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Any Ideas For Organizing A Contractors Work Van?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 17th 04, 05:53 AM
michael_m_MT
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Any Ideas For Organizing A Contractors Work Van?

hi friends

SHORT FORM - FOR BUSY PEOPLE:

could use some help in the arena of coming up with structures to
organize the standard boatload of pretty typical general
contractors' tools and materials in my boss' work van (i work with
him out of the same van).

i've no doubt many of you have come up with some sly ideas, and i'd
really appreciate any insights you might offer.

thanks,
michael in MT


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LONG FORM - FOR GUYS LIKE ME WHO LIVE IN REMOTE CABINS WITHOUT
TELEVISION MACHINES AND THE LIKE:


~~~~~ way optional OT: nice to be back msg~~~~~~~~~~~~
FWIW, i used to read a lot and post some on the 'wreck -- until 2+
years back when i moved into a teeny cabin with no phone (or
electricity or hot water or...) 4 mile ski in 3 months a year. not
everyone's idea of paradise, but it is mine, my dog's, and my
sweeetheart's.
i've recently built an super-directional antenna (based on a web
based schematic) out of a coffee can, pvc pipe, and about 600 feet
of dumpster found armature wire -- and viola! now i can link into
the UofMT wireless grid. wahoo! been lurking for a few months now.
i much missed the wreck. though i'm sad to see the legion of
trolls in the mix. so it goes...
~~~~~ way optional OT: babble ends ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i'm also lucky in that i'm working with a great guy (my boss). a
truly fine guy. he pays well, on-time, compliments my work when i
get it just so - and looks the other way when i don't. he's a
gifted finish carpenter and furniture maker who has taught me plenty.

now 99.999% of the time this fine guy is as calm as a buddist monk.
however yesterday he went ballistic when he couldn't find some
material we bought last week in our work van. i mean he was howling
and tossed most everything out (and into a snow drift). there was
no consoling him so i hid behind a tree as skil saws, chisels, even
a contractors saw went fly by. sheesh, i nearly dialed 911 and
asked them to send Marlon Perkins to shoot him with a tranquilizer
dart before he either had a heart attack of ripped the roof off the van.

so the point is we're having a real problem organizing the mass of
tools, materials, and paperwork in the work van. the van is kept
clean (it's my job to keep it clean and i empty it and vacuum it at
least once a week). but we really need a better system then the
rows of buckets, piles of stock, stacks of power tool boxes, and all
the other stuff i'm sure many of you work with most every day.

i've been assigned to design and build up an organizational system.
sounds easy, and should be. i'm a creative enough guy. but
he's given me a bunch of design/implementation restrictions that are
really making it tough -- such that 15 sketches into it i'm not
really making progress.

these restrictions (gospel/unchangeable - i tried, begged in fact) a

[1] no commercial rack systems (he can afford it but detests store
bought solutions - case in point, this guy carved his own toilet
seat.) no plastic tubs or boxes. essentially nothing store bought
or prefab.

[2] the existing hand built wooden shelves (12" wide, 16" apart,
with 2" lips, running the length of both sides of the interior) are
not to be removed.

[3] the spare tire bolted to the back of the drivers seat is to stay
"in-situ" -- my plan to mount it on the back of the van or under it
has been vetoed.

[4] i'm not to use any of the (to my eye perfect) old metal index
card file boxes (two drawers per box) nor the old metal single
drawer letter sized file cabinet boxes i saw as equally perfect (i
plucked them out of an old warehouse we had to clean before building
new offices in it). "make too much noise - and well probably open
on the road" he says - despite the fact i was going to frame sets of
them in wood, put window sash locks on each drawer, and line them
with carpet.

[5] there are to be no structures that span across the width of the
van - he wants to be able to walk (well, crawl, as he's 6'4") from
the back door to the front 2 seats.

[7] all power tools (mostly porter cable and milwaukee) are to stay
in their original metal carrying cases. we're talking 12 or 15 such
tools. to my mind that is a boatload of wasted space, but, i'm not
the boss.

~~~~~~~~~

on the upside he's given me a very generous budget of "up to a
grand" for materials and will pay my hourly for construction an
install. of course when he says materials, he means wood -- not
plastic or metal boxes, or most anything commercial/store bought.
essentially if what i come up with didn't start out as a seed grow
in the dirt he'll veto it.

that and he shown some slack in the past. I put a couple of 18"
length of 5" pvc on the ceiling to hold extension cords and he's
slowly come to like them after at first calling them "ugly
mutations". as if the inside of the work van is a living room or
something. sheesh...

