Technology
Parts Tray + Fruit Wedger Blade = Sorting Parts Tray

When I’m taking something apart, using a magnetic parts tray for the screws and other tiny metal bits is one of the best things I can do (together with taking pictures as I go) to make sure that it all goes back together again more or less as it’s supposed to.

So the last time I was disassembling an appliance for repair (a video projector, in this case), and I was carefully arranging the screws for each subassembly in a separate little pile in my parts tray, it occurred to me that it’d be nice to have a magnetic parts tray with compartments for this purpose. And when I was imagining what the dividers would look like, a shape like the blade of a fruit wedger occurred to me.

For some reason, I have two fruit wedgers. I never use a fruit wedger, but when and if I ever decide to start, I am confidant that my needs will be served by only one.

So I busted the plastic ring off one of them and, after breaking off some small bits to round the ends of the blades, discovered that the blade assembly fit pretty well into my 4? magnetic parts tray. And actually works pretty well as a divider, too. I knocked the sharp edges off with a file.

8 thoughts on “Parts Tray + Fruit Wedger Blade = Sorting Parts Tray

  1. Great idea! (Why do segmented trays seem to cost exponentially more than unsegmented ones?)

    If something has more than one kind of screw (especially laptops) I usually take a sheet of paper, mark out the basic layout and screw locations in Sharipe, and stick the screw on the paper with a tape loop. It takes a little more time, but it makes sure that I don’t put that self-taping screw into that threaded screw hole or the 20mm screw into the 10mm deep hole and plow straight through a circuit board.

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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 makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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