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Garage storage options and advice


DIY-Si
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After my recent birthday I have a few car related pound notes burning a hole in my pocket. Whilst there are many things still to buy for my XI, I need somewhere nice to put all the bits of it first so my thoughts are turning to the garage storage and workbench side of things. The main workbench I will be making myself, as there's a place down the road who will bend a 3m long sheet of steel up for me to provide a very sturdy top and a place to bolt the vices. The reason for the storage is that I currently have half a shipping container full of tools, car parts, gearboxes, a MIG welder big enough to sit on, and various other boxes of what most would consider "stuff". I'm also conscious of all the XI bits not getting lost amongst my other things.......

 

I have seen this fancy set, which is lovely, new, bolt in place and you're good to go, but it's also a grand. Another option is to get hold of some of those old, grey metal cupboards and drawer set ups that you find in engineering workshops. A mate has put me onto a commercial auction site where such things can be had from as little as £50 each. But they're usually used, ie a bit battered, the odd dent etc. so would benefit from at least a re-paint. Example grey deskor this bunch of tables. The second hand ones are obviously much cheaper, but require collection and will be a mix of heights and maybe depths too. Part of me likes the even newness of the expensive option, but an equal part enjoys the thought of a collection of older things surrounding my XI and getting a new lease of life with me. I can see pegboard in my future which ever way I go!

 

So good people of Westfield-Land, which would you pick, and why? Is new and quick the way, or is cheaper but much more time consuming ultimately more rewarding and the same thing?

 

Or can you suggest something better? Is pallet racking and a whole bunch of plastic boxes the way forward for example? 

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I use old Bisley office filing cabinets for a lot of my tools and parts storage.  They come in different sizes from 2-4 draws and there’s even multi draw options. 
 

you can pick them up cheaply for £5-£10 depending on the size and they’re virtually indestructible.

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I picked the fancy set! It's super strong and gave me lots of storage space when I had to reduce the amount of the cabinets due to the 911 arriving after lockdown.

 

To keep the cost down the tall cabinet on the left of the picture is a Sealey but cost around £230 new as it's not part of that professional set.

 

If you do go for the fancy set I would advise having a second pair of hands. It's really easy to fit (just nuts & bolts) but the work surface is very heavy making minor adjustments to set the bolts difficult. Also the two/three units at the top are cumbersome and I wish I'd got a mate to help. 

IMG_9674.jpeg

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If you've had more than a minor squint at my build diary (or my photo on the 'Show us your garage' thread), you will probably be able to guess that I've made or salvaged just about every element of my workshop, including the building itself (which was a 22m long new-build stable/workshop combo to keep the Rev Limiter at bay).  I'm deeply envious of the top end of the market, and I'm sure it works exactly as it should, it's just that (a) I get a huge deal of satisfaction from making my own stuff, (b) I can't bring myself to throw stuff away, even if it's a set of kitchen units from a house I'm demolishing, and (c) I have no experience of brand new shiny stuff to compare with, having inherited my Glaswegian father's miserly short arms and long pockets!

But I have to say that @Andy_R's workshop has got me thinking!

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Best thing I've done recently was investing in some shadow foam to make the best of the limited storage I have.  It's saved me so much frustration looking for tool as well as fitting more in. I'd definitely recommend it for whatever storage you go for.

 

 

20200627_131033.jpg

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@IainCameron, Whilst I wouldn't say I have the Northern affliction of short arms and deep pockets, I definitely understand the dislike of throwing things away. Having said that, the old kitchen cupboards that currently inhabit the garage will be going as I know they won't last the test of time nor the battering I will need my workbench to withstand. I pretty much need to build the workbench myself to get the size, shape and sturdiness I want. I shall have a look at your build thread and see what you've got!

 

@KenP, I am in need of some of the foam, or something like it, as my collection of metric and imperial sockets has an annoying habit of rolling about in their tray no matter how carefully I put them back. Was it hard to cut or shape at all? Or easily cut with a stanley knife?