~~~~~~~~~~

at present i'm thinking along the line of s set of 6'L x 22"W x 12"H
with two 1"x1" hardwood runners under each side with a length just
shy of the box length so that one box will stay but atop another. i
plan to round over the ends of these runners so that they slide in
and out (and over floors and carpet) easily. i'm thinking two 2.5"
dowel handles running across the boxes spaced about 2.5' apart
equidistant from the midpoint to carry them.

the width of the boxes is wider than i'd like, but will allow me to
fit the power tool boxes. i plan to optimize a box for each of the
major task types -- a finish carpentry box, a framing box, a
plumbing box, a drywall box, an electrical box, a painting/staining
box. i'll put dividers in each for what needs to go into them.
small areas for screws and nails; large areas for power tools. i
plan to lay all of the contents for each on the shop floor then
sketch dividers to match.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

well, that the whole of it.

i look forward to your ideas - and thank you in advance for them.

be well,

michael in MT



~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Follows~~~~~~~~~~
"The dullest end of the pencil is the top of your head" -Franz Kafka
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
-Thomas Edison
"If at first you don't succeed, forget skydiving." -Launegayer
"If all the girls who attended the Harvard-Yale game were laid end
to end, I wouldn't be surprised." -Dorothy Parker
~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Ends~~~~~~~~~~~~
This email sent using 100% recycled electrons

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  #2  
Old March 17th 04, 01:14 PM
James D. Kountz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Any Ideas For Organizing A Contractors Work Van?

Check out the Toolbox Book from Jim Tolpin. Search amazon they have it. The
work van conversion he shows in that book is pretty amazing and should give
you some good ideas.

Jim


"michael_m_MT" wrote in message
...
hi friends

SHORT FORM - FOR BUSY PEOPLE:

could use some help in the arena of coming up with structures to
organize the standard boatload of pretty typical general
contractors' tools and materials in my boss' work van (i work with
him out of the same van).

i've no doubt many of you have come up with some sly ideas, and i'd
really appreciate any insights you might offer.

thanks,
michael in MT


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LONG FORM - FOR GUYS LIKE ME WHO LIVE IN REMOTE CABINS WITHOUT
TELEVISION MACHINES AND THE LIKE:


~~~~~ way optional OT: nice to be back msg~~~~~~~~~~~~
FWIW, i used to read a lot and post some on the 'wreck -- until 2+
years back when i moved into a teeny cabin with no phone (or
electricity or hot water or...) 4 mile ski in 3 months a year. not
everyone's idea of paradise, but it is mine, my dog's, and my
sweeetheart's.
i've recently built an super-directional antenna (based on a web
based schematic) out of a coffee can, pvc pipe, and about 600 feet
of dumpster found armature wire -- and viola! now i can link into
the UofMT wireless grid. wahoo! been lurking for a few months now.
i much missed the wreck. though i'm sad to see the legion of
trolls in the mix. so it goes...
~~~~~ way optional OT: babble ends ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i'm also lucky in that i'm working with a great guy (my boss). a
truly fine guy. he pays well, on-time, compliments my work when i
get it just so - and looks the other way when i don't. he's a
gifted finish carpenter and furniture maker who has taught me plenty.

now 99.999% of the time this fine guy is as calm as a buddist monk.
however yesterday he went ballistic when he couldn't find some
material we bought last week in our work van. i mean he was howling
and tossed most everything out (and into a snow drift). there was
no consoling him so i hid behind a tree as skil saws, chisels, even
a contractors saw went fly by. sheesh, i nearly dialed 911 and
asked them to send Marlon Perkins to shoot him with a tranquilizer
dart before he either had a heart attack of ripped the roof off the van.

so the point is we're having a real problem organizing the mass of
tools, materials, and paperwork in the work van. the van is kept
clean (it's my job to keep it clean and i empty it and vacuum it at
least once a week). but we really need a better system then the
rows of buckets, piles of stock, stacks of power tool boxes, and all
the other stuff i'm sure many of you work with most every day.

i've been assigned to design and build up an organizational system.
sounds easy, and should be. i'm a creative enough guy. but
he's given me a bunch of design/implementation restrictions that are
really making it tough -- such that 15 sketches into it i'm not
really making progress.

these restrictions (gospel/unchangeable - i tried, begged in fact) a

[1] no commercial rack systems (he can afford it but detests store
bought solutions - case in point, this guy carved his own toilet
seat.) no plastic tubs or boxes. essentially nothing store bought
or prefab.

[2] the existing hand built wooden shelves (12" wide, 16" apart,
with 2" lips, running the length of both sides of the interior) are
not to be removed.

