Introduction: Fastener Index

Picture of Fastener Index

There is few bigger pains in the butt than trying to fix something and spending half an hour trying to dig through your bucket-o-fasteners for the right size one.

I got so tired of searching that I created the fastener index.

This isn't the be-all-end-all of organizers but it sure helps a lot when you need a variety of similar diameter screws on hand to fix issues. It's especially helpful for people that do service work as it makes it easy to take inventory before your next call. Other fringe benefits include not getting jabbed under the fingernails like you sometimes do when fishing them out of a bucket and saving a lot of space.

This entry is designed around the idea of holding a variety of similar diameter objects. You could set it up to hold screws, drill bits, hex keys or whatever else suits your purpose. You could also do a combination of the above if that better suits your work.

Anyways, lets get started!

Step 1: Materials and Tool Required

Picture of Materials and Tool Required

This screw index will accommodate 10 of each #10 fastener from 4 inch down to 1 inch in 1/2 inch increments.

You will need:

-4mm coroplast (Which many sign shops will just give you scraps if you ask).

-Square/rule

-Marking tool

-Drill

-7/32 drill bit

-Sharp knife

The rough dimensions for this project are 11 inches across the cavities of the coroplast and 4 1/2 inch along the cavities of the coroplast. It's important to note that the dimensions are not critical and that the driving dependency is the number of cavities. It helps to cut a small piece of coroplast 10 cavities wide as a measuring tool. This will help quicken the layout process

Step 2: Anatomy of Coroplast

Picture of Anatomy of Coroplast

During this project it is important to know the different features of the corrugated plastic structure. It consists of a linear series of cavities divided by veins to create a sturdy and lightweight flat structure. The cavities are what we will be using the most of, since our fasteners will be occupying them, and so they govern most of the design of the index.

Step 3: Fastener Layout

Picture of Fastener Layout

It is important to layout how you want your fasteners to be organized.

For my layout I started with my largest size and then combined my smallest and second largest, then cascaded the sizes as depicted. Note I had to provide some unused space in the largest size to accommodate everything else.

Step 4: True Up an Edge

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True up one edge of the coroplast by following along a vein of plastic with your cutting tool. This is important so that all of your measurements end up true to the open cavities in the coroplast.

Step 5: Square Up an Adjacent Edge

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Next square up an edge using the edge that you just prepped.

Step 6: Layout Your Cavities

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Using your 10 cavity cutoff, mark out the areas that will be holding your fasteners. Be sure to add 3 cavities in between each 10 to act as a hinge upon completion. The total number of cavities including hinges is 49. Also take care to mark out the hinge areas to make the fallowing steps go quicker.

Step 7: Calculate the Height of Your Fastener Index

Picture of Calculate the Height of Your Fastener Index

Now we need to determine the overall height of the screw index. To figure this out I took the length of the screws that I was going to be stacking, added 1/16 for some vertical space between the fasteners and then subtracted 2x the height of the fastener head. In my case it was a 3 1/2 inch screw plus 1 inch screw plus 1/16 inch for room between fasteners subtract 3/16 X2 equalling 4 3/16 inch total.

Step 8: Cutting the Final Height

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Once the overall height and width have been figured out use a square and straight edge to cut out your piece. Be careful when cutting across the cavities as your blade may want to wonder.

Step 9:

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Onto the tricky part. Cutting the split between fastener sizes. To determine the height of cut for each fastener size you need to take the fastener size and subtract the height of the head x2. So my first fastener length is 3 1/2 inch and I need to subtract 3/16 inch x2 for a total of 3 1/8 inch. Determine all the sizes required for the range of fasteners you are accommodating.

For my index the sizes are 5/8 (1), 1 1/8 (1 1/2), 1 5/8 (2), 2 1/8 (2 1/2), 2 5/8 (3), 3 1/8 (3 1/2). The 4 inch fastener is ignored as the location it is seated is the pre determined overall size of the part (The overall height is in excess by about 1/2 inch).

For this index my screw layout went as fallow. 4, 3 1/2 paired with 1, 3 paired with 1 1/2, 2 1/2 paired with 2. Layout all sizes from the outside edge of the part. Make sure that the 3 cavity hinge is included with each screw size along with the 10 cavities that the screws will occupy.

Once all is layed out, cut carfully and wherever there is a change in fastener size cut along the plastic vein so that it does not cut into the cavity that the screws occupy.

Step 10: Ream It Out

Picture of Ream It Out

Depending on your coroplast you may need to enlarge the holes so your fasteners will pull out with ease. To do this I used a 7/32 drill bit and ran it backwards in Ina drill to heat and stretch the plastic to the required size. Use a block of wood to press down and keep the part from wrapping around the drill bit.

Step 11: Cutting the Hinges

Picture of Cutting the Hinges

Determine the fold of your hinges. The 2 outer hinges fold in the same direction, the middle hinge folds opposite to the outside 2 to make an accordion like structure. Make sure that you mark this and don't cut them all on the same side or 2 adjacent on the same side as this will make the part fold incorrectly.

Step 12: Fill It With Fasteners!

Picture of Fill It With Fasteners!

Fill the holes with your fasteners. Test to make sure they all stay in but don't require much force To remove. Its better that they are a bit tight than too loose.

Congrats! You're done!

For additional spiffyness be sure to mark out the sizes of each fastener.

Comments

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-10-03

Great organizer design. Sure beats my usual system of loosely throwing them in a cup.

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