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Hi- my garage has gotten out of hand, parts piled there, tools piled here, need to get it organized. Does anyone have suggestions about cabinets, workbenches, etc.? I don't want to build my own, want to buy something and install, have been to Lowes and Home Depot and see all sorts from metal to plastic to fiberboard.

thoughts on the best way to go? thanks David Coco

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Many of us have this problem. I have several dedicated cabinet shelves for each car I have. Although this doesn't always work for large parts, it keeps the smaller parts segregated.

Invest in a good tool box with lots of drawers and label each drawer with what goes in it. Large drawers are labeled by task... painting tools, lube guns, etc.... small ones are for sockets, end wrenches, screw drivers, etc....

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David

I went to Lowes and bought several kitchen style overhead and base cabinets with counter tops. It gave me alot of storage and very good work surfaces. If you are on a budget then the suggestion about used kitchen cabinets might be the way to go.

Good Luck

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Hi- not really so much on a budget, just wondering what commercially available garage systems work, but economically. I don't want to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars, but would buy good stuff if priced reasonably. I understand the get by philosophy, but I'm looking for the next step. If someone here has gone to Lowes or such, and likes the cabinets, etc. , let me know what it is you like. Thanks David C.

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Jay Leno told about a Buick collector who had a unique approach to the garage problem. His wife hated old cars and parts around the house so he bought another house a few blocks away.

Car storage and repair in the attached 2 car garage. Books and parts storage in the bedrooms. Small items in the kitchen cupboard. Living room for watching TV and drinking beer and lined with shelves for toy, model, trophy and memento display.

Problem solved.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Nice cabinets, thanks for the link, was discussing this with a friend of mine who is into cars too, he said, well, ya know, $5000 for the cabinets and $10,000 for the garage, would rather buy another car and worry about it later!

I REALLY like the idea of buying another house in the subdivision for storage, what a great idea! With my luck, wife would think I was having an affair with someone who lived there....no, no, honey, it's just old PARTS for goodness sake!

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Hi- my garage has gotten out of hand, parts piled there, tools piled here, need to get it organized. Does anyone have suggestions about cabinets, workbenches, etc.? I don't want to build my own, want to buy something and install, have been to Lowes and Home Depot and see all sorts from metal to plastic to fiberboard.

thoughts on the best way to go? thanks David Coco

Dave,

You are not alone, mine is out of hand too. I have been looking at whats available for a year or so while planning the most effective route. I have found Sears offers one of the best selections of asthetically pleasing and functional options in varying price ranges.

Shop for Garage Storage Collections in the Tools department of Sears.com

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  • 1 month later...

You may want to try a cabinet shop sometimes they have cabinets that have been rejected for one reason or another. Or try a secondhand store that specializes in building products.

Habitats for Humanities has stores around where they sell stuff removed houses they are rebuilding or donated stuff they can not use.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dave, It can be done on the cheap with good results. There are plenty of used kitchen cabinets around that remodelers have to PAY to get rid of. You could contact kitchen contractors as well as demolition companies, and also check for free stuff on Craigslist. Old house "teardowns" are frequent in the Fairfax and Arlington area as there isn't much vacant land here to build on. Last year I obtained a whole new kitchen for the taking, from a house that had been remodeled for re-sale but was bought just to get the lot and then torn down! I'm betting that you have the same kind of stuff to store that I have, and some of it tends to be heavy. Older cabinets often are sturdier, especially metal ones, and they often aren't put together with pressed board and staples like some of the new ones. They don't necessarily have to match. Painting them all one color somewhat solves the problem. Hope to see you at the Winchester show in May and compare Cord woes (and joys) with you. Dave

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I agree about the old cabinets, I have found mine to be very handy, even if the appearance is not as nice as in the Sears tool catalog. And the sheetmetal workbenches and cabinets that look so nice are often a little flimsy compared to a good old kitchen cabinet. If you find the old metal ones so much the better. Good luck, Todd

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I bought quite a few old office metal filing cabinets. Some 3 draws and some 4. Very sturdy and great for holding heavy parts. I have a draw with starters and generators for my '39 and it deals with the weight easily. Tried timber and the weight of buick parts just killed them (that and the mice). Look for old metal office cabinets too. Try doing this with old kitchens drawers.:rolleyes:

Danny

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Good advice. You will note Danny's use of the black metal cabinets for smaller parts? I often see open rack and bin systems of a similar size and they seem like a good idea UNTIL you realize how dusty your garage is. Those open bins collect dust, dirt, bugs, etc in a garage environment, anything with doors or drawers you can close is better IMO.

