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Organization of slitters, punches, drifts, etc


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Doing some clean up in the shop, and im trying to organize my slits, drifts, punches, etc. I came up with the shelf unit in the picture, but i dont like it. I made another shelf like this when i built my shop and used it to store a couple chisels and punches that i had purchased, but in the end it ended up contibuting to rusty ends. I know this shelf will work for the time being, but im stumped on how to store these tools in my shop. 

So i was wondering how my fellow smiths organize their slitters, punches, drifts, chisels, etc?

20210107_145850.jpg

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I like the ones where you weld short pipe sections to the inside back leg of a piece of angle iron and space the bottom of the pipes up off the bottom leg of the angle iron so there is air flow and visibility if you like to put the hot ends down.

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Right now they are flat in a drawer with the chisels in one section and the punches and specialized shapes such as fullers in another.  I want to build something holding them vertically with the working end up so that I can easily tell which is which.  In a drawer they all look too much alike and I think that would be the problem with the working ends down unless they were labeled in some way.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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In a pile. 

I keep small taper punch, chisel, center punch and a 3/8 drift, my most commonly used, on a stump next to the anvil. The rest in a drawer in the tool box all jumbled together. 

and if you think that is bad, come over and try and find a drill. In a drawer of about 500 all mixed together and of course in the darkest corner of the shop. The easiest way to find one is to look for some about the size you want then get the mics out and check them. The worst part of all is i get fed up with it, go buy new drills, always tell myself put them back in order, then one by one they wind in the drawer. 

 

 

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Billy, That's just about how I do it. I have a basket screwed on either side on the anvil stand and I keep my common hardy tools on one side and some punches chisels and drifts on the other side. Then another pile over on a table with all the stuff I don't use as often, but still need sometimes. 

Unfortunately, since they are wire baskets, the top tools I use most often (and are therefore are on top of the pile) have a tendency to slip out one of the holes on the sides and get kicked into the land of 10mm sockets. Only to be found when looking for something else. That's how I ended up with multiples of each. It's not such a bad thing though. Most of the time what I need is in arms reach and the rather open sides allow me to look into the pile and pull out what I'm looking for quicker than trying to dig down through them.

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I have a rather odd holder for hardies on my wall.  It's a length of C channel steel that someone was trying to dial in the spacing of their ironworker on, so it has a series of 1" sq holes punched into it at slightly different intervals.   Rand out of holes in it pretty fast and have added a shelf made from welded wire that has gaps that most tool stems will fit in.  For my most used tooling I forged holders that stick into the anvil "stump".

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Drill gauge plate...that would be to easy. I actually kind of use the mics that way. If i need a 1/4" drill i lock them at .250" then run drills through it till i get the right one. 

The irony for me is that my tool box at work is in perfect order and stays that way. And even on my bench at work my mics, gauge pins, thread gauges etc are laid out nice and orderly. And if someone borrows a tool and does not put it back where it goes you shall feel my wrath. So most people just hand it back to me and let me put it back, the young jedi have learned through pain and trial. 

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Thomas:  Is that semi semi-circular thing with all the holes the end plate to hold boiler tubes?  The shape and distribution of the holes sure looks like that was the original use.  Nifty holder, though.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I don't think so, no signs of wear for such things; but I found several of them at the scrapyard and finally found a use for one of them.  The problem with picking up stuff over so many years is it tends to build up.  Now I can grab the exact punch/drift I want to use and it goes back to the same general area.

I do have a couple of boilermakers hammers, but they are in the armour making tool rack, also a British boilermaker's hammer from WWII, looks like a long necked ball peen; but it had the original tag still on it:  Hammer, boilermakers, 1ea; as well as the broad arrow.

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I repurposed an old Ikea CD rack- ~6'high by ~6" wide by 1 CD  deep inside. Added extra shelves so they range from 4-6" apart and stuck everything in there with the business end pointing out, arranged by use- punches, specialty punches, slitters, drifts, chisels etc. I have a few coffee cans down low with extra cold chisel inventory that also provides balance and stability. It is screwed to a post by the wall.

Steve

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I have a couple of old VHS floor racks that I have been threatening to convert them for shop use. Now I have just found a use for them, thanks. For my small punches,drifts & chisels, I have a round stainless steel cup about 4 inches in diameter, divided into quarters. It just sits on the floor next to the anvil stump under the heel. The larger ones just lay on the stump (the most used ones) or a shelf opposite the anvil.

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  • 3 months later...

I have my forge on a steel trolley with loops around outside for hammers and handled cutters etc.

 I have timber lengths  nailed into U shape like gutter with 25 mm steel mesh over open top.

Punches and drifts sit upright in spaces in mesh. Hardy tools sit post down in drilled 2x4

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Thanks guys. Sounds very promising! I am based in Cootamundra  which  is a small rural town about 2 hours  west of Canberra  or 4 hours south west of Sydney.  

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