Tool cases


man of wood
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Store em with the Christmas decorations. I generally hang onto them and put them in an out of the way place as I will sometimes need to pull them off the shelf in order to transport tools of various nature to a job site etc. The ability to transport my investment back and forth from job to shop safely, out weighs the lost space they take up just hanging out.

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I am obviously in the minority here........I store the tool and it's associated items/parts in the plastic cases.

Granted, I wish they were designed a bit better on the inside especially for the cords but, the cases make it easier to store tools on a shelf, keep appropriate wrenches and blades at hand for the particular tool and keep them somewhat cleaner when not in use.

It takes longer to pull the whole case down off the shelf, open the case and set up the tool but, for me this is a hobby and time is not all that important and I would rather spend time opening a plastic case than searching the shop for the special wrench or set-up gauge for a given tool.

Not everything I own is in a plastic case but, I keep my circular saw, Jig saw, two different routers and brad gun stored in them and the cords are not frayed and they are clean and ready to go when I need them here or on the road.

Rog

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Roger, I also tend to use the plastic cases - mostly. It's mostly the case for some tools I might need to take with me on occasion (circ saw, cordless drills, jigsaw, etc) but it also was just because I didn't have any better place to store them. It's a little different now, but I think about the only case I really want to ditch is the big case my DeWalt router set came in. It's terribly designed inside, and I'm just waiting for the right situation to cut out the interior parts and repurpose it for something else.

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I think they should use cardboard boxes and sell the cases as an accessory. IMO being forced to buy a case just to throw it away is a drag. Give me a little discount and keep the case. But there are alot of people that just love those cases. I really doubt if it werent for the systainer festool would be as big ast it is. :) A wall of festools sure looks cool. :)

Don

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Up in the attic buried even deeper than the Christmas decorations--those at least get used annually. They came in handy when we moved to a new house and I keep my circular saw (something that gets lugged out to a jobsite) in its box. Other than that, I could easily be persuaded to chuck them altogether.

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Most of the tools do not get kept in the cases. When I am working and bouncing from tool to tool, the packing and unpacking is too much. I agree with Don - sell it to me in a cardboard box and with the price of petroleum, take a dollar or five off of the price. I like organized but accessible. BUT unlike Rob, I'm not going to a jobsite with the tools either so it really depends on what you're doing. I have a couple things like the biscuit jointer and ramset that don't get used that much, they're in a case, in the cabinet but the 'go to tools' are more accessible. It IS hard to get rid of a good plastic case though....

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I tend to keep most of them in the case and stored on the shelf under the outfeed table. It helps keep the dust and everything else off of them. Tools i use a lot the case ends up under the workbench until i kick it around too many times.

A friend of mine that builds houses also keeps his in the cases and lables them. That way he can send his guys into the shop with a list and have the correct tools when they get to the jobsite. He said a couple of times someone would grab a similar looking box and they would not have what they needed.

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If you want to modify or re-purpose a plastic case, I have a hint that was shown to me by a old customer of mine.

He used an old Weller soldering gun with the "hair pin" style tips. He hammered an old tip into a knife edge and used it as a heat knife to cut away the interior layer of plastic. He could strip out that special design liner and have a empty shell in nothing flat!

That idea could be used just to modify the interior somewhat to suit your needs.

Rog

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Except for very well-made versions that hold accessories, like my Fein MultiMaster case, or rarely used tools, like my recip saw, most of my tool cases end up at the "Swap Shack" at my local recycling center. The attendants regularily cull the shack into the various recycling piles. I see an awful lot of DeWalt, PC, and Bosch cases in the plastic dumpster.

All of my routers, drills, sanders, etc... live in drawers or easy access shelves.

Count me in with the crowd who wishes manufacturers would drop $5 off the tool and make the case an accessory. Or al least replace the case with a general tool bag, like DeWalt has done on occasion.

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I tend to keep my tools in the cartons they come in--whether they are plastic boxes or canvas bags. It helps me keep all the little attachments, blades, and wrenches together with the tool. It also keeps the sawdust off and makes it easier to clean up the shop after a project is done. But the biggest reason I keep them in is for safety. My children are the age where they will play with any tool that they can grab or reach. It doesn't matter if they are on a shelf or on the workbench. But, they won't pull the plastic case off a shelf and open it to play with a tool. So from that safety perspective, I enjoy keeping the boxes around.

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Except for very well-made versions that hold accessories, like my Fein MultiMaster case, or rarely used tools, like my recip saw, most of my tool cases end up at the "Swap Shack" at my local recycling center. The attendants regularily cull the shack into the various recycling piles. I see an awful lot of DeWalt, PC, and Bosch cases in the plastic dumpster.

All of my routers, drills, sanders, etc... live in drawers or easy access shelves.

Count me in with the crowd who wishes manufacturers would drop $5 off the tool and make the case an accessory. Or al least replace the case with a general tool bag, like DeWalt has done on occasion.

Barry, the bag that my Dewalt nail guns came in is nice! That will not be going anywhere. Sometimes, mom has a problem at her home and I can just put a few tools in the bag and I'm off. I have a shop that, in a way has an advantage. It is a detached, 2 car garage that has a ceiling that's 7 feet high and an upstairs. The advantage is the ceiling becomes an extra wall of storage. Just put a nail in the ceiling joist...so I have a LOT of things hanging around. The overhead 2x6 is my clamp rack so many tools can hang (for now). Rob mentioned 'jobsite'. That's another direction completely where tools are often loaded into the back of the truck. If I were doing that, heck yea, keep everything in a case. Otherwise, the sawzall will inevitably be at the bottom of the pile with a bent blade.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you want to modify or re-purpose a plastic case, I have a hint that was shown to me by a old customer of mine.

He used an old Weller soldering gun with the "hair pin" style tips. He hammered an old tip into a knife edge and used it as a heat knife to cut away the interior layer of plastic. He could strip out that special design liner and have a empty shell in nothing flat!

That idea could be used just to modify the interior somewhat to suit your needs.

Rog

Thx for the idea, I have a couple of those plastic cases kicking around that are just to good to throw away, but they"re just to hard to get everything in there the right way to get it to close, hmmm now what to re-purpose them for?

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I used to load a bunch of tools into bigger bags for jobsite use. It was super conveint to have a bag for your small nailers and a bag for fasteners ...... it also made it convient for someone to grab a $800 dollar bag of tools and walk off....now I am thinking of going back to individual cases so a handfull doesn't wipe out a whole collection.

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I must admit they I still have all my blow molded cases, though they haven't been used in years. It just seems "wrong" to recycle them. I would, however, rather get a small discount and leave the case with the manufacturer.

When I bought my jointer, the tool guy asked if i wanted any cases for my tools at home. He said that he has tonnes of them, as many people do not take them when they purchase a new tool.

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When I first got started I always kept them in their cases but I have built cabinets through the years and everything has it's own place and holder now so up in the attic they go. I have no idea why I still have them but I jus can't throw them out. We all think of creative ways to make the most of our precious space and then hord things like this!! Yep we are a strange breed.

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