Author Topic: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?  (Read 2425 times)

greysun

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How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« on: March 17, 2023, 03:14:36 PM »
After doing this for enough years, I’ve found that I need to be more organized than ever… RadioShack is no longer a potential quick lifeline for a forgotten part, nor does micro center have a lot on hand specific to pedals like these…

So what’s your organization process to ensure you have all the parts and they’re easily accessible? Let’s start a thread!!!

Mine is basically the attached image - I have jewelry organizers that I bought at Michael’s for my varied parts (only showing the resistor box, which is now overflowing, heheh), and for every project, I use a strip of painters tape to put the parts onto and list them out so they’re 1) easy to grab, and 2) makes clear what parts I need to order. I usually separate diodes/resistors from caps as I do the resistors first typically. I then fold the strip over in half to keep everything in place until I’m ready to build.




I put any jacks/pots/foot switches/led bezels into the empty enclosures.

This takes a bit of extra time, yes… but I also rarely have to order extra parts and can build start to finish quickly. I can also weed out odd parts or used parts to put into something and work through my oddities I’ve acquired over the years.

What are your organization hacks?

jessenator

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2023, 03:35:47 PM »
oddly enough, I think I bought the drawer organizer on the left at a Radio Shack before they closed up. The one on the right from my local Ace Hardware. The labeling is a constant work in progress and shuffling happens when I get new stuff (and still don't care to remember what is proper decimalization of part values…). Might end up having to get a supplemental one, since a number of NPNs are just in bags within bags right now.



Have this right in front of the workbench.

I did try electronically keeping track of what I had, but that was too tedious. I just take a peek before ordering a new build/board.

The partition walls for the RS organizer are total crap. I've had to clip or melt out parts of them so they don't hit the drawer catch. The Ace one is much improved.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 03:21:11 PM by jessenator »

greysun

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2023, 06:11:53 PM »
Same re: electronic tracking. It works until it doesn’t, and that happens quickly, hehe. I don’t build enough to have a setup as massive as yours, but I am quite impressed! Not surprised the RS one isn’t built as well - I hated that place, but it was handy in a pinch.

I also live in a 1bed condo with a spouse, so my space is limited to a drawer, hehe. I make do…

This next set of pedals will put me at max - if I wanna make more, I have to part with some, or part them out and reuse enclosures, so I’m gonna make it count!

jwin615

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2023, 06:25:55 PM »
I keep my resistors, which are all on tap, organized by value in two recipe cars boxes. They're the perfect size for 20 PC tapes. Then used the recipe label cards to note periodic values to make flipping easier.
Other small value components, unless purchased in kits(boxed ceramics on AliExpress...), Are stored in baggies in baseball card holders in 3 inch 3 ring binders. I have on for fetsand transistors, one for caps, one for ICs, one for diodes and LEDs.
I found some cars holder sleeves that have 6 slots rather than the normal 9. They are taller slots of the same width. 2 tall, 3 wide per sheet. They work better for larger items or higher inventory items.
I have 3 multi compartment bins for pots. A, B, and C/other. Another generic 10x12 cheap bin for knobs. Go fish.
The binders stand up next to a pair of parts organizers where I keep everything else. Footswitches, pcbs, bezels, etc.
I have a fairly(ridiculous) large inventory, but it's consolidated down to 3-4 cubic feet, fairly organized(binders are kept alphanumeric) and all within arms reach.
I'll try and post pics if anyone wants to see or some of that isn't clear.

jwin615

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2023, 06:31:32 PM »
Oh, and if I buy a special enclosure/component for a specific build then I try to drop the parts and pcb in the enclosure, screws in and painters tape what it's for.
Everything is safer in a metal box.

Betty Wont

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2023, 10:28:46 PM »
I build for profit. I do not keep parts on hand other than extraneous resistors as I have to buy them in 10 quantities. I build about 200 pedals a year currently and buy parts weekly for each batch. I build a variety of circuits and change up frequently. This keeps my bottom line at a minimum. My point is that i don’t collect parts for storage. I store my entire parts overstock in a 9x3” Rubbermaid desk organizer tray. And I often choose my next projects solely on using up weird value stragglers. 

derevaun

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2023, 01:37:34 AM »
Totally love the blue tape idea!

I sometimes use a cafeteria tray for each ongoing project, with the necessary parts on it somewhere.

greysun

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2023, 11:11:05 AM »
I keep my resistors, which are all on tap, organized by value in two recipe cars boxes. They're the perfect size for 20 PC tapes. Then used the recipe label cards to note periodic values to make flipping easier.
Other small value components, unless purchased in kits(boxed ceramics on AliExpress...), Are stored in baggies in baseball card holders in 3 inch 3 ring binders. I have on for fetsand transistors, one for caps, one for ICs, one for diodes and LEDs.
I found some cars holder sleeves that have 6 slots rather than the normal 9. They are taller slots of the same width. 2 tall, 3 wide per sheet. They work better for larger items or higher inventory items.
I have 3 multi compartment bins for pots. A, B, and C/other. Another generic 10x12 cheap bin for knobs. Go fish.
The binders stand up next to a pair of parts organizers where I keep everything else. Footswitches, pcbs, bezels, etc.
I have a fairly(ridiculous) large inventory, but it's consolidated down to 3-4 cubic feet, fairly organized(binders are kept alphanumeric) and all within arms reach.
I'll try and post pics if anyone wants to see or some of that isn't clear.

