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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For every boat project it seems that I need a different type or size of screw. I'd like to have an assortment onboard, but I need an efficient, space-saving method of organizing. The hard plastic organizers allow for easy identification, but with so many different types of screws, will take too much space. Ziplock or sandwich bags take up less space, but I want a way to file? them for quick access. How do you organize such items?
 

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I think it was Home Depot where I found these. Small plastic containers about the size of a small tomatoe paste can. A rubber lid on top so when you squeeze it would open. It also came with small mounts for the wall, and the container would slip onto it, and be held in place. With one hand you can remove the container from the wall, and shake out some screws.......i2f
 

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I picked up a couple of plastic boxes with individual bins at the local sporting goods store used by fishermen for their lures. Very reasonably priced.
 

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Good question.

I organize them by type (machine, wood, nut) and make (SS, brass, nylon). I put them in small zip lock bags and then store them in plastic trays with covers (and rubber bands over the covers to prevent spillage). I label the plastic box and top with a generic code such as SS-M-#4-#10 which I decode as stainless, machine, #4 to #10 screws, nuts, and washers (if applicable). The boxes sit low in the boat as they tend to get a bit heavy.

I also carry threaded rod (which you didn't ask about) for those "custom" jobs. Those I spray with WD-40 and wrap in plastic then paper. I write the info on a piece of tape and attach it to the package.

I have a fairly detailed inventory of what's on board, and try to keep it current.

Hope that helps.
 

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I use a highly sophisticated system that involves tossing all small parts into an old plastic jig saw box (about 12" x 12" x 4"). It's been in the family for about 35 years; started by my dad. When he sold his last boat, I interited the "box". Whenever I buy a screws or nuts or "stuff", I buy a couple extra and toss them in. When I have to do a job, I rarely need to look far for an appropriate factener, shackle, washer, or doodad. Larger stuff is stored in baby wipe boxes, sorted by type (electrical, plumbing, woodworking, and a dedicated hoseclamp box).
 

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I picked up an organizer at Harbor Freight. It actually has top and bottom trays that are hinged and have removable seperators. I was able to organize a pretty extensive collection of screws and seperate them by self tapping screws, small bolts, nuts, washers, etc. Of course some of the sizes are mixed but it's easy to get the size you want. In the bottom tray I've got many sizes and types of electrical connectors. Size of the organizer is approx 10 x 12.
 

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I gave up and went with the hard plastic boxes that have a dozen different bins for different screws, electrical fittings, and the like. Plastic bags tear, baby food jars and little bins (and old electrical tape cases) are real nice but then you can never find the one you need. Those "ice cube tray" type of bins do a pretty good job once you just decide "OK, here's where I'm going to stack them".

Similarly, a tupperware "shoebox" for odds and ends, we have one marked "rigging", one for "mechanical", one for "electrical" so at least the odds and ends are in a place where you can SEE what's in the box without opening it, and rummage through it all in fast order.

And here I thought you were asking about organizing a union for prison guards. (VBG)
 

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In a sliding drawer under the dinette, I have 8 plastic containers about 5" square and 4" deep, like those commonly used for food. Find 'em in any supermarket.

The tops are marked with indelible ink as follows:

  • Machine screws (i.e., self-tapping screws)
  • Wood screws
  • Large bolts (5/16" diameter and larger)
  • Small bolts (1/4" diameter and smaller)
  • Nuts
  • Washers
  • Cotter pins and rings
  • Hose clamps

All items are stainless steel. All screws are Phillips head.

Larger and specialty items which won't fit in the boxes are kept separately in the drawer, along with other items like bolt cutters, NicoPress tools, thru-hole plugs, large hose clamps, etc.

There is a separate plastic organizer chock full of s/s machine screws of various sizes and lengths and types. Each little bin is marked on the lid of the organizer.

This simple and inexpensive "system" has worked well for 20 years. Sometimes it takes awhile to find, e.g., a matching bolt and nut (I just dump the two containers on the settee and paw thru them), but IMO further organization of these items really would be overkill.

Bill
 

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I thought this thread was about how to throw a party.... invitations, who-to-invite, what to eat, selecting music. Boy was I wrong!
 

