Author Topic: Heresy? Using tool chest drawers instead of Systainers for Festools?  (Read 4089 times)

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Offline Stan Tillinghast

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I’m now deep into the project of clearing out our garage to the best of my ability. I will have one bay of 3-car garage for permanent use for tools, with shelving, eventually cabinets, around the outside walls. Given multiple hobbies and wife’s storage needs, there remains little room for a Chaos-Theory wall of systainers.
Does anyone NOT use systainers, and store their Festools (at least the most used) in drawers in a tool chest, whether commercial or self-made?
This is assuming that you will almost exclusively work in your workshop and not have to truck the tools elsewhere.
I have a large HD Husky “mobile workbench” with very nice drawers, but they’re full without using any drawers for the Festools.
I have 10 Festool tools plus multiple Systainers for dominoes, sanding discs, LR-32 tools, etc.

It seems to me that the use of Systainers—as satisfying to the OCD part of us as they are—are not a good use of precious workshop space, and make the tools less accessible than if they were in one or two wide, deep drawers in a tool cabinet.  After all, we don’t need all those Plug-It cables; and the needed tool accessories may well not fit in the tool’s systainer.

So before I order Sys-AZ drawers to make three rolling Sysports, please give me some advice on this non-Systainer alternative.  [eek]
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Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 558
I have used in the past, file cabinets. Most people don’t think about it.
Big drawers, designed for heavy weight. Can find them at garage, yards, second hand stores for cheap. If you can find all the same flavor like Hoens then they don’t look to bad and there even in sizes
Rick.
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2402
It seems to me that the use of Systainers—as satisfying to the OCD part of us as they are—are not a good use of precious workshop space, and make the tools less accessible than if they were in one or two wide, deep drawers in a tool cabinet. 
You are correct on all counts. The wider the drawer, the more volume is saved by eliminating partitions.
I've seen posts here were people placed tools in regular drawers, thus saving space.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 08:13 PM by Svar »

Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 349
I’m now deep into the project of clearing out our garage to the best of my ability. I will have one bay of 3-car garage for permanent use for tools, with shelving, eventually cabinets, around the outside walls. Given multiple hobbies and wife’s storage needs, there remains little room for a Chaos-Theory wall of systainers.
Does anyone NOT use systainers, and store their Festools (at least the most used) in drawers in a tool chest, whether commercial or self-made?
This is assuming that you will almost exclusively work in your workshop and not have to truck the tools elsewhere.
I have a large HD Husky “mobile workbench” with very nice drawers, but they’re full without using any drawers for the Festools.
I have 10 Festool tools plus multiple Systainers for dominoes, sanding discs, LR-32 tools, etc.

It seems to me that the use of Systainers—as satisfying to the OCD part of us as they are—are not a good use of precious workshop space, and make the tools less accessible than if they were in one or two wide, deep drawers in a tool cabinet.  After all, we don’t need all those Plug-It cables; and the needed tool accessories may well not fit in the tool’s systainer.

So before I order Sys-AZ drawers to make three rolling Sysports, please give me some advice on this non-Systainer alternative.  [eek]

Hi Stan,

I agree with you, Systainers are a pain in the butt if you are just working in your shop as I also am. Even in Festool training classes, it was a pain to grab the tool in the sixth Systainer down in a stack, yada, yada, yada.

However, I personally don't/wouldn't use tool chests unless you absolutely need the mobility. I use Ikea (heresy, I didn't build my own!) cabinets along a wall. The larger drawers allow me to have all my Festool sanders and planers in one drawer, all my Festool routers in another, etc.

Regards, Dick

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1491
Consider the lateral file cabinets if you are thinking about file cabinets. They don’t stick out from the wall as much. Sometimes they can be gotten cheaper. Because regular folk don’t seem to like them.

Ron

Offline Peter Halle

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Use what is accessible to you.  No matter what you try the first time, you will try again.  Spend too much time worrying about shop organization and you will not get a return on your enjoyment.  Unless of course you like organizing more than using those things you are organizing.

Just my opinion of course.

Peter

Offline jobsworth

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depends,
yah
Things like drills, jig saw etc
I can see them in cubbies maybe stored under yer work bench etc. However thing with small bits in them like the LR 32, MFK 700 etc, Id keep in the ssystainer so ya dont lose the parts or have to call out a search party trying to find them in yer shop.

I got the festool work center but you can make your own to store those drills, drill bits , driver bits things you would normally need for a project. Keep the systainers and load up the work center with what you need for each pose of the project.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 09:30 PM by jobsworth »

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1125
If I didn't need to be mobile and was in a shop setup, I would put kitchen cabinet type drawers everywhere. Heavy drawers get double slides. For other items cabinets with doors. The drawers could be any depth desired if work area width is an issue. Systainer's take up too much space and offer zero benefit vs a drawer. I could get all my routers into one big drawer, with all accessories. The stack of Systainer's I have now is far larger, but the Systainer's offer protection when on the move. 4'wx8'hx24"deep cabinets with doors are perfect for holding bins to store materials and supplies.