Would love a pic - sounds like something I could do with my caps, diodes and LEDs to save some space or consolidate a bit. :-)

Aentons

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2023, 01:55:38 PM »
I don't build a lot and I don't have a lot of space so I keep parts in groups of nested clear bags all in one big clear tub. Every other way takes up a lot more space. You can compress the bags down to the bare minimum space, it's all still organized, and with minimal effort since most of it all comes in clear labeled bags anyway.

When I sit down to build, I pull out one of the big bags at a time, go thru the build list, pull out what is required, populate the board, and put the bag up. Solder it all up when I'm done. This is the easiest way for me.



« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 02:03:09 PM by Aentons »

Bio77

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2023, 02:52:03 PM »
I used Aentons big-bag method for years prior to getting a more organized work bench.  The same logic still applies.  I have larger sized plastic drawers that contain a range of parts values.  For example, 10.1k-100k resistors, all in individual bags from Tayda.  When I build, I populate based on the drawer, so, e.g., I'd go down the resistor list and populate all the 10.1-100k resistors for the board before moving on to the next drawer.  I also find it easier to keep the resistors in the bags because I like to check they are all in spec in one shot, then I can write "good" on the bag and only have to measure new bags.  I like to stock pile parts, so, when I get low on a resistor value I usually write down the value and order 20 or so next time I shop at Tayda.   I buy caps from other vendors, so those I stock pile just to get a better price.  Newark usually has fire sale parts that I load up on, but you have to order a bunch of values to make shipping worth it. Wouldn't recommend buying extra pots.  I have an annoying box of those that I go through each time I start a project and 90% of the time I'm missing 1 or 2 and have to order anyways. I buy extra ICs to save money or if they are rare and sometimes hard to get, e.g., BBDs.

greysun

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2023, 07:03:18 PM »
So. ORGANIZED! Yes, Bio77!

I went through all my random parts today and reorganized everything how I need - Wishing I had the space, but the 1bed condo life with a spouse just doesn't call for a full workbench. I do alright, though... converted a wall in a walk-in closet to a "workbench" - I'll snap a pic later this weekend. I make it work.

A friend of mine does the clear bags in the clear bin thing, and he was able to find things faster than I could with my system at times! Hopefully I wrap up my current builds soon and then I can reorg the build space and such.

Keep em comin', folks! :-) loving it.

Bio77

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2023, 07:21:05 PM »
Ha! It was a COVID thing.  Before that I would set up a folding card table on Friday night and tear down Sunday. 

jwin615

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2023, 08:46:30 PM »
Delayed on the reply and pics here.
Busy with work and spring break.
I have been very happy with the recipe box solution for resistors.
It can get squirrely when you get down to the last few resistors but if you pull the few before then from the tape, instead of cutting the tape, it helps.
Then, just order more and toss the last 3. No big loss.
Photos of the transistors and some caps.
The 6 pocket card holders (still no idea what cards use these, as a baseball card kid ..) work much better for thicker or higher inventory numbers.
The only downside of this method is what I deem creep. If you have too much inventory in too little space, the bags will creep out of the top over time.6 pocket helps with this.
Only other thing I would note is buy name brand card holders. Had cheap ebay ones splitting on me some. And if you notice splitting(of the heat seam), drop a staple or two in the seam. It seems to curb it well enough.
In addition, by the biggest binders you can. 4-5-6 inch.
The less you squeeze it, the better your life will be, contrary to popular belief.
Also. Keep spare sheets on hand. I've only had a couple of total failures, which were cheap ebay sheets, but they do fail. I imagine that over time, I will have more but overall, the space to value is pretty good.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 08:51:37 PM by jwin615 »

jwin615

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2023, 08:53:58 PM »
Imake sure you are using pink/esd bags on ICs and transistors.
The card holders don't care for your NOS ICs.

greysun

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Re: How do you all organize while building? Or store your parts?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2023, 07:27:32 AM »
bio77 - Ah, the covid projects. Have several house mods as a result, hehe. The note about extra pots is spot on... I have so many random values I may never use because I always ordered extra, BUT - I have gotten pots with broken wafers and didn't notice until it was well past the return window, so... no regrets, but lots of pots. 

jwin615 - NICE! I went through my resistors this weekend because I had about 15 bags with one or 2 of random given values - my goal is always to see how many I have of something in one place so I'm not being wasteful. Especially now that small bear and mammoth have changed owners and the new places either have minimums or aren't as intuitive about what you'll get.

I'm bad with how I store my ICs - they're never near anything magnetic, and I keep them separated in the jewelry bins, so I don't think any static would get to them, but I could be better about it for sure.