A corporate refugee from the aerospace and automotive industry who also happens to hold a black belt in Six Sigma has created a novel way to store most any tool inside the drawers of most any tool cabinet.
Melinda Young is the creator of ToolLodge™, a custom drawer organizing/liner system that can hold tools without resorting to the tedious process of tracing around individual tools and cutting out foam core. The difference in Young’s idea comes from a special plastic foam that’s similar to what she found used in the florist industry.
Young sells the foam liner, wrapped in a felt-type material and backed with a tough vinyl bottom, that’s cut to measure per any size drawer. With it, mechanics can simply lay out their tools in any desired configuration and then press each tool into the foam.
What’s left behind is a permanent mold of each tool. A special tool comes with the organizing system to tap in handy spaces next to the tools to make each easier to take out and put back.
According to instructions found on the company’s website, www.ToolLodge.com, Young recommends the following procedures:
- FIT CHECK: Install the ToolLodge organizer in an empty tool drawer to check the fit. ToolLodge should fit loosely.
Place the liner on a sturdy, smooth work surface. Gently lay out tools on the liner the way you want them in the drawer, leaving a 1-inch margin around the edge.
- LODGE Press each tool individually into its place by applying firm pressure. This will make a permanent indentation for storing your tool.
For larger hand tools, it may be easier to press one end of the tool at a time, slowly rocking it. Make an indentation deep enough to hold the tool. Once the impression of the tool has been started, if it’s a very sturdy tool like a metal wrench, you can tap the tool further with a small non-marking hammer.
- GRIP TOOL Use the grip tool to create thumb-sized indentations for easier access to the lodged tools.
ToolLodge™ is made to fit drawers ranging from 8 inches to 32 7/8 inches wide and from 8 inches to 22 7/8 inches deep. For drawers wider than 33 inches, two units can be used side-by-side to cover the complete drawer.
Each liner has an overall height of about 1 1/8 inches and works best in drawers with clearance heights of about 2 inches to 4 inches, and comes in black, red and blue. Color samples are available by request.
Young says the ToolLodge™ works best with sturdy hand tools or objects such as sockets, drivers, screwdrivers and wrenches. She does not recommend pressing or tapping plastic tools, tools with large surface areas or tools with fragile mechanisms, such as tape measures, large pipe wrenches, torque wrenches and calipers. She also adds that the system is not recommended for on-board tool storage.