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I'm a Yorkshireman and whilst I love the look of the proper fitted cabinets, I couldn't bring myself to part with all that cash. So - I bought two matching tambour cabinets (slidnig doors, rather than hinged). I also bought a cheap Hilka workbench and fitted a Halfords Industrial toolchest into it and some thick oak worktop, lifted from Gumtree for £25!

 

Tool tidying is by virtue of socket trays and spanner racks - not as neat as shadow foam, but I can fit a lot more in

 

Quite pleased with the results

 

IMG_0638.thumb.jpg.08955fde1fdaea262d5e3569d2d1f9ec.jpg

IMG_0641.thumb.jpg.69f4c69eac1f2a8cb8f93a3af0877099.jpgIMG_0640.thumb.jpg.42d84f777e3048cce0b424c0ebfb9c0b.jpgIMG_0639.thumb.jpg.ca445113a82fa1a2db80ec68f2960428.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, DIY-Si said:

 

 

@KenP, I am in need of some of the foam, or something like it, as my collection of metric and imperial sockets has an annoying habit of rolling about in their tray no matter how carefully I put them back. Was it hard to cut or shape at all? Or easily cut with a stanley knife?

I had exactly the same problem and when I did get lucky and pick a 13mm not 1/2" on the first go I'd find it was the 1/4 drive when was using the 3/8 ratchet!

 

It was really easy to cut using a scalpel which if I remember correctly was free as I ordered 2 packs of the easy peel foam. Hardest bit was deciding on the layout!  

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10 hours ago, Andy_R said:

I picked the fancy set! It's super strong and gave me lots of storage space when I had to reduce the amount of the cabinets due to the 911 arriving after lockdown.

 

To keep the cost down the tall cabinet on the left of the picture is a Sealey but cost around £230 new as it's not part of that professional set.

 

If you do go for the fancy set I would advise having a second pair of hands. It's really easy to fit (just nuts & bolts) but the work surface is very heavy making minor adjustments to set the bolts difficult. Also the two/three units at the top are cumbersome and I wish I'd got a mate to help. 

IMG_9674.jpeg


Who makes the 911 kit now? 😜

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Thanks all for the ideas and garage photos, they've helped a lot.

 

I'm leaning towards making the workbench first, and then seeing what tool racks I can build into it, much like NigelO has done as he has the same Halfords Industrial tool chest as me, and it looks quite smart. I'm likely to have a galvanised steel worktop though, as Woodford Trailers will bend one for me so the workbench has a nice rounded front edge and a secure upstand at the back. I've used them in the past for this, and it made a really nice looking bench.

 

I've also spotted some of the sliding door cabinets on eBay that aren't very far from me for not a lot too, so I reckon I'll start there and work up to wherever I need to be. That should let me spread the cost, so I can pretend I'm not spending a fortune on cupboards!

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5 hours ago, SXRORY said:

from the photos i'm clearly doing it wrong 😲 lol

Not necessarily! Some people have just started out with a small collection of tools, others require a whole barn. I've got almost 20 years worth of bits, bobs, tools and thingimiwhatsits to store so there's few off the shelf options that work. Things like my floor standing pillar drill and Migatronic welder take up a fair bit of space, but I wouldn't be without them.

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25 minutes ago, DIY-Si said:

Not necessarily! Some people have just started out with a small collection of tools, others require a whole barn. I've got almost 20 years worth of bits, bobs, tools and thingimiwhatsits to store so there's few off the shelf options that work. Things like my floor standing pillar drill and Migatronic welder take up a fair bit of space, but I wouldn't be without them.

As above 'no necessarily'. The three draws are NOT a reflection of the rest of my garage and shed! it's just impossible in the limited space I have to be as organised as would like. 

 

It sometimes looks like this!

 

20200519_191634.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just finished fitting out the flooring in the garage on the basis that I will be spending a lot of the next few months in there unless the vaccine trials prove successful. Like the look of the Sealy cabinets but also found some on Bigdug that look quiet a bit cheaper, anyone had any experience with Bigdug? Really happy with the flooring which I purchased the tiles from https://www.garagefloortilecompany.com/

garage.jpg

Edited by Centurion51
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