Durable hardware organizers lock to pegboard for ultimate customizability
I finally found a use for that pegboard in my shop. I've struggled for years to find the right configuration of hooks to store my tools in that picture perfect way you see in all of the woodworking shows. In my father's shop, we even cut cardboard silhouettes of the tools, and used them as templates to paint images of each tool on the pegboard hoping the tools would make it back where they belonged. It failed.
Pegboard always seems like a good idea, but for tools, I've moved more to a shelf/drawer system. But I kept the 4x8 sheet of plywood tacked to my shop wall, because, well… it should be good for something.
Then, at the Maker's Faire in New York City in late September, I came across Smart Jars. These jars have a base that clicks into pegboard, and a clear plastic jar with a hinged snap-lock lid, that snaps in and out of the base. These jars are one of the neatest organizational things I've seen. The company had a booth at the Faire, and every time I walked by, it was packed. I hoped to talk to the reps, and request a sample, but, frankly, I couldn't get close enough to talk to them. As soon as I got back from the Faire, I sent an e-mail off and requested a sample. My sample arrived a few days later, and since then, a steady stream of my co-workers has fallen in love with the jars.
In practice, they work as well as I expected. I can set the jars up in any configuration on the pegboard. The bases hold tight enough that you can remove just the jars, but they are easy to remove and reposition. The jars snap closed tightly, and hold tightly. I use them for hardware, and even a few small tools.
Right now, there is only one size, but I've talked with the product developer, who designed them to hold bulk herbs and spices, and if their Kick Starter campaign goes well, they plan to develop different sizes. Depending on the sizes, I can see them being useful for everything from scroll saw blades to chisels, gouges, and knives. Even power carving bits! Toy wheels, axles, short dowels, biscuits, tubing, wire, really just about anything you want to keep organized. They're equally useful outside the shop in the kitchen, craft room, sewing room, or even a kids room (for markers, crayons, stickers, etc.). These really are fundamental organizational tools!
(Kick Starter, by the way, is a micro-funding program to help developers launch projects. Essentially, you agree to help fund the initial development of a project, and in return, the developer promises to send you some of the product if the campaign is successful. There are several levels you can participate at, and each level comes with it's own benefits. With this project, you essentially pay in advance for your Smart Jars.)
You can find Smart Jars online at www.smartjars.com. But to get an early-in, you can contribute to their Kick Starter campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smartjars/smartjars-pegboard-organizer.
One of my co-workers has already contributed to the campaign, and several more are considering contributing.