Author Topic: Systainers in Shop  (Read 3266 times)

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Offline JimD

  • Posts: 397
Systainers in Shop
« on: September 16, 2019, 11:37 AM »
I built a little stand yesterday afternoon to support my track saw (DeWalt) and Domino XL under my work bench.  I've been putting the track saw on it's case but that wasted space and I wanted a location for the domino.  My shop is small, 14x24 feet, and I rarely work outside of it.  So I do not find the cases for my tools, including the systainer, to be useful in the shop.  Both these tools and a drawer for the spare cutters/blades fits into less space than either tool case takes up.

Do you use your systainers in the shop?  Or do you frequently use your tools away from the shop so storage in the systainer makes sense even if it isn't ideal in the shop?

It seems like the systainer is viewed as a good feature of Festools but for my situation, it doesn't seem to make sense to use it.  I am planning to make a high shelf in a utility room off my garage for all the infreqently used tools and tool cases to reside. 

Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 12:24 PM »
I go back on forth on that issue.
I primarily work on a different job site every day. Quick and easy transportation of my tools, including knowing exactly where they are is important to me. Back in the shop it’s a little less important. But I find I have the room and like the systainer system.
But I do get frustrated knowing that without the box I could store about 3 of any given tool in the same space 1 tool in a systainer takes up...
if space is a big issue for you I would recommend making custom spots for all your tools. A  place they belong and are safe. It can be a shelf or something built just to size. Hey if you aren’t using systainers that takes about $70-100 off (after resale) every festool tool anyway!

Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 86
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 01:49 PM »
My shop is also small at 20' x 24'. And 99% of my work is in the shop. I found that the systainers took up too much precious space. When I built a rolling MFT3 type table I sized the drawers to replace the systainers. Now I can fit two track saws with misc accessories and spare parts in one drawer. The DF500 with accessories is in another drawer. And five sanders with a bunch of sandpaper occupy another. I have saved all of my systainers for the rare road trip (they're extremely handy for that). But I don't like them in the shop.

 
Barney

Online nvalinski

  • Posts: 99
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 04:20 PM »
My shop is 12 x 20. I love storing everything in systainers under a bench, have yet to build drawers for them all. For me, I end up spreading into the driveway or parts of the house, and do a fair amount of work outside of the shop. Easy for me to identify my different colored systainers for a task, stack them together, and use those in a localized area, then put them back at the end of a task.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1869
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 06:11 PM »
I found that the systainers took up too much precious space.
I agree. If you are shop bound systainers waste space.
Not only large drawers provide denser storage, but they require fewer moves to access things (as your pictures clearly show).
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 06:54 PM by Svar »

Online deepcreek

  • Posts: 845
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 08:03 PM »
@BarneyD

Thanks for the photo.  Our shop is 24x24 and nowadays we are in it 99.99% of the time.

When we used to do cabinetry and trim carpentry, the systainers were great for transport and organization.

Now they just seem to take up a lot of space and actually prove to be cumbersome when switching between tools.

We are planning to build an 3x6-foot MFT style outfeed table for the table saw that will double as a workbench and have storage underneath.

The plan is to design it like you did and size the drawers for the tools without systainers.  We will keep the systainers in storage just in case we go mobile.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 596
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 01:02 AM »
A systainer takes up more volume than the tool without systainer,  but Systainers save space.

I now have 40+ of them.  I now have more space than ever and it's really simple.  They give you a common size block.  Without the systainer you have tools laying around, or have to be put in something. So basically you have random tool piles.  Stuff gets lost and scattered.  With systainers the tool has a place, plus all the stuff that goes with it.  Unlike other manufactures who make cases, festool don't optimize the case to the tool, they pick what it will fit in, and so you have a common stack, plus extra room for stuff that gets added to the kit.  You can almost never get stuff back into other tool brand cases as they are custom made for that tool and everything fits in a very particular way.  You don't have to be very perfect with the systainers. Since they are their own good storage, you can stack them up anyplace, I have a bunch of the sys-carts and so the tools live on them, most the time the ones I use at that time are on the top of each stack.   

