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Coin envelopes for SMT part, where?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Ok, guys, I've read it many times that coin envelopes (the paper kind)
    are practical for storing SMT. Much less space than all those cans the
    size of aspirin packages that stuff the cabinets here. Ok, not as
    airtight but that should be fine.

    I asked at all kinds of stores, Tarjay, Walmart, Longs, stationary
    shops, you name it. None had any, most didn't even know what I was
    talking about. Where do you buy them?
  2. Staples?

  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

  4. Ok, 7/8x7/8 smallest size.

  5. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I have a box of 500, #3 coin envelopes, size 2.5 x 4.25 inches.
    They're made by Westvaco/Columbian Envelopes, product ID CO545.

    They're great. You can write the description and stock number on the
    front, scribble any measurement notes, and tape the Digikey label or
    whatever to the back. Packing density is a lot better than film cans
    or drawers or whatever.

  6. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Get the bigger ones, 2.5 x 4.25, so you can write lots of stuff on

  7. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Staples has 2x3 clear poly bags with a white writable area on them;
    they fit into *my* parts drawers just fine :)

    Not sure if putting parts in non-anti-static bags is such a good idea.
    I usually leave them in their tape, in units of 10 or so.
  8. Tom Bruhns

    Tom Bruhns Guest

    I do the same, with a smaller size...#2 probably. I'll often put a
    drawing of the pinout on the envelope, too, for the parts complicated
    enough to warrant it. The size I use stack very nicely three rows
    wide in old Daytimer plastic boxes that we used to have a lot of
    around, till everyone went to using Outlook to keep their calendars.
    I much prefer the kraft paper ones to the flimsy tiny ones; the kraft
    ones are much easier to file and to handle.

    It is worthwhile to check that the corners are sealed well enough to
    hold the parts you'll be putting in them. If you're into 0201
    resistors and capacitors, it may be better to use the thin envelopes,
    though I'd still put them into kraft envelopes for uniform storage
    since many parts are too big (or I have too many of them) to put
    everything into tiny envelopes.

  9. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I guess you're not into origami paper art... :p

    Perhaps get some heavy paper,a glue stick and scissors and make a
    Maybe pay some kid $2.00 to make'm.
    Don't forget to say that it'll be fun to do :p

    D from BC
  10. Jim Flanagan

    Jim Flanagan Guest

    Here is some 1 11/16" x 2 3/4"
    $21 for 500

    Try this link:

    Good Luck
  11. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    A customer I do some work for has been storing parts in the Digi-key (et
    al) bags, which is costing some serious time (thus money). It's quite
    tedious to find the right bag, wiggle the strip of SMT tape out of the
    bag, get a few parts, and wiggle it back in. I suggested going to test
    tubes or culture tubes - space for labels (or a flag label if you need a
    lot of info) and easy access - pop the lid off, get out the part tape,
    pop it back in, pop the top on. Easy to organize in racks. Easy to see
    what and roughly how many are in it. Many different sizes available. If
    you're olde fashioned, you could even color code the resistor tubes -
    and can certainly use color coded lids for different categories of
    parts. If you're very organized, you could use barcodes and maintain an
    up-to-date inventory with stock levels and reordering reminders before
    you run out.

    He has not gone for the idea as yet, perhaps because any effect is
    somewhat indirect (if it takes me, or him, more time, I presume it's
    being rebilled to the end customer, as it's not a production
    environment) so saving time is not directly saving him money - but it
    would help productivity. Despite billing by the hour, I dislike
    inefficiency and prefer to spend my hours as productively as possible.

    At home I'm still in the stone age of through-hole parts, but I'll
    probably get a pile of test/culture tubes as I move my own projects to
  12. Robert

    Robert Guest

    You might look at Stamp Collecting and their Supply houses for such
    envelopes. Or for other gear to hold them in sheets.

    Robert H.
  13. Tom Bruhns

    Tom Bruhns Guest

    Be wary of ESD from glass or plastic that's not antistatic.
    Officially even paper envelopes aren't approved, though in our
    relatively moist climate here they haven't given me trouble that I can

    You can get antistatic plastic vials roughly equivalent to test
    tubes. The ones we use have captive snap-on lids. They are MUCH less
    space-efficient than the coin envelopes though. A recipe-box size
    container will easily hold a complete set of E24 resistor or capacitor
    values over six or seven decades, likely in a couple different sizes
    if you're not going for many hundreds of each value.

  14. For stuff on tape, I've found a couple of solutions - film negative binder pages, and similar
    products with smaller pockets used for storing baseball/cigarette card collections
  15. John

    John Guest

    I asked at all kinds of stores, Tarjay, Walmart, Longs, stationary
    You can always try the gang at rec.collecting.coins to see where they
    buy theirs. :)
  16. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    Most parts that actually care about ESD are in antistatic tape. I leave
    parts in the tape, it's much easier to deal with than loose parts. I'm
    not sure how much difference having the antistatic tape packed in an
    antistatic bag actually makes, .vs. packing the antistatic tape in a
    non-antistatic tube. I do know that the prices on antistatic tubes are
    vastly higher than the prices for normal tubes, which is not very

    Resistors, inductors and capacitors are generally not very picky about
    ESD, and come packaged from the distributor in tape in regular
    polyethylene bags, which are not antistatic. That would appear to imply
    that antistatic packaging is a waste of money for those parts.
    Packing density loses to ease of organization for actually using the
    things - If you're trying to squeeze the maximum amount of material into
    a briefcase for traveling, fine - for bench use, laying hands on what
    you want without thumbing through 100 tiny envelopes wins, IMHO.
  17. Terry Given

    Terry Given Guest

    I use film canisters. They're free, and there is plenty of room for a
    big sticky label.

  18. Fred Bartoli

    Fred Bartoli Guest

    Le Sat, 01 Sep 2007 00:08:24 +0000, Joerg a écrit:

    Not quite what you've asked but I ordered some of these and am very
    pleased with them. Also exists ready filled.
  19. Fred Bartoli

    Fred Bartoli Guest

    Le Sun, 02 Sep 2007 00:19:50 +1200, Terry Given a écrit:
    I thought about this once but try to store the full E96 range.
    That might be OK though for big items like ICs, Al or Ta caps, DPAKs,
    small SMPS inductors and such.
    I find the lidded enclosures I posted below very practical when it comes
    to use them and do some real work. And $25-35 for 128 values is a quite
    reasonable price.
    I bought them stuffed be cause I wanted to spare me the time to fill them.

    I guess the ideal thing is a combination of these for the everyday parts
    plus some film canisters for the big parts and some coin envelopes for
    the small infrequently used ones.
  20. I got tired of sequentially looking inside the coin bags. So, I
    switched to ESD pink plastic bags from:
    and have lived happily ever after. There are other sources:
    Ebay also lists quite a few odd sizes.

    For non ESD sensitive devices (passive components) in bulk, I just use
    grocery store "zip lock" storage bags.
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