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I’m just in the process of organizing all the junk in my garage, so my radar is tuned to clever DIY part storage ideas. This one from back in 2007 is by Instructables user tomward and uses ziplock bags inside binder pouches inside ring binders to provide three levels of organization. It looks very space-efficient, but falls short on one half of the part storage problem, methinks, which is allowing for fast sorting of the pile of parts you sweep off the bench when the project is over (or, if you’re like me, the bucket of parts swept off the bench over the course of many months’ worth of projects). I still think bins are the way to go.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Andy Johnson

    I actually use this method, except I use “free” (work cast offs that would get thrown away) zip top bags for components that are ESD friendly, and I use the aforementioned “free” ESD bags to put my chips and such in. My collection is small enough to put all my resistors in one bag, all capacitors in one bag, and so on. Just run the bag through a hole punch and put in the binder. All chips have their own bags. Don’t mix your chips, they won’t get along. One time I witnessed a terrifying epic battle between one of my 555’s and a defenseless 4017. One can only imagine how that one ended…

  • salec

    Yes, too often 555 pushes 4017 around, poor 4017 having no negative feedback on 555 whatsoever, which would be … hey, now when I think about it, quite an intriguing idea, thank You!

    Here, try this: let 555 (as astable) clock the 4017, then make jumper-selectable decoded output of 4017, over a resistor, change the frequency of 555. Tap audio from 555 output to some sounding device. See what sounds it can produce on a speaker when you change the selected 4017 output to another one.