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Old 08-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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For every boat project it seems that I need a different type or size of screw. I'd like to have an assortment onboard, but I need an efficient, space-saving method of organizing. The hard plastic organizers allow for easy identification, but with so many different types of screws, will take too much space. Ziplock or sandwich bags take up less space, but I want a way to file? them for quick access. How do you organize such items?
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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We've got several of the compartmented, hard plastic organizers crammed with things and we have ziplocks and small boxes of fasteners in clear shoe-boxes that one can pick up at the home store. Those all stack under our berth. We also keep several compartmented duffel bags filled with categorized spare parts which may include fasteners, cotter pins, etc. For example, I have a "rigging" duffel that includes my thimbles, fids, marlinspikes, rigging vise as well as clevis and cotters, shackles, marline and safety wire, cable clamps, spare turnbuckles, Hi-Mod fittings, and so on. Another duffel includes engine and pump related parts; another one has all my sewing, leather, canvaswork bits...and so forth. We use various sizes of ziplocks for many things and I sew up little drawstring bags for others. We haven't purchased a food-saver vac system, but that is next on the list to store away parts w/o worry about degradation of the rubber and metal.

Many of the duffel bags are so heavy that I can hardly lift them. And, those plastic shoe boxes of fasteners are equally difficult to deal with. We call it our "extra ballast".

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Old 08-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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Hello Salty Girl,

A useful method of labelling the correct size and type of screw (and other bits and pieces) is to copy the illustrations to be found in that excellent catalogue from McMaster-Carr. Here is the page covering Hex Head Cap Screws SCREWS

On each separate container attach the specific image of the screw/s within.

Richard
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:50 AM   #4
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Hello Salty Girl,

A useful method of labelling the correct size and type of screw (and other bits and pieces) is to copy the illustrations to be found in that excellent catalogue from McMaster-Carr. Here is the page covering Hex Head Cap Screws SCREWS

On each separate container attach the specific image of the screw/s within.

Richard
Oh, Richard! That's a very good idea. I typically just sharpie write the description onto the bags, bins, etc.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
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Having had screws and other small items punch their way through zip lock bags while at sea, I wouldn't use them again for that. I prefer the hard plastic boxes, there is a brand called "sistema" made in New Zealand that I would look for, they have click locks all around, a blue seal between the lid and the base and they are hard, durable, and waterproof. Come in all sizes from 200mL up to about 2L.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:09 PM   #6
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I'm at the bottom of the evolutionary scale on this one... I have a litteral bucket of bolts, each with 2 washers and a nut, the screws free float and are quite painfull when digging around... for spares I have a locker full of grocery bags... none marked, all just piled in....

organized? no... space saving? very... good luck finding what works best for you and your boat.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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Another plan when storing 'nuts and bolts' (machine screws etc) is to have each bolt with an appropriate washer and its nut on as one unit . Instead of bolts in one container and their nuts in another etc....

PS :- I had not read Atavist's last when I posted the above
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:33 PM   #8
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I'm at the bottom of the evolutionary scale on this one...
Yea, well, as long as you can find it when you need it that's all that matters!
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:23 PM   #9
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Right now I'm focusing on all the screws I've accumulated for various projects. Those hard plastic organizers are what I have used, and my categorizing and labeling varies from none to extreme. I'm trying to find storage that takes up less space and is still easy to access, especially when it comes to quickly finding the right screw for the project.

I decided to try using a jewelry organizer that has no zippers (which would probably get corroded), and it can hang flat in a hanging locker or be rolled for storage (the hanger can be removed). I keep the screws organized by type and size in small zip lock bags, one per pocket, so that I can pull out the bag for the ones that I want to use. I have the zip lock bags labeled so that I can remember what needs to be resupplied. If the zip lock bag gets holes, then the screws are still contained within the heavy plastic pocket. This organizer has 80 pockets of varying sizes, so that should get me started. It's even made with a nautical-looking canvas, not some frilly/girly designed fabric.



I'll let you know how this works out.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:57 PM   #10
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I'll let you know how this works out.
That sounds like a good plan.

This reminds me that we've hung a large (made of canvas) shoe organizer on a bulkhead (between the main saloon and the head) and we keep a number of things in each "pocket". Though the pockets don't close (remember, it was for shoe!) they are deep and can hold things like sunglasses/glasses cases, wallets, chargers for cel phones, as well as favorite tools, hand-held radios and gps as well as a little larger items like the cat's life vest, harness, and leash, flashlights, extension cords and so on. It has 24 pockets (12 pairs of shoes) and we find it is a great spot to put things that "don't have a home" but we want to keep handy.

Before I hung the shoe organizer on that bulkhead, we found ourselves piling up these sorts of things in all the wrong places so they'd be in the way or at risk of damage.
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