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upgrading our Clarke tool chest

How to get tool drawer perfection

If like us you have a Clarke tool chest other make of drawer tool chest this is for you. This guide will help you get a perfectly organised tool drawer in next to no time. In turn, this will last and protect your tools for many years to come. Never lose or misplace a tool again by bringing aviation level tool control to your own home or workshop. Time saving and money saving… what’s not to love!? And here is how it’s done.

Our Clarke Tool chest

This giant tool chest stands, pride of place, in our workshop-come-studio. Our tools are frequently used for the many projects we work on, so having them well organised is important.

You will have seen us organising our Clarke tool drawers before. Previously the whole tool chest was organised using our old, now discontinued grade of foam, Shadow Foam Original. Shadow Foam Original was great, but not really sustainable as a product hence replacing it. Also it was a lot softer than the new foam. Significantly, it wasn’t as durable or cleanable and the top colour could become grubby after a lot of use.

So it’s all ready for upgrading, and that of course is a big job in a tool chest of this size! We’ve recently completed the spanner drawers, so today we’re moving on to our insulated, electrical kit.

Our 13 drawer tool chest by Clarke is at the centre of our workshop / studio and in frequent use.

What’s going into the drawer?

We’ve amassed quite a large collection of CK Crimping tools and an insulated hack saw. Also a gas soldering iron and a solder sucker along with a stand, some interchangable tips and a tube of solder and tiny spanner. We additionally have a full set of Bacho insulated spanners, and our GearWrench insulated nut spinners.

That’s a lot of kit to fit in just one drawer. But using Jonathan’s top tip of positioning your tools nose-to-tail, you can save yourself about 30% more space versus just lining them up alongside one another uniformly.

If you want additional space in your tool chest, try positioning tools nose-to-tail to free up more space

How it’s done

We always remind people the same thing. Please, always wear anti-cut cloves when working with Shadow Foam and the sharp blades you need to cut it. If you don’t have any, we supply them in our cutting kits, and they really are important.

Our recommended tool for cutting the foam is a scalpel. Again these are available in our cutting kits if you don’t have one already. And we always suggest refreshing your knowledge about the best techniques to use for cutting and peeling via the guides in the How To section of our website. We also have a useful Guide to Shadowfoaming. This has some of the best hints and tips and most frequently asked questions that we come across.

One thing we did slightly differently here is a nifty trick to know when space is tight. We created a concealed space for the gas solder iron items to sit in. So what we did here is to cut around the gas soldering iron itself so it sits nicely in the space, then removed it. Now beneath it we are going to cut in the additional items. The tube of solder and the small spanner. They can now sit neatly concealed beneath the iron itself

The finishing details

With this project, once we had cut all the tools into the foam, we also wanted to add finger-pulls to make it easier to take them out. The two main techniques we use for doing this are either with a straight edge. For this we use our Shadow Foam straight edge. Or a circle, and for this we use our Shadow Foam stencil set. With this project we’ve really liked the contrast between the green foam and the red tools. But take a look, what do you think?

The finished tool drawer looks really impactful with a combination of red tools and green tools.
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