Organizing parts

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by neil_w, Jun 3, 2019.

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  1. Jun 3, 2019 #1

    neil_w

    neil_w

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    Anyone have good ideas for keeping parts organized? Among my LPR stuff I have a zillion varieties of centering rings, various pieces of body tube from a few inches long up to 34", nose cones, balsa, shock cords, parachutes, motor mount stuff, and other miscellany. I'm reasonably organized but I'd like it to be better, so I can find stuff more quickly (I've found I've purchased a number of duplicate items I didn't realize I had hiding somewhere).

    I think I'm least happy and most clueless regarding body tube storage. My motor storage, by contrast, is under pretty good control. I could probably use more of those cases to store my small bits and pieces, now that I think about it. No help for body tubes though.

    So how do you store all this stuff? I'm gonna head over to The Container Store and look at their various options, but wouldn't mind some proven strategies to learn from first.
     
  2. Jun 3, 2019 #2

    mbeels

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    I got one of these LINK for centering rings, launch lugs, clips, swivels, clips, couplers, shock cords, kevlar, small nose cones etc. It fits most everything except parachutes, large nose cones, and body tubes.
     
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  3. Jun 3, 2019 #3

    kuririn

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  4. Jun 3, 2019 #4

    Nytrunner

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    Dread double post...
     
  5. Jun 3, 2019 #5

    Nytrunner

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    I have no applicable advice for the question so I'll give my standard unsolicited advice.

    Once a year, build a rocket whose express purpose is to deplete the parts pile.
     
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  6. Jun 3, 2019 #6

    blackbrandt

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    In my workshop, I got some sets of clear plastic drawers. All my parachutes go in 1 drawer, shock cords go in another drawer, and nomex goes in another drawer. Everything gets labeled with where it goes and what it is.

    Body tubes get nested together and stored under my workbench.

    Centering rings/bulkheads go into a box, and they all get labeled.

    Smaller parts (screws, nuts, etc) go into a tacklebox.
     
  7. Jun 3, 2019 #7

    neil_w

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    Depleting the centering ring pile would make for.... an interesting rocket. :)
     
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  8. Jun 3, 2019 #8

    neil_w

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    Hey blackbrandt, welcome back to the surface!

    That's actually a good idea I hadn't considered. Right now my under-workbench is a mess of crap, but it would be a good place to store body tubes horizontally. Somehow when I do my straightening I never venture under there. :eek:

    I think I'm going to get some sort of organizer-box for all the small stuff. I have a little unit with drawers right now, but I find that for many things the drawers are too small, and for stuff like centering rings the drawers are too large.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2019 #9

    Nytrunner

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    Poor choice of words.

    Better: "noticeably reduce"
     
  10. Jun 3, 2019 #10

    mbeels

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    That's a fun idea, at this point I'd end up with a BT-80 nose cone, to 15" of BT-80, reduced down to 36" of BT-20. I like the idea of a "Leftovers" rocket, there could be some really odd configurations.
     
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  11. Jun 3, 2019 #11

    Nytrunner

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    That sounds like a great Geezer TARC rocket for this year's rules!

    (local club competition, build a valid rocket to meet TARC quals for the year, you get one shot, or you can build another rocket (of different design, still within TARC parameters) for a 2nd shot)
     
  12. Jun 3, 2019 #12

    Wallace

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    I personally use the "big pile" system. May not be the most efficient but it works for me. When you need a specific item you just try to remember which part of the pile you last saw it in and start searching from there. And, no I'm not kidding, I am so God awfully terrible at organizing stuff that I gave up on all of it a long time ago..
     
  13. Jun 3, 2019 #13

    dr wogz

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    My 'parts pile' might be considered small, but..

    I have two totes full of mainly LPR parts. One is just tubes & nosecones, as they take up the build of the parts. The other tote is all bagged parts. So, one zip-lock baggie for launch lugs, one for shock cords (elastic), one for Kevlar, one for centering rings (LPR, another for MPR style) one for motor hooks, one for small eye-screws, etc.... just flip thru the baggies. They take up less space than ridged boxes. you get big & small baggies (I prefer 'freezer bags' as they a re thicker than 'sandwich bags'.

    Note, I do have smaller NCs bagged for easy fining, and so they don't 'filter' to the bottom of the tote. Big / long tubes are in a separate box under my bench..
     
  14. Jun 3, 2019 #14

    jlabrasca

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    Funny, Laura Kamf is doing a series of videos on shop organization.



    Her method is idiosyncratic (politely) but her shop occupies that weird locus between an artists' studio and a custom furniture shop about which my own shop orbits, so it was interesting (to me) to see how she approached the problem.

    Right now I am using various versions of TV dinner sorting boxes for small parts. sortimo_stanley.png

    I try to get boxes that I can put on a shelf like books without the parts un-sorting themselves -- so that I don't have to take down a stack of 3 or 5 boxes of rocket parts to get to the box of grommets or a box of switches. These Stanley sorters are okay. I got a 5 or 6 of them from a clearance table at Fred Meyer's (how "Kroger's" is pronounced in the local dialect) a few years ago. The very best boxes for this are the very expensive offerings from Sortimo and Alit. The Harbor Freight knock-offs are inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for

    I'll be watching this thread to see if anybody figured out anything better than plastic bins and cardboard boxes for storing nosecones and body tubes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  15. Jun 3, 2019 #15

    jsdemar

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    I have a bunch of these surplus part boxes. 8 x 9.5 x 2.5". They have snap covers on both sides, with one side shallower for thin stuff and notes.
    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11783

    They are $5.95 + shipping. You have to buy $75 worth to get free shipping. I have 30 of them I bought for $4 each with free shipping when they ran a sale a few months ago.