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I have a lot of repurposed office furniture in my shop to, works good and sometimes can be picked up real cheap.

One other heavy duty storage system I have, may not be as available anymore. Back a few years ago it seemed like every flea market I went to had several people selling stacks of wooden ammo boxes. I bought a truck load of them for a few dollar a piece in two different sizes. They have rope handles and are about 18" wide by 36" or 24" long by 6" deep. I removed the lids and built heavy wood shelves to hold them as long heavy duty drawers. Better than just shelves since they can be deep and close together, since you can pull them out for access, or pull them out completely and carry them to a bench.

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One other heavy duty storage system I have, may not be as available anymore. Back a few years ago it seemed like every flea market I went to had several people selling stacks of wooden ammo boxes. I bought a truck load of them for a few dollar a piece in two different sizes. They have rope handles and are about 18" wide by 36" or 24" long by 6" deep. I removed the lids and built heavy wood shelves to hold them as long heavy duty drawers. Better than just shelves since they can be deep and close together, since you can pull them out for access, or pull them out completely and carry them to a bench.

I LOVE this idea.....can you share some photos?

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I have a couple of old architectural drawing holders which I find very usefull. They are about 46" wide X 33" deep and are great for keeping smaller parts in. Particularly new and reconditioned ones as there is room to lay them all out so you can see what is there.

Very good for storing small chrome strips and also usefull for storing magazines.

The only downside is they use up floor space but they are strong enough to store stuff on top.

David

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Here are the heavy duty drawers I made out of ammo boxed with the tops removed. This is part of the Crosley parts department. This is the upstairs of my barn so the Gambrel roof works to my advantage to have deep shelves low and narrow high.

HeavyStorage.jpg

Here are the two sizes I have, I picked lighter ones to pull out to show, but they will hold most anything you can lift.

SmallDrawer.jpg

LongDrawer.jpg

This is another part of the upstairs so you can see several other storage methods.

LightStorage.jpg

Starting on the left and working around, you can see an old painted oak desk, picked up for a few dollars years ago, used it as a work bench for years now it is a sorting area. The gray drawers I have a bunch of, I keep finding them at garage sales and even free along side the road during cleanup week. I like them because you can stack them in odd places, you will see some in the knee hole of desk also. Next a neat piece of heavy office storage picked up at a library sale for $10. The red plastic tubs have magazines in them, I have a bunch of those to, bought at a household sale for $1/each. The yellow file card drawers have pretty much been obsoleted by computers, they stack into large arrays of drawers like I did here and also handy to tuck here and there on shelving to store small stuff among large, again cheap to pick up and available in several sizes. Wood drawers were from an old hardware store, very nice but hard to find anymore. Not showing but I also have a bunch of 2 and 4 drawer file cabinets scattered around, also cheap to pickup. The heavy office grade are the ones to get, they become very cheap when they get ugly from scraps and dents or are the old olive drab green color, and can hold the heavy stuff without binding up.

So that's a tour of a small portion of my storage area.

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  • 6 months later...

I like to use "Metro Racking", these are the chrome wire shelf units that can lock to their 1" tube leg at each corner. This allows u to space shelves vertically as u need, and they are sold in 18" to 36" depths and 4, 6 and 8' in length, this makes them very versatile and if u buy wheels for the corner legs, they can easily be relocated even though loaded. They are kind of salty but can be had from used equipment dealers at a savings.

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I have LOTS of metro racking, almost all bought at auction for pennies on the dollar.

I also have some pallet size racks that were garden racking for Wal-Mart. These are also modular at 1" increments, although a bit harder to move loaded.

Search Auctionzip.com and look for on-line auction houses that specialize in liquidating restaurants and businesses.

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I got some shelves from a store that was going out of business. In fact they were throwing them out and I got them for free! VERY heavy duty. I fastened them to my wall studs with a generous amount of large wood screws. At any given time I will have a 12 volt battery, a 6 volt battery, as well as cast iron and other heavy parts loaded on them and they have never moved. These things are stout!

