tool holding foam trays in tool box
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  1. #1
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    So I got a spiffy new little tool-box, full of tools from Mac today. This will be the toolbox that goes trackside with the go-kart.

    The tools are all packed into very neat little foam trays - thick dense stuff, with labels.

    This seems a very nice way to store tools, have them stand up and pack tightly, etc.

    Does anybody know what kind of foam this likely is, and where somebody could get large sheets of it? (Goal being to make similar trays for the large shop cabinet...)

    bmw

  2. #2
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    I don't know exactly what kind of foam that is, but I just finished making my own foam lining for a couple drawers. I used mattress foam, which is denser than the normally available stuff. It cuts quite nicely on the table saw. I just cut strips and fitted them in front to back, and each strip has been hollowed to form a channel. All the tooling stays in place when the drawer is opened or closed. Nice.

    I hollowed the strips on the table saw, but I used a dangerous technique, that of feeding across the blade. A temporary fence was made and clamped at a definite angle to allow this. In hindsight I would have tried to find 1 inch thick sheet of this dense foam and just dadoed some grooves in it. It would probably be best to gloe the foam sheet to a thin backing of some kind before cutting the grooves, as the foam can and will get sucked towards the blade and can grab. Wouldn't want anyone to lose a digit or more-

  3. #3
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    I know foam, so if you have a pic of it I can probably tell you want it is.

  4. #4
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    I am not sure which foam you are talking about, but a lot of tool boxes use this type. It's what I put in my drawers. Takes a little planning and work to install.

    http://www.toolfoam.com/

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    It just so happens I need the same product. Building a tool for a client and all the parts will be in drawers with cutouts. I have a sample coming in the next day or two. According to the supplier it is perfect for cutting via waterjet. Same material the military uses for it tool boxes. There is a minimum order but I will report on the material and if it is of interest I will order extra and pass on.

    I checked out the aboce site. Problem is I need thicker stuff. The material I have coming can be cut (by vendor) to whatever thickness up to 9". Plan on 4" and 1" material. The search goes on.

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    This approach also has the foam taking up alot of the space in the toolbox...thereby lowering the number of tools that can be stored. I have seen many toolboxes/chests that are fitted to hold ONE tool per drawer using this approach...to me it seems a great waste of valuable storage space.

    Does anyone have any favorite homemade dividing materials they use in their toolboxes?

    Pictures of your implementations?

    TMT

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    Good point about the foam taking up space, but since I just got back from lunch and had a few minutes AND did NOT even THINK about getting into the "puzzled" thread I thought I would expand on the use of the foam.

    This is a tool box for a nuclear power plant. Once it goes in it will never come out except to be buried underground somewhere during the next century. The reason for the foam is as follows:

    1. Keep things organized so that every tool has a location.

    2. Tracking. Keep tools organized so any missing tools are obvius. When working on an RHR valve you don't have time screwing around looking for a screw or a special wrench to adjust the lapping plate, unless sucking up dose is your idea of fun.

    and Last

    3. When this box is dug up by aliens a million years from now, some archeologist from a far off galaxy will be amazed at how organized my tool cart is.

    My personal box is FULL of tools. Problem is finding that particular form tool or that special tip for my indicator or....you get the point. It's a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Organize and limit space or cram the stuff in and not be able to find it until you are looking for something else and don't need it.

  8. #8
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    When this box is dug up by aliens a million years from now, some archeologist from a far off galaxy will be amazed at how organized my tool cart is.


    Problem is finding that particular form tool or that special tip for my indicator or....you get the point. It's a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Organize and limit space or cram the stuff in and not be able to find it until you are looking for something else and don't need it.
    EXACTLY! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Time is money and over the years I had wasted a lot of time, therefore a lot of money, searching for the correct tool. Now I don't!

  9. #9
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    TMT uses toolfoam in his drawers, must be the hightech replacement for a pair of socks rolled up. [img]smile.gif[/img]

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    I picked up some foam anti-fatigue mats at Sam's Club. They were pretty cheap and made of some very dense foam about a half inch thick and colored on one side. I cut the shapes of the tools out on one piece and glued it to another piece for the bottom.

