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Organizing hardware (drawer slides, hinges etc)7/5
Any suggestions on how to organize drawer slides, boxes, sides, hinges, hinge plates and other hardware or materials that are not being used.
Here's how we handle small hardware.
A lot of times the guys don't know what something is called but they know what it looks like. This board makes the process very succinct.
The top number is our identification number for the hardware piece. This ID number is correlated with an ordering number from our vendor.
The bottom number indicates which drawer it lives in. If we have any they will likely be in that drawer.
Cabmaker, you use the same identification number on your shop drawings for the hardware too?
We're not that organized.
We first discovered this retrieval system when we had a customer who used to bring back broken Blum metabox brackets. They were made out of pot metal and were only engineered for a couple year lifespan.
This customer would show up like caribou after the first snow and we would have to sort through a pile of paper bags looking for that easter egg. Our warranty had certainly expired but this guy didn't know where else to turn so he would make it our problem.
The same thing used to happen with old Mepla lazy susan hinges. They're made out of pot metal and only have so many openings & closings engineered in. Eventually we collected bought about 100 plastic shoe storage boxes and stored them under the out feed table for our stick shaper. Up above the table we built a similar display board and randomly assigned numbers to each piece of esoteric hardware.
This is really a great way to manage the small stuff that really should be thrown out but usually isn't. It's a project a newbie can complete in an hour or two and it makes a big problem go away. More importantly it is a first step towards systematizing where things live in your building.
This is significant when you figure your material costs are really a composite of all the minutes it takes to get a gizmo into a cabinet ready to ship. Sometimes the gizmo only costs a dollar but the retrieval costs are infinitely more than the purchase cost but less than the saddle time necessary to go to the hardware store.
Next level: Attach the piece of hardware to the drawer front. Even easier to understand. In 2001 I bought a beautifully made set of drawers from a defunct cabinet shop that did exactly that. It looked like the cabinet had been made sometime in the 30s, and the drawers were exactly sized to hold small boxes of nails and brads. We still use it today. I'm at home, or I'd post a picture.
cabmaker- that is a thing of beauty! It's a great way to organize. I've printed it out and will have this built for our shop. Let me know where to send the copyright fee. As someone else said, you could simply list out the model # (or whatever info drawings are showing) next to hinge.
I would be interested in seeing drawer slide storage too. We have too much overlap with sizes and normal and heavy duty models and my guys are not skilled at thinking through where these heavy boxes go :(
I will add one other side to the argument that it is important to phase out old hardware. Fewer options the better. Painful, I know. We still have boxes of outdated hinges that taking up space- But they should be tossed.
"we would have to sort through a pile of paper bags looking for that easter egg"
Wait a minute.....I'm not the only one who does that!
Well these days they're clear plastic so not as bad, but still a PITA. Love the cabinet/board idea and totally going to steal it!