In this Instructable I will show you how I turned an oil filter cardboard box, masking tape, and transformer wire into a labeling system that I now use for my storage of shop items and/or car parts.
The idea could be expanded into many household uses and the items used could be substituted with many different materials.
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Step 1: Professional Parts Tag
Pictured above is a professional parts tag. You'll probably receive one attached to your cylinder head if you had it resurfaced, valves reground, etc. It could be attached to any other random item or service that required that business to identify that it whatever it was, belonged to you and the work that got done to it.
I like this method of identifying something because, it looks professional, doesn't leave residue like tape can, and doesn't fall off of greasy/oily surfaces like tape alone can. I can write all of the details of a certain part, if its used, or what happened, why it failed, the date it was removed, etc.
The only thing that bothers me about these tags is, the fact that you would have to buy something so simple. Its just a piece of cardstock with a hole reinforcement, and a thin piece of wire. That's it.
Step 2: Cut the Tags to Size
Disassemble your oil filter box so that its all one flat piece. I chose the oil filter box because its a type of smooth, single layer cardboard (not corrugated). There are many other boxes that are like this. In the shop there are nitrile gloves box, or gasket boxes to name a couple. In the home, kleenex boxes, cereal boxes, pasta boxes, etc. There is plenty of this material and it makes a nice parts tag.
Once disassembled, I cut the sections out by their folds with a standard pair of scissors. Then I just cut them in half or in thirds and this was all by eyeball. I just kind of winged it for the size I wanted. Its not the type of thing that has to be exactly perfect although if you wished, it could totally be done. After the general size was established, I could trim the corners off for that professional look.
Depending on the size of your material, a large paper cutter would be really nice for this step. Scissors work just fine though.
Step 3: Reinforce and Punch Holes
Once the tags were cut out, I used piece of masking tape to wrap over the end as a hole reinforcement with tape on both sides and over the end. You could use the professional hole reinforcements if you had them. I like the look of the green masking tape personally.
With the tape on, I took my hole punch and punched a hole in the center of tape at a reasonable depth. Again, just by eyeball. My hole punch has a smaller hole than standard, but its solid so I like using it. A standard size hole punch would work just as well.
Step 4: Transformer Wire
Probably not the best idea. I had a large transformer that turned into toast for some reason and so I tore it apart thinking I was going to use the center section for something. The wire I was just going to recycle. I think its actually aluminum, not 100% sure though.
They pieces of wire turned out to be pre-cut, mostly to the same length, right size of wire pieces that I could attach my tags to parts with.
You could easily use some hobby wire, small zip ties, etc. I'm just using what I had.
Step 5: Attach Them to Things!
Once all the tags are finished, you can put the wire through the hole and tie them to things. The first picture was the amount of tags I got out of one small block chevy oil filter box.
The second picture is just an example of the things I would write on certain parts. Sorry that the text is upside down and about my handwriting. I can read it:D.
The final picture is of the tags and wire attached to one of my part storage shelves with a couple of bulldog clips for quick and easy access. Anytime I put a part on the shelf and need to label it, all the items I need are right there.
I hope this is useful or inspirational in some way. Thanks for checking it out!