I’ve added some new furniture to the bedroom:
For several years I’ve been planning to clean up the garage, put up shelving, and get all the “stuff” in the garage organized. It has been a firm commitment each summer, and each summer nothing happens (well, one year I got some nasty old shelving taken down and everything put into boxes, but that was sort of negative progress, as I never got new shelves put up).
Part of the plan was to get all (or most) of my tools into a rolling tool box, so that I could have easier access to them. I’ve often ended up buying a new hand tool because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the garage. This summer I finally bought a 42″ rolling tool box from Harbor Freight for $370, after giving up on finding anything locally. The shipping from southern California added another $97 to the price (shipping weight is 289 pounds). Because most of the tools get used in the house, not the garage, I decided to keep the toolbox in the house. I’m planning to clear my son’s stuff out of the living room and into his bedroom when he leaves for college (so the robotics table, scroll saw, and drill press would move out of the living room, restoring it to a more livable space), so I didn’t want to put the tool box in the living room. Since I want the tools to be readily available when I’m working on electronics stuff, I ended up putting the tool box in my bedroom, which has gradually been becoming my workshop for computer and electronics stuff.
My wife has been patient with the gradual conversion of our bedroom into a workshop, but I think that we could make the room more comfortable by rearranging the furniture. I hope to get the floor of the bedroom mostly cleared of junk before school starts, though that may require getting some shelving that fits under the window to tidy up the junk that has accumulated while still leaving it mostly accessible. I’ll probably have to buy the new bed she wants, though this will require some careful selection, as there won’t be room for bedside tables and our current bedside lamps are not tall enough to work with a conventional bed.
I spent some time yesterday getting the tool box into the house—the delivery service wouldn’t even put it on the porch, so I had to uncrate it on the driveway, remove all the drawers, then get my son and my wife to help me put it up the front steps. While I had all the drawers out, I lubricated the slides with paraffin (the T9 lubricant I use on my bike chain). I then spent most of the afternoon unearthing tools in my garage and organizing them in the tool box. I couldn’t get all the hand tools into the toolbox, but most of them fit.
At the end of the day, I had my son go through his tool box and mine, selecting what he would take to college. He ended up with a somewhat smaller set of tools than the rather large list I had put together, rejecting the socket wrench set and the screwdriver security bit set as too big.
- metric Allen wrenches (from a set from Harbor Freight, I’ll keep the English and star bits)
- screwdrivers (he already had a handle and bit set)
- claw hammer (he already had one)
- mini hammer with screwdrivers
- mini level (which comes with a warning for people with pacemakers, which is pretty silly considering how weak the magnet on it is)
- adjustable wrench (an 8″ one with a 1″ jaw opening, the second smallest of the set of laser-marked ones from Harbor Freight)
- measuring tape (he’s only taking one of the two 25′ ones he already had)
- razor knives
- Leatherman pocket tool (which he already had)
- zip ties
- velcro cable straps
- needle nose pliers (2, which he already had)
- diagonal cutters (which he already had)
- end nippers (which he already had)
- self-adjusting wire strippers
- electrical tape
- multimeter (from his chemistry lab kit)
There were also several leftovers from my first prototype run of the circuits course:
- resistor assortment
- ceramic capacitors
- jeweler’s screwdrivers (I don’t recommend this set—the second time we used a better screwdriver set)
- solder sucker
- breadboard (not packed yet)
We still have some things not added to his tool box, which is already full:
- bike patch kit
- stainless steel bike tire levers
- needles and thread
- Arduino and Freedom KL25Z boards
- power supply for Arduino boards?
- Ethernet cable
- USB cables
- soldering iron and stand (my old Unger iron, or perhaps he’ll take the one bought for his company)
- Power strip with surge protector
- 22-gauge wire for breadboarding
- first aid kit: band aids, larger gauze pads, antibacterial ointment, paper tape, medic scissors, thermometer, ibuprofen, antacid, simethicone
We’ll have to go over the previous list to check for other things he might need, but I think this list has most of the things I’m responsible for. We might make a trip to Home Depot on move-in day to pick up a few other things.