all my small parts, bits, fasteners, etc. Sorry I dont have inside the drawer pics
    IMG_20200430_064645.jpg

  14. #14
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    Erich, or anyone else leaning towards Festool Systainers, I notice on:

    Lee Valley Instagram

    they are starting a special on Festool's "Installer Set". (I assume this will be available from all Festool retailers, but LV is a sponsor here and are good guys!)

  15. #15
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I was disapointed to se ethe Apache storage cases at horrible fright are made in China. I have some nice Aluminum storage cases made by Tribal industries. army surplus stuff.
    Bil lD

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