Most sized tools are marked by stamped numbers on their sides, shanks or handles.   All too often, I find myself looking for a specific drill or socket, unable to make out the stamped size.  It becomes especially difficult in low or "flat light" where the reflecting edges of the numbers are less defined. 

I've begun using this simple modification to make the stamped sizes stand out.  Now I can quickly locate any size drill, socket or wrench no matter how they're tossed in my tool cabinet drawer.

Step 1: What You'll Need:

1. A set of drills, sockets, wrenches or any other tool identified by recessed stamping or raised casting and difficult to read.

2. Spray paint.

3. Acetone, paper towel and/or Scotchbrite.
<p>2 words: <em>Laser Engrave!</em></p>
Hopefully all CNC tools will become smaller than garages with prices to match. Desktop 3D printers were the first to reach that size/price point and the type and cost of lasers and cooling is all that's needed to break the barrier of laser cutters. Desktop CNC milling machines are already starting to appear. I have a laser etcher, still in the box, but it's only 300 watts and doesn't do metal, which is a deal breaker for most of us.<br><br>By the time you graduate from high school, much of this will be available, and more. Machines will eventually allow everyone to be a master builder. The only thing they won't be able do is come up with the ideas of what to build. Having the mind to do that, you have a joyful future ahead of you.
Very nice i did a some thing close to this with my snap on set. Instead of painting the whole wrench I used a paint marker and covered over just the numbers and then wiped it off with a rag leaving the paint in the numbering worked good have to keep up on it every couple months though (washing with starting fluid will remove the paint after time I'm just a clean freak though) quick and easy just like 30 min to paint them all 8-26 and 1/4-1 1/2<br>Then set them back in the rack and let dry over night before using again best to do at the end of the work day
Well, you have done it again! At our house, we have both imperial wrenches, and metric wrenches. I have been using extra strong reading classes to see the numbers. Your idea will really help! Thanks so much for posting :0) BTW, lol what does BFK stand for ;0) lol or is it a &quot;secret code&quot; ;0)
LOL No secret code involved... It's just my initials. Now, I'm going to follow you (in the good sense) and also look up your book. I mentor at risk elementary school children and if I can use it, I'll pick it up. And thank you for the patch. I've never gotten one before.<br><br>bfk
Cheese... There's always a critic:) Not only did I remove the offending image, but I've added content based on the ideas that have been posted. Let me know what you think.
A great idea bfk, and also good ideas from commenters. I'll have to do this with my spanners this week.<br> As an aside, I don't suppose that really annoying flashing picture of Felix the Cat could be replaced with something else...? Maybe a picture of &quot;what you'll need&quot;?
I have done this on a bunch of my tools. I used a paint marker instead of spray paint. I also color coded metric and imperial drills, taps, sockets, and wrenches and allen keys. I have even gone as far as bolts that need occasional adjustment to mark the bolt head with the correct color paint marker. &quot;Oh yeah that bolt is metric&quot;
That's an excellent idea. I just picked up a 1/2&quot; socket set that was colored, but there was no rhyme or reason for the colors they picked (i.e. light to dark or cool to warm). <br><br>The car I'm working on has both metric and imperial sized fittings, so your color coding idea would be perfect for that (it also uses every size that can be used with a denominator of &quot;32&quot;... I wonder if the bolts can be color coded for size as well).<br><br>Perhaps you can do an instructable on how you set things up?<br><br>Tell you what Spikolli, if you make an instructable (and let me know about it), I'll send you a year's pro membership... You'll have to remind me about my offer too... I forget easily. :)
Simple but effective! I've noticed that even when you do put your drills back or wrenches, mistakes happen so it's good to be able to read the sizes clearly. Especially as I work with metric and imperial sizes.....well done!
Thank you. I've just picked up a 1970 British sports car where both Imperial and metric sizes were used, no two bolts are the same and the engineers seemed to specify everything with denominators ending in &quot;64&quot; and &quot;32&quot; without ever repeating the numerator. I think they switched over to decimals when they ran out of fractions:). I got so frustrated Rummaging through the growing pile of sockets and wrenches around me, I had to do something. They used to race these cars back then. Pit times must have been measured in hours:)
I forgot about Whitworths! lol :) It's a minefield out there......and don't let me get started on the different kinds of philips head screw drivers!
Tell me about it. A few years ago, articpenguin put this together:<br><br>https://www.instructables.com/id/When-a-Phillips-is-not-a-Phillips/<br><br>Enjoy.
