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Material storage ideas.

Wisconsinite

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
132
Messages
930
Loc
Milwaukee, WI
Looking to organize random drops, scrap, and leftover material. I am interested in seeing how you store material in your home shop. I currently have one rack with longer pieces ( 3'+) and all my shorts thrown on a pallet. Show me what you got!
 
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Looking to organize random drops, scrap, and leftover material. I am interested in seeing how you store material in your home shop. I currently have one rack with longer pieces ( 3'+) and all my shorts thrown on a pallet. Show me what you got!

For sheet metal I built this rack and have it organized by thickness. Smaller pieces go in the milk crates underneath. Most people probably don't have as much steel sitting around as I do though...

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I've been doing more organizing in my small workshop, getting my metal tubing/angle/flat organized. I already have 6-10' long pieces that slide under the long work bench outside under the carport, and 3-6' length pieces that slide in from the other side. Pieces that are 1-2' long go on the shelves inside, and what I'm working on now is pieces that are shorter than 1' long.

I generally only keep pieces that are shorter than 1' long if they are at least 1/8" thick. When I make furniture or other things with thinner stuff, I don't keep anything shorter than 1' long as I never seem to use that stuff.

For the 1' and shorter pieces, I'm going to try putting them in wire baskets with the pieces standing up right. The baskets are about 12x12" and about 5" tall. I'll have a basket for angle, a basket for round, a basket for solid bar, and so on. My plan is that anything more than what fits in those baskets, I start tossing the shorter pieces until it all fits, unless it has a real thick wall that could possibly be used on the lathe. I have a bad habit of saving every little scrap of metal thinking it may one day be useful. I think I just tossed 200 pounds of small scraps that will never get used. haha! I'll never miss any of that stuff.
 
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I made this earlier this year to replace some wood shelves I used for years. Ended up giving/throwing over a thousand pounds of scraps away. Now the new shelf looks too big

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Small chunks go in a filing cabinet. Big chunks get stood up in a corner. Whether the corner is indoors, in the garage or outdoors depends on how much surface rust is already on the stock.
 
I made this earlier this year to replace some wood shelves I used for years. Ended up giving/throwing over a thousand pounds of scraps away. Now the new shelf looks too big

I use a similar divided shelf type unit make from plywood I salvaged from work. Works great, the cubby's can be adjusted and divided to sort material by size and type, with quick visual identification. I keep very small pieces in a drawer. When you have a small shop, it's nice when you don't have to drag out a big sheet to cut out a 2"x2" piece !
 
I've got a shelf underneath my welding table where it's all thrown. Sheets for the plasma table are stood up against the wall. It's a mess.
 
When you have a small shop, it's nice when you don't have to drag out a big sheet to cut out a 2"x2" piece !

While I agree with this logic, you need to consider if you are willing to go through a ton of shit to find the small piece. You can't keep everything. I find It's much easier to throw wood away than metal.
 
this is my shop, stick storgage. the base of the a-frame is 4' wide and has expanded metal for all my rem storage.

ever since it turned into a full time thing, i have realized how much time i wasted trying to keep too much scrap. every trip to the recycler i clean up the scrap and get rid of allot.

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the next evolution in material storage for me, will be to get it out of the shop. this is what i guy local to me has done with a half size connex box. i plan to do something very similar. probably pu the a frame rack i have in the middle and add more storage on the walls and roof.

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Hummmmm... well for carbon steel, SS and aluminum storage I have it in several locations. A shit ton on racks and shelves in my main semi trailer backed up to my shop. Then there’s a shit ton standing upright along the walls in my shop (too much for the corners) then there’s a bunch inside my #2 long semi trailer and a shit ton inside my pup semi trailer. I even have steel leaning against the outside of my shop by the man door that’s never found a spot yet.
 
Bumping this to the top in the event there are any new ideas. A bunch of my stuff is still just thrown in the wooden moving carts and I am getting the shop put together finally after a year and a half of distractions. I have been pretty good on marking my stuff as it gets cut but have new inventory from an auction that needs a better storage solution. I have the full stick racks already but need something for this shorter stuff. Anything under 12" ends up in a filing cabinet drawer and that seems to work pretty good so far, but this medium length 2' and 3' stuff needs a better home than just the metal buckets its sticking out of.

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One thing I did is make my long rack have a short end. What I mean is, the long rack has a support every four feet, but at one end I put an extra support at two feet. Of course that end gets crowded. I have assortment of buckets that looks just like yours. Hate it. Every time I go to look for something, I think I’m going to poke my eye out.
 