Tool boxes are not cost effective for holding larger woodworking tools. They are perfect for automotive type tools. The cabinets can go around any tool boxes for hand type tools you have.

The ceiling can be invaluable storage too.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 205
Great responses, thanks much!
I am working up to building bookcases and cabinets in the house, so making kitchen-like cabinets with heavy duty drawers the right height, width and depth for the Festool power tools would be a good start—and demonstration to my wife that we might want to have me build the cabinets.
And yes, Peter, there is a part of me that enjoys buying and organizing tools at least as much as using them.
Yes, I’m a retired physician.
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Offline DeformedTree

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Use what is accessible to you.  No matter what you try the first time, you will try again.  Spend too much time worrying about shop organization and you will not get a return on your enjoyment.  Unless of course you like organizing more than using those things you are organizing.

Just my opinion of course.

Peter

I think for a lot of folks, building the shop, setting it up, organizing it and making the perfect setup for making projects is the project. Once they shop is done and fully set up, they are done and either start building the new shop, or move on to a new hobby.

I think there is a good many folks who in the end never build anything but their shop/shop setup with their tools, then they are done. Thus the answer to a lot of "tool sale" you see on things like craigslist that only make sense if they bought everything to populate a shop, finished that, then got rid of it all.


Online Cheese

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Spend too much time worrying about shop organization and you will not get a return on your enjoyment.  Unless of course you like organizing more than using those things you are organizing.

 [big grin] [big grin] [big grin]

Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 370
Organising can be useful. I know how to make furniture but my cabinetry skills aren’t great. I used the shop org project to teach myself cabinetry.

Now I’m confident with both.

But you have to keep ‘flexing the muscle’!


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Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 205
Thanks, CeeJay, very encouraging!

I'm going to start with a small 24 x 24 inch rolling cabinet to go under the MFT with at least one drawer.
Will use it to try a couple of different knock-down hardware types, just to get comfortable using them.
Yes it would be cheaper to buy Ikea stuff, but I'm "flexing the muscle".  [wink]
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Offline jeffinsgf

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Before you reinvent the wheel...

How much space are you really going to save and how much grief are you going to create because you can't find pieces and parts?

For Systainer storage on a budget, Ikea's Sektion 18 x 14-3/4 x 30 base cabinets hold Systainers pretty much perfectly. I put 7 of them along one wall in my shop, used shelves instead of slides, topped it with 1-1/4" glued up bench top, and it's been serving me well for close to a year now. I can convert the shelves to slides if I ever feel the need to.

The Sektion wall hangers work so well I didn't even put the feet under the cabinets, and now I can sweep completely under the cabinets effortlessly.

Offline vkumar

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Before you reinvent the wheel...

How much space are you really going to save and how much grief are you going to create because you can't find pieces and parts?

For Systainer storage on a budget, Ikea's Sektion 18 x 14-3/4 x 30 base cabinets hold Systainers pretty much perfectly. I put 7 of them along one wall in my shop, used shelves instead of slides, topped it with 1-1/4" glued up bench top, and it's been serving me well for close to a year now. I can convert the shelves to slides if I ever feel the need to.

The Sektion wall hangers work so well I didn't even put the feet under the cabinets, and now I can sweep completely under the cabinets effortlessly.

Can you post some pictures.  Also why shelves instead  of slides?  Any links to the IKEA product?
Vijay Kumar

Offline Doug S

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I stored my tools in the systainers for a while but now the tools just sit on a shelf under my bench so I can quickly grab them, the accessories are kept in drawers near by. Systainers are good if you are on the move but not so great in a workshop. I do wish Festool would sell the bare tools without systainers.

Offline Bob D.

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« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 07:20 AM by Bob D. »
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Offline jeffinsgf

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Thanks, Bob, for linking that. That's exactly the one I used. It takes a bit of digging on the Ikea website to figure out all the pieces and parts, but the wall hanging rail works beautifully.

Here's a link to a picture of finished unit.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iUMriTzceakTHB2m9

I chose shelves instead of slides for two reasons. 1) Cheaper. 2) I built an outfeed table with sliding Systainer drawers at work. The theory of having them on slides is that you pull the drawer out, open the Systainer, take out what you want without moving the Systainer and slide it back in. The reality is, I seemed to always want or need to pull the Systainer out and set it on a table or bench anyway, so why pay for a slide I'm not really using?

