Drill/ reamer/ tap storage?

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Chris152

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We bought a load of the above that I'm currently sorting through into metric and different sorts of Imperial, they were all mixed up. Unless they're sorted, they won't get used til we're desperate.

My question is, what ideas do you have for storage of them once sorted into size and type? Ideally they'd be laid out in drawers and labelled, but that means buying a new chest of drawers and we really don't have room for that anyway.

I thought of zip-lock bags with pieces of the same size in each, but wonder if that'll lead to damage as we sift through the bags to find the ones we want.

I'd really appreciate any solutions you can offer.

Cheers, Chris

Some of the taps - metric, BSW, UNF etc...
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You're quite right, if you allow taps to bang together, they WILL get damaged. For my "odds & sods" I use old tins, etc (baccy tins, peppermint tins, & so on, you get the idea) and various plastic "boxes. Before going into their boxes, each is provided with a plastic "sleeve". That can be lengths of flexible plastic or silicon tube (model aero fuel line, comes in various sizes, short lengths of electrics heat shrink, and again "& so on"). Whatever stuff you can find that fits really.

For the taps I've bought new, they either stay in the box they came in (I have a couple of sets) or the plastic box or tube they came in (for the singles).

If you have the space though I do like the above idea of the "cribbage board".

HTH
 
Take note of the height if you want to then fit in a drawer. May need to angle the holes slightly to reduce the height to fit in a drawer
 
Thanks all. I'll have a play with the cribbage board idea today, though it could take quite a bit of space, we'll see. They also need labelling, some of the text on the older bits are really hard to read and again, if I don't do that now it'll be really annoying when it comes, mid-job, to finding the one we want!
I think we'll also look into silicon tube etc, that sounds more compact.
 
Take a look at the plastic boxes sold to protect fishing floats and the like. Multi compartment and double sided. A lot of fishing tackle is priced to milk the enthusiasts but Decathlon have a range at less silly prices. I use these in a couple of sizes to organise taps.

The red plastic protective tubes can be bought from Zoro.

A cabinet of shallow drawers is really nice if only you have the space. The type for organising stationery. A4 size by about 1" deep. You see those in a lot of model engineers' sheds.
 
Quick test, it'd take quite some time but seems to be ok. I put shrink tubes on the M10s and thought it great, then realised they tend not to come in all the sizes we need.

As for pitch and taper, well, that can wait :)

We have a Decathlon nearby Sideways, I'll definitely take a look there.

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An engineering mate has a set of stationary drawers like Bisley brand ones with corrugated cardboard like this 750mm x 75M Corrugated Cardboard Paper Rolls - Schott Packaging in the bottom of the drawers. The ridges stop things moving around & there are loads of drawers as they are only shallow so he can store hundreds of drills taps etc all in the easily labelled drawers.
 
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I was looking for one of the used Bisley type cabinets this morning, the nearest was in Taunton. But you're right Doug, I think that'd be just the job.
 
I use the Bisley type cabinets there is normally a good few on fleabay and local facebook groups my UK friend found, Ikea do some but the drawers are taller.
I use 6 drawer ones for my hand tools and they are perfect as they are on wheels and I have 3 floating around the workshop on wheels that I added myself along with little stops at the back of the drawer as they just fly out otherwise so I can just drag the appropriate tools over.

You can also get a A4 stationery one that is meant to just sit on a desk has around 4 small draws and A4 in footprint designed for paper holding , probably no more than 40 cms tall they are great if you can get one.
For my taps I use a cribbage type board but several types for the different threads because I inherited an awful lot from my wife's father ( Ex RAF flying boat engineer) and have purchased a lot for the Metric system over here in Spain. There are so many some I have never used and probably never will but can't bring myself to throw them out.

For my CNC bits I have to admit to only ever storing those in the proper plastic cases they normally come in, at 25gbp a pop I dont want them breaking , I reserve one drawer from the tall Bisley just for those.
 
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Bisley cab. A masterpiece in value engineering. 4kg drawer rating from thin steel. The chrome handles rust out in a couple of years of damp but it's quite a lot of drawers for the money.


Tackle boxes from decathlon in small size are good for small drills too.
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Have around ten sets of the bisley drawers under a kitchen worktop, they are very good. Never seen the Decathlon boxes before, not a fisherman. They look just the job and have just ordered some, thanks for the tip. My old Myford metal lathe sits on top of a multi drawer wheeled mechanics type cabinet, so most of my turning related stuff lives in there. Taps lying in their original little boxes take up a whole drawer, so the Decathlon double sided ones should save me quite a bit of space.
Take a look at the plastic boxes sold to protect fishing floats and the like. Multi compartment and double sided. A lot of fishing tackle is priced to milk the enthusiasts but Decathlon have a range at less silly prices. I use these in a couple of sizes to organise taps.

The red plastic protective tubes can be bought from Zoro.

A cabinet of shallow drawers is really nice if only you have the space. The type for organising stationery. A4 size by about 1" deep. You see those in a lot of model engineers' sheds.
 
I made an offer on a Bisley multi-drawer yesterday evening, waiting to hear back. The problem is space, is it wrong to keep drill bits etc in the living room? We already have a surface plate/ table and Myford lathe (waiting to be sold) in the dining room, along with some car parts. :-|

The tap/ cribbage boards are coming along, though my cordless drill packed in on the unf set yesterday, waiting for a replacement and using an oversize drill in the meantime. Since my lad took over the garage for metal stuff, I'd forgotten how lovely it is to work with wood. This is a scrap of sweet chestnut as I recall.

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Big vote from me too ref.Bisley drawers. I have all of my drill bits in one. All of my many and varied taps/dies sets are all in their original wooden boxes, these have routed slots keeping all the pieces separate. This far and away the best solution, good woodworking exercise to replicate!
 
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