[3] the spare tire bolted to the back of the drivers seat is to stay
"in-situ" -- my plan to mount it on the back of the van or under it
has been vetoed.

[4] i'm not to use any of the (to my eye perfect) old metal index
card file boxes (two drawers per box) nor the old metal single
drawer letter sized file cabinet boxes i saw as equally perfect (i
plucked them out of an old warehouse we had to clean before building
new offices in it). "make too much noise - and well probably open
on the road" he says - despite the fact i was going to frame sets of
them in wood, put window sash locks on each drawer, and line them
with carpet.

[5] there are to be no structures that span across the width of the
van - he wants to be able to walk (well, crawl, as he's 6'4") from
the back door to the front 2 seats.

[7] all power tools (mostly porter cable and milwaukee) are to stay
in their original metal carrying cases. we're talking 12 or 15 such
tools. to my mind that is a boatload of wasted space, but, i'm not
the boss.

~~~~~~~~~

on the upside he's given me a very generous budget of "up to a
grand" for materials and will pay my hourly for construction an
install. of course when he says materials, he means wood -- not
plastic or metal boxes, or most anything commercial/store bought.
essentially if what i come up with didn't start out as a seed grow
in the dirt he'll veto it.

that and he shown some slack in the past. I put a couple of 18"
length of 5" pvc on the ceiling to hold extension cords and he's
slowly come to like them after at first calling them "ugly
mutations". as if the inside of the work van is a living room or
something. sheesh...

~~~~~~~~~~

at present i'm thinking along the line of s set of 6'L x 22"W x 12"H
with two 1"x1" hardwood runners under each side with a length just
shy of the box length so that one box will stay but atop another. i
plan to round over the ends of these runners so that they slide in
and out (and over floors and carpet) easily. i'm thinking two 2.5"
dowel handles running across the boxes spaced about 2.5' apart
equidistant from the midpoint to carry them.

the width of the boxes is wider than i'd like, but will allow me to
fit the power tool boxes. i plan to optimize a box for each of the
major task types -- a finish carpentry box, a framing box, a
plumbing box, a drywall box, an electrical box, a painting/staining
box. i'll put dividers in each for what needs to go into them.
small areas for screws and nails; large areas for power tools. i
plan to lay all of the contents for each on the shop floor then
sketch dividers to match.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

well, that the whole of it.

i look forward to your ideas - and thank you in advance for them.

be well,

michael in MT



~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Follows~~~~~~~~~~
"The dullest end of the pencil is the top of your head" -Franz Kafka
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
-Thomas Edison
"If at first you don't succeed, forget skydiving." -Launegayer
"If all the girls who attended the Harvard-Yale game were laid end
to end, I wouldn't be surprised." -Dorothy Parker
~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Ends~~~~~~~~~~~~
This email sent using 100% recycled electrons



  #3  
Old March 17th 04, 02:28 PM
BUB 209
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Any Ideas For Organizing A Contractors Work Van?

All the scads of good ideas for
organizing your van are hexed by
one factor - The likelyhood of
getting ripped off.
I've tried so many different systems
it isn't funny, but for the last few
years I've just followed these
guidelines:
Drive a cargo van with no side or
back windows - If they can't see
in, why break in?
Lock it up no matter how long you
think you'll be away.
Keep the tools scattered around the
truck (you can do this neatly) so
that everything can't be taken in
one package.
Don't take anything you think you
won't need to a jobsite.
I know a contractor who made a
false floor about a foot deep in his
truck that has hatches and big
drawers. He did it for security reasons
and it seems to work pretty well for
him.
Lastly, call your local radio station
that runs ads for mega-fleamarkets
who tout "visit our giant outdoor
section for all kind of tool bargains,"
and protest.


  #4  
Old March 18th 04, 08:19 AM
michael_m_MT
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Any Ideas For Organizing A Contractors Work Van?

James D. Kountz wrote:
Check out the Toolbox Book from Jim Tolpin. Search amazon they have it. The
work van conversion he shows in that book is pretty amazing and should give
you some good ideas.
Jim


you know, i actually own a well worn copy of Tolpin's Toolbox book
-- and I'd forgotten that section.

Many thanks for the info, Jim

michael

~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Follows~~~~~~~~~~
"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster. And if you gaze
long into the Abyss, the Abyss gazes into you." -Fred Nietzsche
"Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath
any honesty in him." --Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Ends~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse...

  #5  
Old March 18th 04, 09:32 AM
michael_m_MT
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Any Ideas For Organizing A Contractors Work Van?