    Here's one with my big red bee in it, and some other altimeter things.
    bin1.jpg bin2.jpg
     
  16. Jun 3, 2019 #16

    jqavins

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    Poorly.

    If I ever get going, I'll start with something like this for the small bits and bobs:
    81kBvRJ3sfL._SL1500_.jpg
    I've got one like it for electronics parts that might do double duty.

    Then perhaps something like this for middle size things like larger CRs and parachutes:
    40-x-new-blue-size-2-plastic-parts-storage-bins-boxes-900x900.jpg
    Both the drawers and bins can also be used for tools and consumables.

    Finally, for body tubes too long for the blue bins, peg board with long rods to hold the tubes. The rods can be repositioned at need for various quantities of various diameters and lengths. Organize them by diameter, and you can put several rods at each height to hold various lengths.
     
  17. Jun 3, 2019 #17

    neil_w

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    Hey, that's a neat idea. I might experiment with that a bit.
     
  18. Jun 3, 2019 #18

    kuririn

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    Awright! Hobby Zone shop is back up, with prices:
    https://www.hobbyzone.biz/shop.shtml#!/Modular-Workshop-System/c/17925293/offset=0&sort=nameAsc
    You and me both, brother. And no, I'm not posting a pic.:D
     
  19. Jun 4, 2019 #19

    lakeroadster

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    I simply can't bring myself to buy anything to organize rocket pieces parts.... especially when I have stuff coming in the mail in perfectly good cardboard boxes.

    Body Tubes: I kept the cardboard box the body tubes were shipped to me in. When I buy more body tubes, they go into the box with their friends.

    Centering Rings, Engine Clips, Etc.: A zip lock bag for each different component type & marked with a Sharpie for quick identification, then into another small cardboard box.

    That being said I am planning to build a computer / rocket desk / storage space since it needs to fit into a "non-std" space in our great room.

    Iso View.JPG
     
  20. Jun 4, 2019 #20

    bobby_hamill

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    The big container is from Wally World for my BT-55 air frames the BT-50 motor mounts are inside the BT-55
    The small containers are from the Dollar Tree they hold decals and altimeters. The box is the shipping container
    that the fins and fin alignment guide came in

    The big container can be stored under a bed

    Bobby



    z.jpg z1.jpg
     
  21. Jun 4, 2019 #21

    kuririn

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    I also keep my cardboard boxes for storage and use baggies for smaller items. But...

    Something tells me I still need an organized modular system:
    0604190910.jpg
     
  22. Jun 4, 2019 #22

    BDB

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    Is it a problem to store body tubes on their sides? I try to store them upright, as much as possible, to prevent them from sagging. My current method simply involves a grocery bag stuffed with tubes hanging from a nail in my basement wall.
     
  23. Jun 4, 2019 #23

    rharshberger

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    Storing tubes standing on end is best, when stored on their sides unsupported they tend over time to "egg" out of round.
     
  24. Jun 4, 2019 #24

    jlabrasca

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    I had the impression that neil_w worked mainly with the smaller caliber LPR body tubes, for which this is less likely to be a problem.

    With bigger tubes, lying horizontally, I try to keep them packed with three points of contact around the circumference, so that they are less likely to flatten out. Its a drag when one comes out of the array, though, since it turns the whole pile back into a topology problem.
     
  25. Jun 4, 2019 #25

    neil_w

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    I do indeed.

    The problem with storing tubes on-end is that I haven't found a nice way to do it that mixes long and short tubes. I have a triangular cardboard shipping container (in which my 34" tubes were originally sent), and it's great for long tubes but shorter ones get lost in there.
     
  26. Jun 4, 2019 #26

    rharshberger

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    I use boxes cut to varying heights, and sort them roghly bu length, once the tubes are less than 10-12" they go in a storage tube and stored horizontal. I have several boxes holding LPR, MPR, HPR tubes (mostly they are Uhaul Wardrobe boxes cut down).
     
  27. Jun 4, 2019 #27

    kuririn

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    For tubes, maybe something like this, but with squares made of dowels instead of rods and custom sized to your tube diameters?
    0e394353d9f8ddfc458112c33e14f024.jpg

    Or, pegboard mounted on a wall above your work area. Two dowels angled slightly up and out, supporting each end of the tube, which lies flat against the wall. Add more pairs of dowels for different sizes/lengths of tubes. Or nest the tubes: saves space, but tubes are hidden, which may be a pro or con. Lengthen the dowel to stack more tubes, or increase the up angle to create a bin effect. Just throwing ideas out there.
     
  28. Jun 6, 2019 #28

    vcp

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    A bit disheveled at the moment. Cube shelving from Lowe's, 99 cent plastic shoeboxes, dry erase labels.

    bin storage.jpg
     
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  29. Jun 6, 2019 #29

    caveduck

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    This style of roll blueprint / media holder is about the best thing I've seen used for body tubes. Safco makes these in cardboard, wireframe, and solid wood versions, but you can easily clone to suit (esp. with laser cutter and a stack of 1/8 ply). I've got a very primitive and small version of this hacked up from some BMS tube mailing boxes. The key is the slant cut can store tubes of different lengths without them disappearing.
    upload_2019-6-5_23-25-55.png
     
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  30. Jun 6, 2019 #30

    Bat-mite

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    Here's the best solution: buy storage containers like everyone has recommended above. Sort all your stuff, put it in the containers, and label the containers. Then start building, pull stuff out of the containers and leave it lying around the shop, and never put it back into the containers.

    Works for me!
     
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