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Organizer tip

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Matt J. McCullar, May 25, 2004.

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  1. When taking stuff apart, invariably you get several "layers" of nuts, bolts,
    screws, etc. With audio equipment you have four or five main screws for the
    cover, then smaller machine screws that hold down circuit boards, etc. It
    pays to keep all these layers of hardware separate from one another, because
    if they're all mixed up it can take the edge off your success "buzz" when
    you fix the whole thing.

    Recently I've begun using these seven-day pill holders to store such
    hardware when working on electronic equipment. They are made of tough
    plastic, won't snap open if you drop them onto the floor, and are labeled
    "S-M-T-W-Th-F-S", for each day of the week. Yes, these things are meant for
    keeping pills, but they can also do a good job of holding screws and bolts.
    They're quite cheap (I bought some at a garage sale last weekend for small
    change, but you can also get them at Wal-Mart). The individual compartments
    are terrific for keeping track of which screws went where. "Sunday" holds
    the screws for the lid; "Monday" holds the bracket bolts; "Tuesday" holds
    the bad electronic devices like diodes, resistors, chips, etc. that you
    replaced, and so on. What's more, you can keep a whole bunch of these pill
    holders on the bench, and keep all hardware with the unit it came from.

    Matt J. McCullar
    Arlington, TX
  2. B Ghostrider

    B Ghostrider Guest

    hey thats cheating.
  3. Good move!
    Another tip recently mooted is to take a few digital snaps of plugs and
    leads so they can be displayed during re-assembly.
  4. I have been using empty film containers for years.Very easy to open/close.

    They are free for the asking. (photoshop,drugstore,etc,)

  5. David Gersic

    David Gersic Guest

    I take apart (and put back together again!) pinball machines. Several
    layers of assemblies, both metal and plastic, with various nuts, bolts,
    washers, screws, etc. holding everything together. Plus, between the
    disassembly and reassembly, weeks or months may pass. Keeping track of what
    went where requires organization. Plus, since I usually have several
    projects going on at once, it's good to be able to move everything off the
    workbench and out of the way.

    I bought a bunch of the flat plastic "tackle" boxes at Wal Mart. These are
    the ones that sub-divide in to a couple of dozen squares about 1.5" x 1.5"
    or so. As a part, assembly, or "thing" comes off, it goes in a square. If
    the part is too big for one square, just pop out a divider or two until it
    fits. Each square gets a small scrap of paper with a note as to what it is
    or where it goes. I fill the box in order, left to right, top to bottom.
    That way, reassembly is simply a matter of reversing the order, using the
    notes to see what it was or where it went as needed. Multiple boxes are
    used if needed to hold everything.

    I've had game restorations take multiple years, and reassembly was not a
    problem. I also do the other obvious (take notes, digital pictures, etc.)
    memory aids if I expect something to be apart for more than a couple of
    weeks, or if something is especially complicated, unfamiliar, or fussy.

    I've used other containers, film canisters, baby food jars, etc. over the
    years. They work, but the advantage here is that the parts are kept
    together, and they are also kept in order.

    I've also heard of people using egg cartons for this kind of thing.
  6. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    IMO, a better option is to replace the screws in their proper
    locations immediately after removing the various covers, PCBs, etc. As
    for storing faulty parts, which I always give to the customer, I use
    discarded film canisters.

    - Franc Zabkar
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