Keeping Organised in your Workshop with Bolt Bins
How frustrating is it to fossick through dozens of small containers and boxes searching for a bolt, nut, washer or screw. Hours can be wasted searching through a dozen containers just to find a particular bolt that you just know you have somewhere. Not just hours but money is wasted when you buy new supplies. As soon as you return home, you just know the ones you thought you had will suddenly appear again. It is possible to avoid these problems. How much better would it be to have such items arranged in a set of bolt bins? There is a huge range of suitable storage options available for the homeowner and the professional tradesman.
Before choosing your storage bins, there are few decisions you will need to make. What type of unit would you prefer? Storage units differ in the material used, their price and method of construction. Cardboard, however sturdy, won't last as long as metal or plastic. They will deteriorate more quickly. Cardboard box type bins are affected by moisture and corrosive chemical spills. They may get gnawed on (and defecated on – and in) by rodents. See-through plastic is cheaper than metal. Metal, although most expensive, is will last a lifetime and is likely to be the choice of professional tradesmen.
Size is another consideration. You might expect a home workshop to need less individual containers than a larger establishment. However, there is such a variety of bolts, nuts and washers that even an amateur in the field of DIY ends up with a dozens of sizes and types. Ideally bolts should be separated by length and type of head eg cup-head, hexagon or counter-sunk. Then there are wood and metal screws of all types, washers and a host of other small parts suited to bin-type storage. Too small a unit may be nearly as frustrating as a host of small containers.
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One type (see above) which is popular and widely available has plastic storage trays which are held in a metal framework. If these units seem too small, you might prefer tilt-out metal or plastic bins which slide into a metal dispensing unit. The trays are prevented from falling out completely by a back stop. The trays also have movable dividers allowing to customise the sizes according to your needs.
If space is at a premium, revolving bins are a great solution. With these, a central spindle holds four to ten shelves. Each shelf has four permanent dividers. With extra movable dividers, you can create up to 16 compartments on each shelf. The unit is made of steel and takes up less than three square feet. These are ideal set on a workbench, keeping nuts and bolts within easy reach.The shelves run on heavy duty ball bearings and each shelf rotates independently. These are really convenient and easy to access but don't come for pennies.
Mobile units include a louvre panel with removable bolt bins hanging off the framework. Louvre panels are also a great idea if you are short of space. They can be attached to the wall of a workshop or garage and will help keep your bits and pieces tidy. So there are a number of things to consider before making a final choice on the best bolt bins for your purpose. You're bound to have fun researching what's available in your favourite DIY store.