My shop at work is in two separate rooms. I've been thinking about getting a utility cart for carrying my most used tools from room to room and from machine to machine: micrometers, drills, taps, indicators, etc., without having to roll my heavy box and roller cabinet around. Is anyone doing this? What kind of cart are you using? How is it set up, shelves, tool stands, drawers? Thanks.
I have two carts. Roughly, one holds lathe tooling and the other mill tooling. Quickchange toolholders, center drills, tailstock chucks/keys on the lathe cart. Collets, end mill holders, drill chuck, boring head/bars, edge finder, clamping, parallels on the mill table. Below go less used stuff like the radius turning attachment and the spindle nose Jacobs collet chuck and collets. Ear muffs hang on the handles and machine-specific wrenches hang from S hooks.
These are just sheet metal rolling carts I buy from Boeing Surplus, or used to.
Don't really have a need for it in our current digs, but in the past I've used a cart that had a nice rack in the top for tool holders. Had it been set up with an area to hold all the other tools you mentioned, plus a few more someone else will want, it really would have been the stinky poopoo. What's the best layout? Perhaps the answer lies in creating a list of what you want to cart around, looking at it after working for a week and making revisions, and then deciding how you want to store that stuff. That will tell you how many tool holder holes, drawers, hooks, velcro spots, or whatever else you want. If it were me, I would get a cart that can support a lot of weight .
Space in our shop is at a premium, and because of this we don't have the luxury of moving our roll-a-ways to the machine we happen to be working at. So I bought a little red cheapie cart from Harbor Freight. I put a piece of carpet in it and use it to carry precision tools, CNC tool holders, parts, etc. It's very handy and can be parked just about anywhere.
Carts work great as long as everything gets put away at the end of the day. Otherwise they will just collect junk and more junk. It only takes a few minutes to load in the morning and wipe down and put stuff away at the end of the day.
I set up carts by project. I'll have the raw stock, semi-finished, and finished parts all gathered on the cart. Any special tooling, tools, etc to accomplish that one project are also located on the cart. I can then roll it to whichever machine I need for a particular step, or roll it in a corner when a more pressing project rears its ugly head. Then later, when I get back to the original project, all the parts, pieces, etc are all right there ready to go again.
Of course this requires a bit of planning and discipline to get organized before starting a project. But it has the advantage that projects which get interrupted, and far too many do, don't get permanently thrown off track.
This doesn't work for everything. Some projects are too big to go on a cart, some are so small that the cart would be mostly empty, and a tempting place to pile some unrelated items. But it works well for a surpising number of different projects.
I know this response is essentially the opposite of what you have in mind, but perhaps it may strike a chord with someone as a way to make use of carts to organize their work.
I LOVE die carts. Use it as a cart to roll anything around. Adjustable height makes it easy to raise/lower something like a vise, lathe chuck, rotary table, heavy part, or whatever to the level of the lathe, mill, bandsaw, cabinet, etc. Saves my back. I also use it as a support for long material when welding or sawing.
New, they are spendy. Most machine shop auctions have several.
I totally agree Karl! They are great for general usage in the shop. You can start loading them down with parts and not have to worry about being overloaded. The ability to move heavy items around to a table, lift just to the correct height and slide it off with a minimal effort is very nice. Most of them have locking casters which is also a nice convenience and safety factor. You're right about a lot of them selling at auction for a reasonable price.
||My shop at work is in two separate rooms. I've been thinking about ||getting a utility cart for carrying my most used tools from room to room ||and from machine to machine: micrometers, drills, taps, indicators, ||etc., without having to roll my heavy box and roller cabinet around. Is ||anyone doing this? What kind of cart are you using? How is it set up, ||shelves, tool stands, drawers? Thanks.
I use several HF carts. One is loaded with fasteners, another holds only battery chargers and other battery maintenance items. Another has a small MIG welder in the bottom, Chop saw and related tools in the top. All carts are the right height to roll under a workbench, where they are stored between needs.
I also have a couple of those rollaround task tables. Adjustable height, approx
24x30 top, with compartments for small parts. These are perfect for tools and parts for a particular task. Cost about $30 at Pep Boys or Wally-World. Rex in Fort Worth