Yes, that Instructable by articpenguin is great, a history of screws. <br>Here was the comment I left on his Instructable, applies here also: <br>MyLEAST favorite screw head: The screws that are designed to take either a Phillips #3 or Robertson (square) drive. Some of the new timber construction fasteners, such as Spax, and some of the common bronze wood screws use this &quot;combination&quot; drive. It is my experience that tools designed to do two (or more) things do neither well.
Fastener wrench sizes on British vehicles for&nbsp; a long time were neither Imperial nor metric; they were <em>Whitworth</em> (BSW, British Standard Whitworth). I had to buy Whitworth wrenches (spanners) when I rebuilt the engine on my 1951 MG. The connecting rod bolt heads were 1/4 Whitworth. But I believe the threads were metric!
That may be why I've been unable to fit several bolts properly with any size wrench I have. I doubt if Lotus was using BSW in 1970, but they did have a tendency to &quot;borrow&quot; items from the warehouse whenever they ran out of stock on the floor. Perhaps they grabbed some metric threaded bolts with Whitworth heads from the 1950s.<br><br>Thanks for the heads-up. I'll research a little deeper.
Why didn't I think of it ???? <br>Brilliant ! <br>Thank you.
Thank YOU. Frustration can be a powerful motovator:)
Great idea, very professional looking. I already have half a quart of black rustoleum sitting around I can use.
:) Thanks... Maybe you could dip them. If you're careful, you might be able to wipe the excess paint off while its still wet. Anyway, have fun with that Rustoleum:)
Great Instructable, really applies to me (a bit vision challenged). <br>But Rimar2000 beat me to it regarding the drill bits! I also made a wood rack for my bits, with the sizes labeled. Should be a photo here. However, this is not foolproof. I have got the bits in the wrong place at times. <br>I also use this rack to select the correct bit for the screw size. I place the screw in several bit holes until the pilot hole size &quot;seems right&quot; for the screw.
Ditto on the &quot;vision challenged&quot; issue Bill. I buy my drill sets at Harbor Freight and they come in a metal box with the holes already in them. I've been holding drills up to the screws for decades without ever thinking of doing it your way. Kudos to you and thank you for showing me a better way.
Very clever! <br> <br>Regarding drill bits, I fixed the problem &ndash;very annoying&ndash; to find the correct drill, when I decided to make a wood support. Each drill bit has its own hole, with its measure writed beneath with a sharpie.
I've done that for Allen keys too. The picture is a crop of a larger image but I hope you can see it here:<br> <br> <a href="http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb468/pfred1/Keyholder.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb468/pfred1/Keyholder.jpg</a><br> <br> I don't know how much time that block of wood has saved me but I'd probably have to measure it on a calender now.
Clever idea, Fred. This not have occurred to me, I will make another for me, thanks for sharing.
Thanks. I have a drill box with the same holes in it, but it seems the drills never seem to make their way back into it. :/
My drill bits support is screwed to the wall, thereby I see it anytime. It is leaning out to be easier access to bits.
Simple and useful!
I just keep all of my tools in order. Doing that keeps my mental state much more focused. I wrote an article in my lost account that addresses the wrench issue<br> <br> <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Wrench-Organizer/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Wrench-Organizer/</a><br> <br> I keep most of my drill bits in index boxes, my sockets on rails, I have tool boxes dedicated to specific types of tools. I still misplace things now and again but for the most part what I need I can access immediately, if not sooner :)<br> <br> Tossing all of your stuff in drawers with no method of organization is not worth the lack of effort it takes to do. At some point it has to become an esteem issue. I mean take some pride!<br> <br> Over the summer I bought a bucket of assorted tools and the immediately I arranged what I'd gotten into sets. It only took me minutes to accomplish but has saved me from hours of frustration already. This is what came out:<br> <br> <a href="http://i.imgur.com/EMHrC.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://i.imgur.com/EMHrC.jpg</a><br> <br> This is some of it now:<br> <br> <a href="http://i.imgur.com/nMwHj.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://i.imgur.com/nMwHj.jpg</a><br> <br> Much more useful to me than everything tossed together. bfk I do use my tools all of the time and if I didn't keep them organized I'd never get anything accomplished.
You are essentially creating a high-contrast viewing system. SMART!
&quot;High-contrast viewing system&quot;... I like that. Thanks. I actually have one of those that I use to work on really, really tiny things like watches... Maybe I should transfer it to my shop:)

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired inventor, reverted back to my 10 year-old self. A shop full of tools, a boat, race car, 3D printer and a beautiful wife who ... More »
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