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The ultimate Milwaukee Tools collection
Team Shadow Foam took to the road again this week. We spent a fun few hours visiting Milwaukee fan and all round toolie, Milwaukee Dave. We’d already been planning a Milwaukee Packout video as lots of you had asked us for it. And Dave’s based in Yorkshire and has one of the most enviable Milwaukee Tools collections that we’ve come across. He was good enough to invite us over for a look. And of course we couldn’t resist taking on a bit of tool organisation while we were there. milwaukee packout drawer Milwaukee packout drawer Milwaukee packout organiser
Who are Milwaukee Tools
Milwaukee Tools are a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. (TTI). Founded in 1985, TTI is a leading marketer, manufacturer and supplier of home improvement tools. Employing over 20,000 people worldwide. An American company originally, it’s been the largest supplier by volume of hand tools there since 2016. Milwaukee tools are widely considered to be some of the best in the business. They’re known for their quality and durability, and have a loyal fan base even here in the UK as well as around the world with the Milwaukee Packout becoming a real favourite of many.
Dave is an electrician and a joiner. His tools are in constant use, and as he is a contractor he could be working anywhere. So portability and protection of his kit is important to him. He did tell us he is now famous amongst his co-workers for not letting anyone borrow his tools on site! Originally a DeWalt user, it’s a few years ago now that he found the Milwaukee Packout cases gave him the scope he needed to be more flexible with what he wanted to take to a particular job, and how he would transport it. From there, his DeWalt gear was all moved on to a colleague and so the Milwaukee Tools collection had begun. Milwaukee packout organiser
Now, still working, he’s amassed an epic collection. He has everything from the branded cups, fan, speakers, radio, measuring equipment… you name it, he probably has it. And the best bit…? It’s all used. It’s not a collection for collecting’s sake. For example, he really got the most from his Milwaukee fan on site in the recent spell of hot weather!
You can see why Dave was the perfect Milwaukee user for us to work with for the making of our Milwaukee Packout video! Milwaukee packout drawer
What’s in the collection
Dave had just got the new SDS so fitted it in his Milwaukee Packout using Shadow Foam already that week. But that aside, he had scores of Packouts and also Milwaukee Organisers and Compact Organisers that used Shadow Foam to organise and protect their contents. One clever thing we noted was that Dave also kept and made use of the sturdy plastic lidded trays that come with the Packouts. So they too could be cut into the foam and used to contain all the SDS bits etc. Clever idea.
Another idea we learned from him was relating to the laser sets. The large Milwaukee box that the lasers come in usually aren’t Packouts, so wouldn’t work modularly with everything else. So Dave took those, and using the Shadow Foam Milwaukee Packout inserts, got them installed in something that worked better with the rest of his storage system. Smaller items like heat guns and soldering irons can be stored neatly in the Packout compact organisers. And a recent addition to his collection is the Milwaukee Packout drawers. Dave has both the two and three drawer versions which he uses to house his 12V tools and batteries.
One of the most impressive things we thought was the compact organiser storing all his Shadow Foam cutting kit. A real tidy way to store and organise it including scalpel handles, blades, long-nose markers and the like. That’s dedication to the cause! Milwaukee packout drawer Milwaukee packout organiser
Exceptional Packout trolley organisation
One of the projects that most impressed Jonathan was Dave’s Milwaukee trolley which. He’d already turned that into a really impressive set up.
The trolley originally came about as Dave needed something for when he was working in city centres or in offices and needed to haul his gear around. It contains a lot of cordless 12V kit – a multitool, bandsaw, batteries, screwdriver bits, drill bits and a lot besides.
One of the ingenious things he’d done was to use two of the 50mm inserts we make to bring the base up flush to the interior level of the case. From there, he could then cut his tools down into it. It was a great lesson for us, something we’d never considered doing before. The levelling off of this then meant that Dave could add in an additional insert with an MDF backing board to use as a removable shelf / layer. Real maximisation of what could otherwise be dead space in the container. Milwaukee packout organiser
What we made while we were there
Dave had just got a Milwaukee Packout Drawers – the 2-drawer unit. He wanted to get that set up for use with his M18 router. To go with it he also had a couple of radius profiles, two different base plates for the base, and a circle jig. There was also a tub containing all the router bits and a couple of spanners to go in. For a bit of added fun, Jonathan and Dave took a drawer insert each and split the gear between them. The game was on… the foam cutting pro versus the Milwaukee expert!
He began by cutting the space for the tub as that was the biggest item. Removing the contents meant he could upend it and use it as a millimetre perfect guide to cut around. As always when cutting Shadow Foam, we trace cut around the item first then we know where it’s going. The tub can then be removed and we go back to cut all the way through and create the relief for the tub.
As you know we invariably always work with our Shadow Foam scalpel which comes with our cutting kits for working with the foam. At least when Jonathan isn’t enjoying his extra special Matt Estlea marking knife! But Dave had another tip for us here… a 30mm long nose marker. Frequently used by joiners, in this case, these were from Big Thumb and come in a couple of colours.
This could prove another really good method for avoiding parallax error. This is the apparent shift in an object’s position as it is viewed, or in this case cut out, from different angles. Especially handy to be aware of this when cutting around large, rounded or irregular shaped objects where parallax errors would be more common. For his insert though Jonathan stuck with his tried and trusted method of using the scalpel. By holding it perpendicular to the item to trace cut around the edge, that worked just fine.
The only items on this insert that needed finger pulls adding for ease of getting them out, were the spanners. As usual we used our stencil set for doing that neatly.
Jonathan was thoroughly impressed with Dave’s cutting and peeling technique. But then he has had a lot of practise while getting all his Milwaukee tools cut into foam! We also introduced him to the new smoothing spinners which are great for evening out the base of your cuts.
In the time it took Jonathan to finish his one insert, Dave had pretty much completed two. When they were all placed into the Milwaukee Packout drawers, they looked exceptional. Really professional. Watch the full video here and let us know what you think!