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I picked up an organizer at Harbor Freight. It actually has top and bottom trays that are hinged and have removable seperators. I was able to organize a pretty extensive collection of screws and seperate them by self tapping screws, small bolts, nuts, washers, etc. Of course some of the sizes are mixed but it's easy to get the size you want. In the bottom tray I've got many sizes and types of electrical connectors. Size of the organizer is approx 10 x 12.
I've dropped more organizers like that than I care to remember. Some of them were even my own. I now use a tackle box with lots of loose fasteners, many in the small plastic bags the hardware stores put these things in. Another tackle box for plumbing stuff, including clamps, etc. I still have a few loose screws, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thinking outside the box!

Those hard plastic organizers are what I have used, and my categorizing and labeling varies from none to extreme. I'm trying to find storage that takes up less space and is still easy to access, especially when it comes to quickly finding the right screw for the project.

For all of you who thought this thread was about women and partying, you are partially right...It takes a woman to come up with this solution.

Every woman needs a way to keep her jewelry organized, and some of these hanging organizers should work great for my boat. I decided to try one that has no zippers (which would probably get corroded), and it can hang flat in a hanging locker or be rolled for storage (the hanger can be removed). I keep the screws organized by type and size in small zip lock bags, one per pocket, so that I can pull out the bag for the ones that I want to use. I have the zip lock bags labeled so that I can remember what needs to be resupplied. If the zip lock bag gets holes, then the screws are still contained within the heavy plastic pocket. This organizer has 80 pockets of varying sizes, so that should get me started. It's even made with a nautical-looking canvas, not some frilly/girly designed fabric.



For everyone who thought this was a party topic, now you know how to organize your screws. Talk about this new jewelry organizer that you have on your boat, and the women will all want to come aboard to take a look! Just have the Patron/wine/beer chilled... and that's all there is to it!
 

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For everyone who thought this was a party topic, now you know how to organize your screws. Talk about this new jewelry organizer that you have on your boat, and the women will all want to come aboard to take a look! Just have the Patron/wine/beer chilled... and that's all there is to it!
And here I thought it was my charm, humor, and dashing looks that did all the "organizing" (you should see me in my ascot).

I stand corrected. I need to get me one of those!

"So, baby, whaddaya say we head over to my yacht and have a look at my 'jewelry organizer' filled with screws."

Naa. It'll never work.
 

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Oh P*ss

I've gone through many of the strategies that have been already mentioned here but one has worked well for many years. We keep our small screws in urine specimen jars (unused). The jars have screw on lids and only hold about three ounces. Many years back my wife was a sales rep for a medical supplier. (She no longer has access to them and I wish I could get more.) She had some of these on hand and they have worked well for many years. They are translucent, so you have some idea of the contents before opening the container. I think that we have 8 of these in a plastic box that stow perfectly below a settee.Some grocery stores are now carrying small food containers with screw on lids that would work too.

I have found tackle boxes to work well only if the separate compartments remain sealed when flipped upside down.
 

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SG - That is very clever indeed. I've always thought that wrapping tools in a similar manner was a fine way to store them but poor lineal fool that I am the idea of using similar method for fasteners never hit me. I'd probably be loath to actually hang the thing, figuring that eventualy the bag would chaff through but rolled up and stowed...I like that. I'm a bloke so no more should be expected of me. Otoh, I will berate the Wombette for not thinking of this herself.

In general - how often do you need to find a specific screw on your boat anyway ? Unless you are in refit mode its not all that often so I reckon we could all be guilty of overdoing the filing system.

NewPBS - In Australia you can buy urine sample bottles at any Chemist Shop (Pharmacy). Now maybe I'm lucky cos my brother in law is our local doctor but I can always get that sort of stuff from him. Only thing wrong with those urine sample bottles is that they are easily cracked.

So.......damn it's hard keeping it straight on this thread...still and all it is about screws so I guess it will be doomed to spiral out of control. Me I like a bit of anarchism in my boom crash opera......:)
 

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Great idea SaltyGirl. 11 posts and you are hitting the ground running. +1 to you.
 
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