  11. #11
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    Just for grins, I got a quote from http://www.toolfoam.com/ at almost $1000 for 20 pieces at 24x36! No thank you.

    HF sells those floor mats for something like $2.99 (on sale) for 4 squares. I have one by my lathe.

  12. #12
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    If you want a relatively inexpensive way to keep tools from rolling around in your boxes/drawers I suggest something like McMaster-Carr #85695K1, it's vinyl-coated polyester mesh. I'm not suggesting it's the same as having a foam cavity for each tool but it certainly does help keep things organized if you're rolling your box around.

  13. #13
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    Well once 5s totally saturates our workplaces we will only be allowed to have 4 wrenches anyway, and they will have to be on a shadow board not in a toolbox.

    Bill

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    I have foam with cutouts in my shallow drawers. The first three drawers in my bottom box and the shallower drawers of my top box. I just take all the items out of their original boxes (inside mics, depth mics, vernier calipers, etc.) and cut out the shapes in the foam, then slice the cutout to slip into the cut out area to cushion under the tool. That way I can cut it thicker/shallower for thinner tools and thinner/deeper for thicker tools. For items like form tools/cemented carbide, etc. I don't bother. Those items are better off in a bin-type setup. The largest items also aren't very well organized like this because of space constraints.

  15. #15
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    Foam for toolbox is available in rolls from HF.

    I would like to find some of that old fashioned rubber toolbox liner with the little ribs running down it. Have looked for a long time for it. Anyone run across a source? Thank you! A.T.

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    I've seen heavy foam like that used as packing material (the shiney, closed cell type of stuff) cut up and used as toobox organizers before, works really well and should hold up nearly forever as it won't dry rot like regular foam rubber.

  17. #17
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    I have seen foam for toolboxes where the "cutouts" were formed by heating the tool to a couple hundred degrees and pressed into the foam the shape was retained when the tool was removed

  18. #18
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    Fred,

    I like that idea! If I can heat a pan full of tools in an oven (or just a pot of water) and quickly press them in that would work great with some of the cheapest foam around. I have some of the blue insulating stuff. Boiling water (212F) should not even bother plastic handles.

    Reason I like foam for liners so much is that many tools have sharp edges or ends that must be protected not only from each other but also from my fingers.

    I recently got a bunch of very dense foam plastic CD storage trays from Ikea. They were on sale for 99 cents each. Great for little pointy stuff like small taps, tweezers, scribes, etc...

    Since the shop I run is also used by students I have to stick with the philosophy of "a place for everything and everything in its place" otherwise there is anarchy. As soon as tools get more than one layer deep it is time to beg, buy, or build more tool storage.

    I have also found it handy to group tools by function: Hitters, pryers, drivers, wrenches, cutters, tappers, grippers, measurers, etc...
    With apropriate subdivisions for units (metric/imperial) and so on. Makes it easier for the 'dents to get the stuff put away properly.

    -DU-...etc...

  19. #19
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    "I recently got a bunch of very dense foam plastic CD storage trays from Ikea. They were on sale for 99 cents each. Great for little pointy stuff like small taps, tweezers, scribes, etc..."

    Do you have a link to these...I checked the Ikea site and could not find them.

    Thanks

    TMT

  20. #20
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    TMT,

    Check here.
    (hope that link works).

    Those are not exactly what I have, but very similar. Mine are square and were designed for 11 CD jewel cases. The ones in the above link hold 26 ... so an even better deal at US$1.99 each. Mine also have side edges and one single "open" area on the underside. which is good for larger bits. They are also very stackable. I can not find the original ones I got on their site. Perhaps they have been discontinued.

    In any case I think I will grab some of the long ones for drawer inserts. I like the orange color because the bits are quite easy to see with such a high contrast background. When they get grubby I just run em through the dishwasher (but not too close to the drying elements).

    -DU-...etc...


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