in my 9 years on MOE and the hex wrench drawer never stayed organized for more than a week at a time. When I got a job I found my engineering lab had the exact same issue. I finally found a solution! Been using this for almost a year at work now and had the students heat shrink all the MOE wrenches after the robot was done this year. The drawer is still 100% organized!
I wished I’d checked it out this past weekend at GirlPower…
My team in HS used electrical tape to denote our most frequently-used sizes and it was a great system, but we had issues with the tape coming off and/or leaving an uncomfortable sticky resudie from the tape sliding around on the handle. Have you had any issues with heatshrink being pulled off or getting in the way?
great i am going to do that to all are tools this weekend
We use paint pens to mark our wrenches and it works quite well
We just spray-paint ours. While the paint comes off a little bit with use, we just repaint every other year.
Nope, the way it shrinks around the elbow prevents the sleeve from moving in either direction. It also sits high up enough that you can still put them back in the holder if you want a full set. (Right now each size has it’s own little box in the drawer)
I think MOE used to paint (or use nail polish or something) on a few sizes, I still see bits of it here and there, but this seemed much less messy and longer lasting. I did match the heat shrink color pattern to the remnants of paint I found.
When I first saw this post, I thought, “Is this really post-worthy”? Then I realized it certainly was. Thanks for sharing.
There are few things I hate more in life than electrical tape residue.
We’ve been using heat shrink for a bit as well, it’s a great trick. We’ve had some of it slip off, I’m looking for adhesive heat shrink in enough colors but haven’t found it yet.
Our blog post with our color chart is here.
We have been doing color coding for years. Mainly electrical tape as the colors are pretty good. however we may have to try the shrink tubing.
One additional thing we did was color code the wrenches for the nuts to match those of the Allan drivers (e.g. button heads). That way when you have students screwing in a #10 button head screw with a nut on the other end, they just ask for a “red driver and a red wrench”. It gets to the point that our students don’t even know what size the wrench is so they just ask for colors… great for working on your team… bad if you need to borrow a tool from another team!
Also, We have been trying to standardize on mainly button heads but for small screws we have found they strip a bit easier so we have been using socket heads for anything less than #8
Same here, although after today’s work (fixing water cooling on spot welding robots) old sticky pipe dope is up there. It’s like bubble gum only worse…
Back on topic: I’ve seen this done before. Works great as long as the tools don’t get too beat up (otherwise it gets a bit tattered). If you are lucky enough to have access to a brady heat shrink printer, for bonus points, add team number and/or key size to the tubing.
Didn’t color code them by week number, er, resistor code?
The only thing maybe worse than electrical tape residue is duct tape residue. Though I’ve heard that WD-40 works for removing both, I’ve only used it on masking tape residue on plastic.
As for the heat shrink color code, I think it’s a great idea! As others have said, maybe put the size on the heat shrink too.
We started doing the matching colors for wrenches and hex wrenches last year, it works great. Makes it easy to find what you are looking for since most of our students don’t know which wrench size goes with which bolt size (or me sometimes… I’m a sparky not a mechanic). We’re trying to standardize on only #10 and #8 bolts more so we can just overstock on wrenches in those sizes and avoid having to search for them in the pit.