The Gerber Hardware Storage System #1: Conceptually Speaking

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 09-10-2015 01:41 PM 1044 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Gerber Hardware Storage System series Part 2: Earth, Fauna, and Flora »

In my last blog post, I related the story of the purchase of an extensive hardware stash at a local yard sale for ten bucks.

In the intervening time, I’ve had a chance to go through most of the baby food jars and coffee cans to assess the contents. What I’ve found includes a large quantity of nails, common and finish in all sizes from 3d up to 20d, as well as a number of the same in wire sizes.

Wood and sheet metal screws are plentiful in all sizes and head configurations , but scattered throughout the collection, much of it mixed together in the jars.

The official handsawgeek crystal ball predicts a lot of sorting in my future!

Many of the jars and cans contain various other bits of hardware: tacks, cup hooks, staples, screw eyes, machine bolts, washers, nuts, wall anchors, electrical crimp connectors, pegboard hooks, etc. Everything that one would expect to find in the hardware collection of a consummate DIY’r.

I even found a solitary cut nail!

So, besides the sorting, I am faced with the dilemma of how to integrate all of this material into the existing handsawgeek hardware system.

But, wait a minute…there really isn’t that great of a system to begin with. All of my hardware is currently stored in a ramshackle assortment of Acro-Mills cabinets, bins, cigar boxes, shoe boxes and Altoid tins. Add to this the fact that my shop is divided into two separate areas of activity – the garage and the Basement Annex, each with its own particular set of hardware requirements.

Perhaps a massive hardware organization project is in order…..

To begin with, I looked at that mass of baby food jars. My initial inclination was to just dump all of the screws, nuts, ‘n bolts into cigar boxes and toss the jars.

A little voice in my head said, “Don’t do it, geek!”

Instead, I fired up the PC and consulted the Wonderful World Wide Web to learn all about baby food jars.

“HOLY SMOKES !!! These puppies are selling for up to a dollar a pop on e-Bay !!! And I just acquired 94 of ‘em! No way am I going to toss them in the trash! Thanks, little voice in my head !!””

The next thought was….why not use these jars to.…

No….no way…create a new, comprehensive hardware storage system?

This is now precisely what I have settled upon!

After all, there are advantages…each jar can be labeled, and the contents are readily visible. Just build a suitable, easily accessible rack/shelf unit, and all will be golden! And, being made of glass and metal, they are fully HTOZ compliant!

Win/Win on all fronts!

So, welcome to the handsawgeek’s newest blog series ever….the Gerber Hardware Storage System !

-- Ed

3 comments so far

View Richard's profile


1940 posts in 3500 days

#1 posted 09-10-2015 07:13 PM

And being Glass they have a tendency to break if you drop them on the floor. That’s why I went to plastic Peanut Butter Jars . My Grand Kids Love Peanut Butter so I get a good supply of them. Plus they are still clear and quite a bit larger than the baby food jars.

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2206 days

#2 posted 09-10-2015 08:02 PM

I’ve taken that facet into consideration, so my solution is to hold on to a few extras for replacements. If the entire shelf full of them falls, that’s another matter entirely.

The only other thing that holds me back from using plastic peanut butter jars is that I have a strict rule prohibiting anything made of plastic in the hand tool work area. That’s just one of my particular weird eccentricities.

I suppose this gets counter-balanced by one of my minor hobbies: LEGO building! In that ABS environment, nothing made of wood or metal is allowed!

-- Ed

View sfhipchick's profile


77 posts in 1127 days

#3 posted 07-21-2017 07:48 PM

ROFLMAO your enthusiasm is fabulous! :) Ah yes, I see you also have that person in your head who doesn’t want you to throw away ANYTHING! LOL, my upgraded status as a de-clutterer is causing huge fits whenever I get my hands on something of dubious value.

I look forward to reading more of your series! :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

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