Intro: Backpack Organiser
I carry my laptop bag everywhere, I used to carry a toolbox too but I noticed that there were a small number of tools I needed all of the time. I tried dropping those tools into my bag but that meant damaging tools, lots of rummaging and weight sitting unevenly making the bag uncomfortable to carry long distances across sites. So I decided to rationalise the tool list and get organised.
Step 1: Get Started
You will need:
1 bag (my laptop bag has lots of compartments so I decided to use 2 of them)
Support material (something light like 2mm plastic but strong enough to take the weight of the tools, the tension of the elastic and hold cable ties. I got lucky and got a free offfcut of an aluminium composite material from a local sign manufacturer)
Wasteband elastic (I got this for E1 per meter from my local fabric store)
A measuring tape or ruler
A straight edge
Access to cutting and drilling equipment
Step 2: Measure, Cut & Layout
Take measurements from the INSIDE of the compartment you want to use for your organsier.
Mark and cut the material, I got lucky with this stuff as I just needed to score with a blade and break off.
The plated fitted but needed additional shaping to get the zips to close.
I then laid out all of the tools and worked out how to fit them all into the space I had.
Using my pen I made a small mark on each side of each item in order to indicate where the strap should be.
Step 3: Define Marks and Cut Slots
Using a straight edge and measuring tape I marked out all my small lines into 50mm long straight lines.
This marks the location of where the 50mm wide elasticated waste band material will pass through the board.
Ideally the slots would be punched or use a plunge saw, neither of which I have.
I used a tile cutter drill bit (one that can drill sideways for cutting). As you can see from the image some of the slots are very crooked/wobbly but they were cut by hand with a heavy drill so please forgive me.
Step 4: Add Webbing
Lace the webbing though the slots and pin at each end by perforating the elastic and passing cable ties through. Make sure to double the material over otherwise the cables may rip through.
Don't leave any slack in the elastic as this will mean your tools will fall out, it does stretch and it will loose some elasticity over time anyway.
Step 5: Fit the Tools
Insert the tools and make sure everything fits okay.
I actually had forgotten what went where and had to reference one of the earlier images. You may want to label or outline like a pegboard until you get used to where things go.
I now carry:
1 cable stripper
1 RJ45 crimp tool
1 box cutter
1 furrel crimp tool
3 screw drivers
1 profinet cable stripper
1 network cable
1 network cable tester
A couple of pens
A mobile phone emergency power bank
Step 6: Put the Plates in the Bag
Drop the plates in place, you can fix them back if you wish but I like to leave it that I can take them out and use them away from the bag if I want or, remove them if I am taking the laptop through the airport (they really don't like sharp things at security). This has made the bag more stable and organised and also stopped me cluttering up again!