All the stuff for the tools are with them, they stay clean. I can pile them up, don't have to make a place to put them.  And if I need to go from house to garage, or out in the yard, different floor, or down to a neighbors, just grab the ones I need and I'm out the door.   

Once I bought systainers for all my tools it was amazing how much cleaner things were, space savings, organized, and easier to do stuff.  I even bought some that seamed silly/over priced like the caulk one.  It's great. No more piles of tubes rolling away, or plastic bags with tips poking thru.  Everything is in there, included caps for tubes, openers, pokers. It's a one stop place for them and means I no longer have a tube of something I forget about and I buy more of something just to find I had a tube of something and now it's too old. It looks like a waste of space until you use it and you find it is just right.

Sure you can put the tools in other things like cabinets, but now you have to have cabinets, or drawers and those move around less easy and take up their own space.   I buy tools now based on ensuring I can find a way to set them up in a systainer. 

I'm not a mobile contractor, just a person with a house. But I want stuff to be easily moved, and with a common package.  Plus if I get to having cabinets, the systainers can all fit in them just fine, a solid mass of them, and I can almost guarantee it will be packed more dense than not having them while being far easier to get at stuff.

I found it was very easy to get in the habit of putting the tools back in their cases during the course of a project or every night during cleanup. Keeps sanity nicely.  Plus now I'm no longer digging all over the place to find a wrench for a tools, or extra blades, and such, it's all right there.  A lot of tools that need additional tools like a screw driver or something I just bought one for that tool and put it in the systainer with it, so now no going to find it in a different tool box, anything that tool needs is right there.

I had tools on shelves and tables and scattered all over for a long time, never going back to that.  That's not to say I wouldn't mind having a proper shop setup and have cabinets with drawers with systainers on them, but the cases or something like them is staying long term.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1869
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 03:07 AM »
Plus if I get to having cabinets, the systainers can all fit in them just fine, a solid mass of them, and I can almost guarantee it will be packed more dense than not having them while being far easier to get at stuff.
Look at the picture BarneyD posted. Top drawer, that's content of 5 systainers right there.

Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 86
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2019, 08:01 PM »
@deepcreek  Hi Joe,

Don't forget to allocate some shallow space for the little stuff. Maybe you could even get yours a bit more organized than my mess.



Good luck,
Barney
Barney

Offline jjowen

  • Posts: 131
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 10:53 PM »
I have a single-car garage where I have to move the car to do anything. I am definitely in the back-in-the-systainer-at-the-end-of-the day camp. Shuffling stacks was tedious, but with each systainer on its own drawer it becomes very quick to grab the tool you want. I also have a stack of 4 x sort/3 for all my non-festool items. You still have to store the systainers anyway?

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Offline JimD

  • Posts: 397
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2019, 02:09 PM »
Seems like it clearly can work either way but I am definitely headed Barney's way.  I already have a lot of my tools either in dedicated fixtures on the wall or in drawers.  I have a 3x7 Paulk style work bench/outfeed table and the storage area under it needs to be a lot better organized.  I bet systainers work for other tools better but there is a Ton of wasted space in the large systainer that came with my Domino XL.  I put tool cases up on a shelf high on the wall where a step ladder may be needed to get it.  I find they can be useful but not most of the time. 

A place to park the track saw and Domino was the first step of organizing the storage area of the workbench.  I also need something like his clamp drawer badly.  Clamps are currently just laying loose on the under layer of the top and are hard to find.  Big clamps will be in another area but the clamps to hold things to the bench, like are in Barney's picture, would be better in a drawer on the bench. 

