I collect a lot of odd nuts, bolts and washers. Dad kept a coffee can of various sizes that we would search for the right sizes. Now that I have my own shop I have drawers for most all the sizes. But how do I quickly sort them into the right drawer?
Step 1: Laying Out the Plywood
So I took a scrap of 1/2" plywood and drilled holes in it for all the various sizes, #0 to #10, 1/4" to 1/2" and M3 to M12. I found a bolt in each size at least an inch long. Then I spread the bolts along two lines on the plywood, one for English sizes and one for Metric sizes. When I liked the spacing I marked each center and the bolt size. I measured the diameter of each one and picking a drill just a bit smaller I drilled holes for each bolt. Also drill a big hole to hang it up on the wall.
Step 2: Pressing the Bolts In
After drilling all the holes and sanding off the burrs I pressed all the bolts into their holes. If you have a loose one you can use some glue, or put a nut on the front side. ( I did )
Step 3: How I Use the Nut & Washer Sorter
So sorting washers is the easiest, just find the largest bolt the washer fits over. I keep all my washers sorted by English sizes, for Metric I use the closest size that looks good. If it fits over the bolt I just let them drop until the bolt is full and then transfer them all to the drawer.
For nuts I try to twist the nut onto the bolt. I only put the most common sizes on: 1/4"-20 and skipped 1/4"-28. If it spins on it is the common size, if not it must be the other size. Metric fine threads are uncommon, so not much sorting there.
So I keep this Nut & Washer Sorter hanging on the wall next to the drawers so it is handy as I store the odd fasteners. For serious sorting I pull it off the wall and use it at the work bench. Hope you find this easy to build and fun to use.
Good luck, Carl.