EDIT: Just noticed it is 5 units, not 7.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 08:40 AM by jeffinsgf »

Offline imdking

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Thanks, Bob, for linking that. That's exactly the one I used. It takes a bit of digging on the Ikea website to figure out all the pieces and parts, but the wall hanging rail works beautifully.

Here's a link to a picture of finished unit.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iUMriTzceakTHB2m9

I chose shelves instead of slides for two reasons. 1) Cheaper. 2) I built an outfeed table with sliding Systainer drawers at work. The theory of having them on slides is that you pull the drawer out, open the Systainer, take out what you want without moving the Systainer and slide it back in. The reality is, I seemed to always want or need to pull the Systainer out and set it on a table or bench anyway, so why pay for a slide I'm not really using?

EDIT: Just noticed it is 5 units, not 7.

Very nicely done. Thanks for the picture.
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Offline mino

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Spend too much time worrying about shop organization and you will not get a return on your enjoyment.

This may sound funny, but my solution to this are systainers and - in general - standardized cabinets/shelfs/containers etc.

By having lots of standardized and inter-connectable/stackable storage utensils, any time I find a need to move stuff, be it to a new place or inside the workshop for some project, I know I can just grab the stuff, move it around, and it will be fine.

This makes my space org. not very efficient at any point in time. But globally, I setup a systainer (container/box) for one purpose once and then use it for that purpose for 10 years and more, just moving it around depending on the situation/need.

It allows me to trade "space efficiency" for my time and comfort where I know I can adjust stuff placement and never need to worry too much about needing to throw it out later on etc.


One last people may not realize at times how Systainers are space efficient. If you look at the internal volume compared to the external volume, even with the handles etc. You may be surprised how little waste there is even compared to standard storage boxes, not to mention wooden drawers.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 12:34 PM by mino »
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Offline mkasdin

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Re: Heresy? Using tool chest drawers instead of Systainers for Festools?
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2020, 03:23 PM »
I have some tools that live outside the box. Duo light, TS-55, the rest are in a systainers. empties on the bottom of the stack. Look into the MFTC thread on the FOG forum. I’m planning on building one or two to store all the systainers with a detachable bench and a lower shelf for idle often used tools. The others I’m building are 4 wheel carts out of 5/8” Baltic Birch and sliding draws for hand tools and miscellaneous.  Probably 3-4. I’m starting with one initially to improve the build. They need to be mobile and not tip over. I’ll separate the better hand tools for safe keeping. I also have about 15 Home Depot ridgid 22 inch pro box$20 each sku 1001481035 for construction materials and miscellaneous non valuable tools. Drop clothes, brushes, sponges, shop towels, a few Makita tools, all my granat sandpaper overflow of 2 systainers.
I have a Home Depot tool box with an upper but for wood working tools it’s not a perfect fit for what I own.

Offline Bertotti

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Re: Heresy? Using tool chest drawers instead of Systainers for Festools?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2020, 11:02 PM »
Thanks, CeeJay, very encouraging!

I'm going to start with a small 24 x 24 inch rolling cabinet to go under the MFT with at least one drawer.
Will use it to try a couple of different knock-down hardware types, just to get comfortable using them.
Yes it would be cheaper to buy Ikea stuff, but I'm "flexing the muscle".  [wink]

Any photos on how your project and storage turned out? I have always wanted to build myself a true cabinetmakers chest as the apprentices did once they finished their apprenticeship long before I was born. But that would be something in a permanent shop for me. These darn systainers are light enough and just travel well when I haul tools around with me. So until I don't haul them around I will keep them in their systainers. I have considered getting a xxl systainer and putting several tools in one for instance the rotex 90 and 150 in one systainer and all the abrasives in another. That's beside the point they are addictive little boxes. I think your thoughts on how to incorporate your tools in your shop are pretty good and would like to see how it turned out if you don't mind sharing.
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Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: Heresy? Using tool chest drawers instead of Systainers for Festools?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2020, 09:26 AM »
I have mine in self-built cabinets that are full depth of normal base cabinets. The pull-outs are deeper than the Systainers themselves. There is a short "barrier" keeping the Systainer from shifting back and a vertical wall at the back. This leaves space for the things that don't fit in the Systainer itself. Sandpaper behind sanders, Guiderail connectors, Guiderail pistol grip clamp behind the MFT clamping set, extra edge guides and guide bushings behind routers, etc.
I don't have a pic showing it, but I didn't know I would need one. I can add one later.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 07:11 PM by Crazyraceguy »
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Offline jobsworth

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Re: Heresy? Using tool chest drawers instead of Systainers for Festools?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2020, 10:52 AM »
To the Op,

some guys lose the systainers and build cubbies for their tools