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 159
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2019, 04:04 PM »
I bet systainers work for other tools better but there is a Ton of wasted space in the large systainer that came with my Domino XL.
I don't have a Domino XL, but do have a TS 75; I think that using the same footprint and having tools on the diagonal like the TS75 definitely wastes space.  If they switch to a Systainer 3 L for some of the tools (or even a taller MIDI), then it would be much more space efficient IMO than the diagonal.  That said, having multiple footprints eliminates some of the systainer advantages.  Whether two is one too many, I do not know.  The Planex does come in a MAXI which is even less compatible than the Minis or I suppose systainer 3s.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 596
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2019, 08:16 PM »
I bet systainers work for other tools better but there is a Ton of wasted space in the large systainer that came with my Domino XL.
I don't have a Domino XL, but do have a TS 75; I think that using the same footprint and having tools on the diagonal like the TS75 definitely wastes space.  If they switch to a Systainer 3 L for some of the tools (or even a taller MIDI), then it would be much more space efficient IMO than the diagonal.  That said, having multiple footprints eliminates some of the systainer advantages.  Whether two is one too many, I do not know.  The Planex does come in a MAXI which is even less compatible than the Minis or I suppose systainer 3s.

That's just it, the benefit is the common footprint. That was in part what caused me to toss all the cases my non-festool stuff came with. Having a stack of cases of all different sizes makes for storage heck as they really can't be stored in any good way.  If companies plan tools around systainers they can deal with a lot of the small issues. Things like angle grinders where the cord is just a bit to long on the one end to fit in the insert well, or situations like my saw saw where I had to get the tallest one to make it fit, it's not an ideal situation but I didn't want to go to a maxi, as that gets big in a different way and isn't t-loc.  I have a Planex, that case sits up on a shelf for now as it doesn't package with anything else.  Same reasons I didn't by the midi containers, they mess up the whole system.

I think a lot of folks look at "wasted space" the wrong way. What is so nice is when you don't have to perfectly arrange everything to get it back in. Sure you might be able to go to one size smaller systainer, but it just make it harder to put things away. I don't want to have to fiddle with it so much. One of the great things is the speed in which you put the tools in and out of the container. A great case against putting tools in cases like systainers is if it take a lot of time or work to get them in and out.  If it's something that rarely gets used, then packing it in a bit tighter makes sense, but for every day stuff, keep it roomy.

I do think Tanos could have done better by having more heights, basically in between heights of all they have. As sometimes a 1/2 Sys I is what you need. Or having to go to the next size up all because of a couple mm is anoying as the jump is rather big.  A design with a top and a base with add in spacer rings could have been neat.

Offline bobmeister

  • Posts: 27
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2019, 06:48 PM »
While I generally like the standard footprint imposed by systainers, now that I've migrated to the cordless TS55 I've found that there's no way to leave the dust bag attached and fit the saw in the systainer.  So I either have to disconnect it every time, (which is a pain, and also makes it's impossible to just grab & go the next time, as I then have to re-attach it), or I have to leave the saw outside of the systainer with the bag attached, with kinda defeats the "system".  Ugh.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1459
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 11:41 AM »
I have moved quite some things that came in systainers into SORT/3 drawers, to both reduce volume and improve accessibility (as the drawers don't require unstacking).

Where it made sense I replaced the tool systainers with the combi variants and filled the drawer with the accessories for that machine (paper for the sanders, router bits and needed tools to change them for the OF, additional batteries, bits, drills and a T18 on the C18 one) which helps to keep stuff together. Though it makes the individual tool systainer heavier and bigger it's quite convenient as it makes it easier to bring everything I need when I have to take a tool outside the shop (as I can't forget to bring the accesories).

Plus I can stack away the excess tools (which I don't need for the current project) and fill the limited drawer space I have with the systainers that contain what I need to access at the moment.

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 397
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2019, 07:59 AM »
I currently don't think I want frequently used tools in Systainers or drawers (while working in my shop) but if I had to choose it would be drawers.  Drawers don't have to fit a standardized footprint, they can be customized to store the tool where it is handy to get to.  The little stand I built does not require me to even pull out a drawer.  The track saw and Domino can just be lifted off their shelf, hooked to power and vacuum, and used.  If I had either of them in the systainer, I would have to slide out a drawer like shelf, open the systainer and proceed.  Not a lot of extra steps but at least one more.  And the sliding shelf wastes a little space too, about the same amount of space the drawer for the extra domino cutters and track saw blades takes up. 