I've been picking up old index cabinets like this whenever I see them. Perfect for smaller drops of stock under 2' or so. Especially my non-ferrous stuff - aluminum, brass, copper, stainless, plastics, etc. They'll hold a surprising amount of weight.

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I've been picking up old index cabinets like this whenever I see them. Perfect for smaller drops of stock under 2' or so. Especially my non-ferrous stuff - aluminum, brass, copper, stainless, plastics, etc. They'll hold a surprising amount of weight.
When my folk's bought there place up north, there was a full line of lockers from a bowling alley in the dugout basement. We're talking a full wall of them. Dad moved them to the shop. Its freaking awesome.
 
I've been picking up old index cabinets like this whenever I see them. Perfect for smaller drops of stock under 2' or so. Especially my non-ferrous stuff - aluminum, brass, copper, stainless, plastics, etc. They'll hold a surprising amount of weight.

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You either have too many cabinets or too few tools if you're using them for stock.
 
You either have too many cabinets or too few tools if you're using them for stock.
No such thing as too many cabinets. I also have a lot of expensive stock - probably 5-600 pounds of brass, copper, bronze & stainless.


Yes, some get used for tooling.


I also have a couple hundred bins like this that store the less-used tooling. They're a bitch because you pretty much have to unstack them to get to see what's in them. I got them for free so i can't complain too much. Hoping to find more cabinets to replaced them.
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No such thing as too many cabinets. I also have a lot of expensive stock - probably 5-600 pounds of brass, copper, bronze & stainless.


Yes, some get used for tooling.


I also have a couple hundred bins like this that store the less-used tooling. They're a bitch because you pretty much have to unstack them to get to see what's in them. I got them for free so i can't complain too much. Hoping to find more cabinets to replaced them.
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No such thing as too many cabinets. I also have a lot of expensive stock - probably 5-600 pounds of brass, copper, bronze & stainless.


Yes, some get used for tooling.


I also have a couple hundred bins like this that store the less-used tooling. They're a bitch because you pretty much have to unstack them to get to see what's in them. I got them for free so i can't complain too much. Hoping to find more cabinets to replaced them.
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We use these for just about everything, you just need to build racks for them.
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I beam drops are good for small rounds and stuff. Lay it over in the H position and fill it up. Can weld a few together for more storage making a little rack.
 
We use these for just about everything, you just need to build racks for them.
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I like that.....but don't really have the room for the size of rack I'd need to build for the number of the ones I'm currently using. Plus with the price of steel right now, I'd probably end up spending more than just buying some used cabinets.


Really hoping I stumble a deal on several more heavy duty cabinets or a few Lista cabinets or something similar.


Or I could thin out some of the tooling that I'll probably never use and free up some space......nah. :laughing:
 
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I had some 8x8x1/4" square tube drops left over from a job. I tacked them together, put a back on it, some blocking straps in the front, and use it for brackets and parts we use all time.
 
^ That is fuggin' smart. ^


Edit: And I'm pretty sure my favorite scrap yard has some thin-ish wall box like that. Definitely stealing that design. Except I'd make it on a pallet jack-able base.
 
A couple buckets for anything under 3'. Everything else in the rack. If the buckets get to full, it goes to scrap. I am spaced limited so accumulating massive amounts of scrap isn't in the cards. Also, after having to clean out a shop of a deceased family member, I really don't feel the need to be a hoarder anymore.
 
Converted this work table into a 'saw table' a few years back. Works great, but of course by now it's so jam packed with scrap it's practically unusable, and heavy enough if you kick one of the legs it'd probably collapse on itself:homer: Old chineseum proverb: the less accessible your scrap pieces are, the more scrap you will create

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Some work in progress on my mess. I'm color coding as I go along too since I had the stuff "semi" organized based on keeping things in their original source lots, ie, a ton of 4340 from one auction that was making pins and motor shafts with it, then a pile of 1018 and 308 from something else. Using a handful of paint markers while I am at it. The shelf is good for the weight; its fine. The empty spot there is getting some of the HD tubs for me to sort out smaller yet drops, like 12" and shorter. I have a pile of DOM drops that constantly get turned into press bushings, or pin shells, etc.

The whole thing is on skids so that I can move it around with my pallet jack.

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8" ID underground utility conduit and some 4" PVC used for the vertical dividers.

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Bars too short to stand up in the dividers but too long to go in the tubs above. These are still need to be marked but are mostly all the same material.

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