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Storing screws screwed up

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Old 07-20-17, 07:21 PM
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Storing screws screwed up

Screws come in many different forms. Right now, I am dealing with round-headed (flat-underside) screws. Taking length and diameter into consideration, I have tried to sort them in drawers as seen here (middle cabinet):

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In the next picture, you'll see a sample of the screws. It shows (perhaps) that I finally settled for sorting on length.

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However, due to the almost imperceptible length difference between screws in adjacent drawers, screws that I have taken out of the drawers to see which ones to use, but not used, end up like in the next picture because it is so darn difficult to put them back in the correct drawer.

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In the next, somewhat fuzzy, picture, you can see how similar the screws are (don't look at the longest or shortest, look at similar ones).

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Finally, I threw the non-sorted screws into a box with 21 compartments (randomly). Perhaps sorting on length in such a box is the solution? You can see a lot of screws at the same time. The problem is storing such boxes.

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Now, all you smart fastener sorters out there, what are your thoughts? I would, seriously, appreciate your advice.

Regards,

Hans L
 
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Old 07-20-17, 07:55 PM
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For a number of years I worked for a carpenter. He had a 5 gallon bucket with assorted nails in different compartments. One day he saw me picking up the nails from the ground & throwing them into the bucket but I wasn't assorting them. He had taken a sharp turn & the nails flew through the air. Then he said that he would get his son to assort them.

I know that it's too late to make a long story short but my suggestion is to get your son or grandson to assort them. If you don't have either, pay someone on the block, to do it.
 
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Old 07-20-17, 08:12 PM
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I don't have room for all those drawers you have....especially in my van. I keep all the same type of screws..... with all the different lengths together.... in one compartment

Easier to sort by type..... then just pick out the length needed.
 
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Old 07-20-17, 08:28 PM
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Unless it's a screw I commonly use, (they are in my rigid suitcase organizers) it goes in a smallish coffee can. If I need one of those uncommon screws, the coffee can gets dumped out... I sort through it for a few seconds, find the screw I want, then dump them all back in the coffee can.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 04:04 AM
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It's nice to sort them all out and store them separately but I never seem to have the time for that. I do usually have screws in one can, washers in another, etc. but I often do like X and have to dump out the contents to get the one I need.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 04:15 AM
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Life is short; should you also separate fine thread and coarse, imperial and metric ?

I'm just for glass jars separating the screws, nuts, bolts, washers, and all the brass is by itself . . . . I don't know where they all came from ?

Nails are much easier, they don't have threads, or related nuts . . . . I have about 15 kinds of nails.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 07-21-17 at 06:21 AM. Reason: fixed punctuation
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Old 07-21-17, 05:52 AM
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sorting

The only thing I can add is that I don't use glass jars. I thought the "see thru" feature would be helpful, but after cleaning up a jar full of hardware dropped on a concrete floor, no more glass jar storage for me. Steve
 
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Old 07-21-17, 06:33 AM
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I have a couple of large shelves, about 30" deep by 60" long where I keep nails, power driven wood screws, concrete anchors, etc., mostly in boxes, and also have a couple of buckets with dividers full of a handful or so of a variety that I can easily set in the truck and go for smaller jobs. I have the majority of my screws, bolts, nuts, and washers sorted, but also have a container or two of unsorted ones that I add to until I find some idle time to sort them. But I sort by size, i.e. #6, #8, 1/4-20, 1/2-13, etc., primarily because it's pretty easy most days to just look at them and know what they are, rather than having to measure. Up to #10 machine screws are in plastic drawers that I had from storing electronic components in the 60's and early 70's, similar to what you are using, and anything 1/4-20 or 1/4-28 and larger is in wooden boxes I made from scrap plywood to fit the drawers of and old IBM punch card cabinet. I used to use coffee cans for larger sizes and unsorted ones, as well as for oddball drill bits, reamers, etc., but quit using those, and use only the plastic drawers, wood boxes, or Skippy jars. (Man, I must have eaten a lot of peanut butter over the years because I have a bunch of those!) I'm in MI, and what I realized was that things would rust when stored in metal cans, and I assume the reason is that the metal cans change more readily with the ambient temperature, and these relatively rapid temperature swings, combined with our relatively high humidity during certain times of the year, results in increased condensation. That's my opinion anyway, and a bit off topic, but thought I would toss it in there for anyone who may have noticed something similar.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 10:49 AM
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I recently picked up a coffee can full of nuts/bolts and the bottom fell out
I just assumed it was because I've been using that coffee can for a few decades
 
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Old 07-21-17, 03:34 PM
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That's when those telescopic magnets come in handy.
 
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Old 07-21-17, 03:37 PM
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That is mostly what I use mine for - to pick up stuff so I don't have to bend down.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 09:01 AM
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Screw sizes I used constantly (8-32׾ Flat head or 6-32⅜ Round head for example), each got their own compartment in a parachute bag for the truck. Others were mixed; for example, 8-32 Round head 3/8", 1" and 2" in the same labeled compartment. Different lengths were easily distinguishable, and easy to spot what needed refilling.

Knowing where they go in your storage scheme is easy if you put them back right away. If it's the wrong size, why keep it out to clutter your workspace. Work "clean".

For really odd-ball sizes like 14-20, I carried the longest screw I could find and cut them to length as needed. Saved time, space and money. And yes, that's 14-20, not -20.
 
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Old 07-22-17, 10:27 AM
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Sorry it took me a while to get back to the thread. I have read all of what you have said, and made one decision already: no more sorting, because it is so darn difficult (for me) so see the differences, both for an initial sort and (especially) for putting screws back in the correct place.

I will try the plastic box I showed in one of my pics for a while, and if that does not work, it will be the 'jar'.

Thank you for sharing!

Hans L
 
 

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