Creating a space for each tool where it goes when not in active use solves several issues and I completely agree with it.  I hate searching for tools.  I am just not sure systainers is a great shop solution if space is very limited and out-of-shop use is also very limited.  I also think those of you with walls of systainers have a nice looking setup but I don't think I have the space to do that. 

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 546
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2019, 08:09 AM »
Where it made sense I replaced the tool systainers with the combi variants and filled the drawer with the accessories for that machine (paper for the sanders, router bits and needed tools to change them for the OF, additional batteries, bits, drills and a T18 on the C18 one) which helps to keep stuff together. Though it makes the individual tool systainer heavier and bigger it's quite convenient as it makes it easier to bring everything I need when I have to take a tool outside the shop (as I can't forget to bring the accesories).

In theory this is an excellent option, but in practice using combi systainers in racks with the official FS drawers is a pita — you need to fully open the drawer, and tip back the systainer to access the drawer of the combi.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

TS55 · TS55R · OF1010 · DF500 Mk2 · MFT/3 + TSB1-MW 1000 + VL + CMS TS55 + CMS PS300 + LA-CS 70/CMS · CTL Midi · RTS400 EQ · 2 x CXS Li 1,5 · T15+3 Li 4,2 · TI15 Impact Li 4,2 · Centrotec Sets 2008 + 2015 · PSB300 · LR32-SYS · RO150 · Kapex KS120 · 2 x MFK700 · RO90 · OFK700 · BS75 · OFK500 · OF2200 · CMS-GE … | Mirka 1230L P&C | Hammer A3 31 Silent Power · Hammer N4400 · Hammer HS950 (soon!) 

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1459
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2019, 12:08 PM »
using combi systainers in racks with the official FS drawers is a pita — you need to fully open the drawer, and tip back the systainer to access the drawer of the combi.
One of the reasons I skipped the festool drawer slides (which here go for 28€ incl. VAT per piece at the cheapest, when getting them in 5 packs) and used 2.5€ drawer slides (pair) and a piece of MDF (routed with a template for the systainer feet and a handle at the front) instead.

One could say not going for the festool drawers (for all the systainers I have) 'paid for' my XL 700 and all the COMBI and SORT/3 systainers I needed ;)

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5895
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2019, 01:48 PM »
@jjowen

Man that a nice organized shop you have there.

Got a lot in it great use of space.

But entirely to clean [big grin]

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5895
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2019, 02:01 PM »
Reading this discussion has me rethinking my shop lay out. I currently have all my systainers in cabinets with pull out that can fit under my MFTs. I have a small garage shop and use quite a bit of space for books etc. I think I’m going to change things around use more of the wall space. Better utilize the space I have.

Offline dlu

  • Posts: 176
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2019, 11:57 PM »
I have a single-car garage where I have to move the car to do anything. I am definitely in the back-in-the-systainer-at-the-end-of-the day camp. Shuffling stacks was tedious, but with each systainer on its own drawer it becomes very quick to grab the tool you want. I also have a stack of 4 x sort/3 for all my non-festool items. You still have to store the systainers anyway?

(Attachment Link)

That's a great looking shop! I'd like to see more of it. I'm especially curious about the rail running along the front edge of the bench below the Kapex.

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1094
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2019, 03:04 PM »
@jjowen

Man that a nice organized shop you have there.

Got a lot in it great use of space.

But entirely to clean [big grin]
That looks like a garage where you'd store your Ferrari!   [big grin]

Offline jjowen

  • Posts: 131
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2019, 05:59 PM »
That's a great looking shop! I'd like to see more of it. I'm especially curious about the rail running along the front edge of the bench below the Kapex.

Thanks. It is Festool MFT profile. I managed to pick some up at a slightly lower than ridiculous price.

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That looks like a garage where you'd store your Ferrari!   [big grin]

Like I said, I have to move the car out of the garage when I want to use the workshop, that is why Ferrari is out of shot.  [cool]

A photo to show the workshop does actually get used. At the end of a weekend it takes 30 - 40 minutes to clean up and put everything away and drive the car back in.

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Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5895
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Systainers in Shop
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2019, 11:52 PM »
Wow u do pack a lot in .very. Ice shop well done