BUB 209 wrote, in part:

All the scads of good ideas for organizing your van are hexed by one
factor - The likelyhood of getting ripped off.


good point. most of our work sites are pretty rural. but then we
do go to town for lunch, materials, and the like. i'd hardly win an
prizes if what i come up with for my boss' van ends up being perfect
packages for a quick heist.


I've tried so many different systems it isn't funny, but for the last
few years I've just followed these guidelines:


Drive a cargo van with no side or back windows
If they can't see in, why break in?


check. it is a cargo van, but has windows on the side door set.
those i can make opaque. i don't think my boss would dig me
blacking out the windows in the back doors - but perhaps some of
that mylar see through mirror film.

Lock it up no matter how long you think you'll be away.


huh. good point, of course. but my boss doesn't even believe in
locking his house ("i don't want to live anywhere where you have to
lock your own front door" he says)

what i might do given this peccadillo of his is wire up a couple
blinking red LED's to go on when the ignition is off. i did this
for myself and friends when i went off to the "big city" (well,
"middling city" - new haven) for school. hell of a change from my
'ute in MT.

anyway, for $5 in radio shack parts it's easy to wire up a series of
blinking red LED's. the power draw is trivial; it'd take years for
them to draw down the battery. in all, kind of a poor man's
"burglar alarm" -- enough to make a miscreant sh*thead pass it by
for another vehicle less likely to 'go off' -- or so i found in the
worst ghetto of 'blue haven'

another good head's up.

Keep the tools scattered around the truck (you can do this neatly)
so that everything can't be taken in one package.


see your point here. but then it was the 'scatter' effect that blew
the bosses otherwise very high amp fuse.

Don't take anything you think you won't need to a jobsite.


this too is a good idea, but it'd be hard to sell 'the big kahuna'
on this -- as where we work it is typically an hour or more round
trip to go get a tool left in the shop. hmmmm. well, i'll run this
by him.

I know a contractor who made a false floor about a foot deep in his
truck that has hatches and big drawers. He did it for security reasons
and it seems to work pretty well for him.


huh... now that might work out well - as in addition to security
putting my planned long boxes under a sturdy false floor (carpeted
and all, with a couple cheap odds and ends on it) offers the
additional advantage of letting the kahuna slither easily from back
doors to driver's seat as he wishes. also make it easy to put
materials (2x's, ply, and the like) in without knocking over every
other bucket, toolbox, and can of stain.

my friend you've sent me in an excellent direction. the creative
juices are flowing (wither that or i've just wet my pants...)

many thanks.

Lastly, call your local radio station that runs ads for mega-fleamarkets
who tout "visit our giant outdoor section for all kind of tool bargains,"
and protest.


see your point. i lost 2 firmer chisels at one work site. they
belonged to my grandfather. i'd recognize them at 200 yds. if i
were to ever see them, anywhere, on anyone, well ... oh my. i'm a
devote passivist. however my dog bob isn't. he's 7/8 timber wolf
1/8 malamute. tips the toledo at 160lbs and there's not an ounce of
fat on him. you know how some dogs bring home a bird or rabbit for
their masters? bob brought me home a 250lb+ mule deer. and that
when he was only a year old.

yeah, i'm a passivist but bob isn't. i need only say the word and
he would rip any miscreant holding those chisels into small pieces
then lick the marrow from their bones. fwiw, i've trained him to
only respond to commands in Nepali. wouldn't want some jerk or even
just a good soul to say the wrong word, for the results would be
apocalyptic. good thing that outside of khatmandu, pretty much only
only my lady and i know that word. just as a test i gave him that
command while pointing at a raccoon who'd upended the compost can.
oh my. a roto-tiller couldn't have done more damage. so i know it
works. just hope i never have to use it on anything other than the
occasion rabid coyote who visits

yeow i've become a verbose curmudgeon in my dotage (40 is coming on
fast). that and i'm irish and one of 11 kids. oh my. well, pardon
my prattle.

and again, many thanks for taking the time to share your tips. for
that idea of a 'secret floor' really lit the jets. and i suspect
that, if properly executed, it'll light the boss' jets as well.
heck, might even get an elk tenderloin dinner out of it. i helped
him ski/drag half of an 8x out of "there" so i know he's got some in
the freezer. ever had elk tenderloin? in comparison, fillet mignon
taste like a work boot. oops, prattling again. enough already...


thanks. be well,


michael in MT


~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Follows~~~~~~~~~~
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You
pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do
you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you
send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is
that there is no cat."
-Albert Einstein, answering a reporter's question as to how
wireless telegraph worked.
~~~~~~~~~~~~OB:OtrPplQuoteWad Ends~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ring around the Internet,
Packet with a bit not set,
SYN ACK SYN ACK,
We all go down.

 




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