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I'll chime in with my garage storage experiences. First, I value every square foot of real estate in the garage, so if it doesn't need to be in there, it goes in the basement (shop). The compressor stays in the garage (noise factor) with air lines run to the basement, but the glass beading cabinet, hydraulic press, lathe/mill, etc. are all in the basement. I bought vertical racks with wire baskets from IKEA for like $20 each for a four unit set (and they're stackable). They're available in open wire, cloth surround or full plastic versions. They're good for my machining accessories like cutters, knurling tools/wheels, etc. They can only hold about 20 pounds but not all parts are heavy, just bulky or small enough to keep in a single drawer. I also picked up a bakers cooling rack and made 30 drawers which house small parts.

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Edited by Friartuck (see edit history)
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I got some shelves from a store that was going out of business. In fact they were throwing them out and I got them for free! VERY heavy duty. I fastened them to my wall studs with a generous amount of large wood screws. At any given time I will have a 12 volt battery, a 6 volt battery, as well as cast iron and other heavy parts loaded on them and they have never moved. These things are stout!

In fact, with the economy the way it is today, you can find lots of shelving, cabinets, and other garage fittings from businesses that are liquidating. Check Craigslist, particularly the "tools" and "business" categories. You can also find a number of automotive tools for very attractive prices.

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Look in your local yellow pages under Shelves and Shelving or Office Equipment Used. You can get some very good prices on used shelving, pallet racks, assembley benches, etc. With all the business downsizing there is tons of stuff to choose from and the price is right. The right arrangement of shelving will free up loads of floor space for you, and keep things visable and in groups. You might be amazed what you have hidden in those boxes scattered about. Happy hunting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

d..., Welcome to thse site. You hit the nail on the head, commercial shelving is plentiful and cheap, used. Find a used store fixture dealer.

That's what we did with out new garage. A Sears Essentials, formerly K-Mart, folded and I bougt 40 feet to 10' high shelving. Then my sister bought a new kitchen and I got 20 feet of upper and lower mica & oak cabinets. The place is to fancy to work!

Next Tip:

While helping a friend clean out the barn of a decease collector, we found 15 unidentified fenders and splash aprons (from the teens & 20’s) and boxes of parts that neither the family or the estate auctioneer wanted to mess with. I just couldn’t let them go for scrap iron because many of them are N.O.S.. If we knew what they were for, somebody might just need them. Seven rear fenders, left and right where stacked with paper between them, with the top ones getting surface rusted.

Moral of the story, Mark you stuff so somebody else doesn’t throw it out just because they don’t know what it is. As you get organized, LABEL EVERYTHING, nobody else knows what you know on all that stuff. Remember, your stuff is junk if your heirs don't know what it is. Then it's worth 1/2 of what you thought, maybe.

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Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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Also check out your local Habitat for Humanity thrift store...I was able to locate some old sheet metal book cases with glass doors. I cleaned them up with some paint, tinted the glass with mirror tint and I use them for parts and hardware storage. Also found a two bowl stainless sink with 8 in and 12 in deep bowls. Framed it in 2X4's and hung a curtin around the base and it works great for parts cleaning.

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  • 3 weeks later...

trimacar, I got some Elfa adjustable wire shelving to line one wall of my garage. The Container Store has an Elfa sale twice a year for about 30% off regular price. This is quality shelving and hardware, and I bought it for about the same price as the lesser stuff from Home Depot/Lowe's. Next, I bought metal Craftsman work benches from Sears. They are well made, sturdy, easy to assemble, have shelves with doors, and have drawers. I bought the metal wrapped top type. After that I bought two of their Gladiator metal wall cabinets. Lots of room, adjustable shelves, and easy to hang. This is the third garage I have done with Sears equipment. I believe Sears has the best buy for the money. No photos, but it is a good looking set up.

(o{I}o)

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UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> It is quite challenging to organize a garage. Sort out your items by deciding which items to store. Have storage cabinets or shelves. You can also create categories for the items you want to keep and give space for everything. But if you are a handyman then making shelves is one of the easiest things for you to do. Making your own shelves gives much satisfaction and allows you to save money.

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