Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Organizing your Tools with DIY Modular Magnetic Strips

I'm not the most organized person by nature. But the more organized I get, the more I realize how important it is for productivity. The more organized I am, the more productive I am, plain and simple. I've been looking for a way to be more organized with my tools. Before today I kept them in some random bins if they were for a specific project, or in my toolbox if they were for a general purpose. But I still had difficulty finding what I needed when I needed it. I couldn't see them!

A few days ago a friend shared a link to an article on Cliff Stoll, a real life mad scientist. He's even got the hair to prove it. Here's the article. In the article there's a picture of how Cliff organizes his tools using magnetic strips. How simple!

I looked around amazon for some magStrips, but I didn't like what I found. They were expensive, and none of them were modular. I like modular. So I looked around craft stores and home improvement stores and came up with a jaw dropping DIY modular solution!

First, I needed a surface to mount the magnetic strips. I created a frame from pine 1X2s to support a panel of Tempered Service Perf.

I then bought 100 0.5in diameter 1/16in thick Neodymium magnates.

I made a 5 layer sandwich of:
  • 0.5in X 1/8in steel flat
  • magnets spaced 1in apart
  • 0.5in steel tube
  • magnets
  • steel flat

I then printed ends that snapped into the center of the steel tube and hooked into the perf board. Here's the part, if you wanted to print it:

Since the magnetic strips are perf board compatible, and since I have a wall of perf board now, I can arrange them in any way I need. I can also use any of the existing perf board hardware, like hooks and baskets. Here's the finished product:

If you found this info helpful, let me know! If you have tricks you use to organize your tools and your workspace, I'd love to hear them!