If your work requires the use of nails and fasteners, then one of the things to consider is how to store them properly so you can find them easily later on. However, this factor gets overlooked a lot.
If you like being handy around your house and have a collection of screws, nails, and bolts, you must know that they each have their specific uses depending on their sizes, heads, and threads. The hard part is organizing and arranging them together in one place, as you don’t want to find a hex bolt when looking for a carriage bolt.
If you don’t store them properly, you may end up having to look for them as they are prone to get lost easily.
Tips for Using and Storing Your Fasteners
1. Reusing an RX Bottle
You can use old prescription bottles for holding nuts, bolts, screws, nails, etc., on a shelf in your workspace. Remove the label from the bottles so that you can see what’s inside. In addition to that, you can also make a small customized shelf for your storage bottles by creating some holes in a shelf with a 2-inch hole saw.
2. Storing and Labeling on a Foam
You can use polystyrene foam or Styrofoam to group fasteners or arrange them in a way that would be most useful when needed. You can also use a pen or marker to write on the foam to identify the fasteners or make notes useful when reassembling the components later.
3. Choosing the Right Place to Store
Don’t put your fastener bins in a garage corner; it’d best to keep the nail box close to the tools because you can use them as you come to grab your drill, hammer, screwdrivers, etc. As a result, when you need the fasteners, you can also grab the suitable tools along with them.
4. Putting the Fasteners Away After Use
A well-organized system will not work if you don’t keep track of it. Try to put away your fasteners as soon as you are done with a project, even if you’ve just bought them. Also, don’t forget to label them as it’ll make finding them even easier later on.
You can explain how the storage system works to your family, so whenever they need to use the tools or fasteners, they will know where to find them and put them after they’re done.
5. Using a Chapstick for Lubrication
When working with hardwoods, including maple, walnut, or cherry, lubricating screws is essential since driving them can be difficult and generate friction and heat. Many woodworkers carry beeswax or even a toilet wax ring in their toolbox to lubricate screws. In addition to that, you can also use a lip balm or chapstick as they both can also do the job well.
The chapstick is small in size and fits easily in a toolbox or pocket, which makes it easier to carry to different sites, and can also be used to treat dry lips.
6. Avoid Mixing Different Types of Fasteners
If more than one type of fastener is required in the project, mixing them would not be the right thing to do as it will only make it more challenging to locate and find the exact type that you would need later on. Hence if different types and sizes of fasteners are mixed, it will take some time to find the ones needed.
7. Using a See-Through Container
You can store your fasteners in a transparent bag/container instead of a coffee can or a junk drawer. Looking through a clear container, reaching in, and picking the right nut, bolt, or whatever you need would become easier for you and save time.
8. Using Nut and Bolt Holder and Sorter
Every store has a jar or can of miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and screws. The best you can do is put them all into a plastic flying disc (Frisbee). This way, you can dig through the fasteners without dropping anything on the floor. When you’re finished, fold the disc in half and return everything into the container.
9. Using Large Beverage Containers
If you’re a fan of hot chocolate, you might have some big-sized Nesquik empty containers in your home. You can use them for storing nails, bolts, and drywall screws up to 5-inches long.
10. Using Disposable Coffee Cups
You can use the take-out coffee containers for storing fasteners. In addition, you can also use the ones made of stiff cardboard and have 3 ½ inch wide square bins for storing disposable cups.
11. Making a Double-Decker Storage
A convenient double-decker carrier is ideal for transporting fasteners and anchors to work. You can make it from a quarter sheet of ¾ inch plywood, 1/8 inch hardboard strips, glue, nails, and a 1-1/4-inch dowel. Cut the parts, but remember to cut the 3/8 inch deep openings for the hardboard drivers before cutting the sides away from the base.
A regular 1/8 inch kerf saw blade in the table saw is perfect for cutting the 1/8 inch hardboard dividers. Ensure to cut the dado “key” slots on the ends of the top tray to lock it to the tote tabs and carry it as a unit. Make these slots slightly wider than the 3/4 x 3/8-inch tabs, so you don’t have to struggle to move the top tray from the bottom tray.
12. Having Magnetic Ladders
You can attach a magnet to the top of all your ladders for holding nuts, screws, bolts, nails, and other metal fasteners. It feels like having an extra hand and is excellent to use a circular base magnet or one with a hole in the center for simple attachment to your ladder.
All you have to do is make a hole and secure the magnet with a bolt and a nut. These magnets are powerful enough to hold small metal instruments like a screwdriver.
13. Organizing a Cabinet Type Storage
You can organize thousands of small items using a stack of plastic boxes. However, it becomes inconvenient when the container you need is at the bottom of the pile. Hence, organizing it in the form of a cabinet makes it easier; all you have to do is slide it out.
You can also adjust it by using larger and smaller bins, as needed. This step will also help reduce clutter from your garage or workshop.
14. Using a Waxed Up Toilet Ring
When you’re putting together a project that requires a small number of screws, you can put the entire batch from the face down in an upside-down wax fresh toilet ring. As the wax is soft, it’ll be easy to press and pull the screws in and out, and they’ll be lubricated for easier driving.
Make a small framed platform for the ring to ride on so it doesn’t gather dust when you place it on a workbench.
15. Making Shelves in the Storage Area
This concept for a system of hanging wood bins can help you organize your garage with shelves. You can store the fasteners and hardware in containers and place them on the shelves. It is a simple project that can be custom-built for any storage facility.
Storing Fasteners – Smart Organizing is the Key
There are a lot of things that you can do to make storage more efficient for your fasteners. Arranging and smartly organizing them will lessen the likelihood of losing fasteners and enhance productivity by making it easier to find them when needed. Hence we can conclude that organizing and better management are the keys to effectively using and storing your fasteners and other tools.