Parts storage and workspaces

One way to get around this is to put your parts into plastic bags which hang from the rafters. Then you do not need drawers! That is what I do… :slight_smile:

So, you are equating yourself to Cadence with all your parts “overhead”? :rofl:

I suppose. But in most cases, overhead beats underfoot. :slight_smile:

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Rafters? No way, this needs a picture! :smiley:

See attached. You will notice I also have parts in cartons on shelves.

Mostly the parts are sorted in bags in bags (and sometimes in more bags) or in bags in boxes.

I like this generally better than drawers. One place I worked, an engineer took thousands of 0603 chip resistors off of the tape and put them into the open compartments in parts drawers. When that inevitably got spilled, it was a useless mess (and waste) on the floor. I prefer to keep the parts on tape in plastic bags.

Looks like a fun way to store parts.
Have you ever considered a pulley system?

With pulley’s you can easily make a horizontal beam with cords on both ends, so the beam can be lowered horizontally, Then you can have one beam for all kind of Resistors, another beam for all kinds of 3 legged components, another beam for…

I gotta say, that’s pretty unique. Reminds me of the way my old folks prepared some dry fruit for the winter :slight_smile:

Gotta say it looks cool. I am that engineer who strips the tape and put it in a drawer. And yes the idea of spilling these is not a fun thought. Some components stay in the bag for ESD reasons and some I have to bake prior to use but in general all are in drawers and labeled with house PN. I like it this way because when hand placing components I can get all the relevant little drawers around me and pick away.

Thanks for posting a pic! It’s always fun to see somebody else’s work place.

Is this where we hijack this thread into a discussion of Jim Williams’ desk?


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Beam me up, Scotty! :slight_smile:

I think there is a virtue to simplicity. This is all cheap! What I have uses rafter hooks which I bend easily out of ~AWG14 plastic coated mild steel wire and binder clips at the bottom to hold the plastic bags. I guess it works well for one person but it might not work well for multiple people of greatly different height. As it is, the bags brush the top of my head as I walk underneath and I can just lift the bottom (clip) end of the wire to unhook it from the rafter. A tall person would be facing into the bags and a short person would not be able to unhook from the rafters.

That last lab photo is really something… Empty desk means empty mind?

Hahaha! I know that man! Well, in my case it was Phil. Was a brilliant engineer but what a mess that guy could create. And anyone who said something about his desk he replied with: “if you say a messy desk stands for a messy mind, tell me what an empty desk stands for then”. Boy those were the days with those scopes, dang it that is long ago.

Yes those big O’scopes could warm your lab, break your back, and raise your electric bill over eye level.

I tried eating a few of what I have in the bag. Did not taste so great. (not)

Yeah, my wife used to get upset with me for snacking through a couple bags of chips in the course of an afternoon.

(To the international friends on the Forum: The humor draws from several features of American culture and may be too subtle. Don’t let it worry you.)


My gosh…the word “chips” is a loaded one! Integrated Circuits here and maybe in most places, the English term for “French Fries”, and referring to potato chips (and some other similar dried crispy snacks) in the USA.

We have some large maple trees near our house… Those drop massive amounts of maple seeds in late autumn, and those provide a huge food source for small mammals… Of course I was kidding about eating what is in the bags. In fact, with the occasional exception of a bottle of Pale Ale I try to keep anything edible out of my attic lab.

I see that sentence made discussion went into the new direction.
I used ‘drawers’ as a simplest way to say about the needed capacity for elements.
Those time, when we assembled everything ourselves we used semi-automatic machine which has a wheel with small drawers for elements and that wheel is rotated to expose for you the right drawer to take the next element. Number of drawers at wheel is limited and it is also the important reason to limit the number of different elements to use. Of course you can have the extra drawers end before each PCB assembling you can change the set at the wheel but it is time consuming and can be a source of mistakes - the best would be to limit all small elements to wheel size.

Maybe split off the thread?

An extremely cheap method for me that works quite effectively are plastic boxes with an open top. You do not have to take of lids to get into them, and because the top is open they partly stack “into” each other instead of on top of each other. On the right there is a stack of 4 of them labeled “Motor”, “Spoelen”, “Mechanisch”, “Mechanisch”. The boxes themselves are absolutely free. I buy them in the supermarket, and they are filled with meat when I buy them. Just washing all the small ribs before use is a bit tedious.

I make the labels with a roll of painters tape and a felt tip marker. No need for a fancy label machine.

I would have thought that you just gnaw the ribs without washing.

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For SMD those containers seem a little large :smiley: I use a bunch of these: What I like about these is that I can sort of assemble all component boxes together for a job. Comes in handy when I’ve got interns working on different projects. But for larger components have a series of standard little drawers.

I’ve got a bunch of those to, directly from Ali. There seem to be small size differences and they sometimes have trouble to slide together. The boxes are OK, but I would not like to take them apart much.

Somewhere in in the middle is: image These are A5 size sample books Capacitors, Resistors, Transistors and Ferrite beads. Just 0805 (& SOT23 for trannies), I have no need to go smaller. Those books together are about 10.000 parts.

Yeah I agree you have to be careful open/close the lids and break the boxes apart. Still not bad. But I like those books, these just contain sleeves I take it? Can you show us a picture of the inside? We use quite a few of 402 parts, will that work with your ‘books’?