It’s been said that the Romans were able to conquer the known world because they were organized. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that the best carpenters I’ve met are uber-organized. They think about process and efficiency, and they don’t waste time looking for one of their 80 caulk guns because they lost it, again, in their junkyard of a pickup truck.
Organization means better hustle and work flow. Anything that eliminates even one trip to the truck per week to root around for something you should be able to find easily — multiplied by the number of weeks in your career — is an investment worth making.
My nemesis is small stuff — drill bits, air-hose fittings, Teflon tape, and fasteners — plus the containers and bags I keep around to store everything. I’d rather have it all in one place, which I’ve been able to do more efficiently with the Lock n’ Stock.
At the heart of the system are six drawers, where I separate and stow items such as narrow crown staples, finish nails, framing nails, nuts, and washers. Other trades might keep everything from drywall screws to plumbing fittings in there. I like that the drawers can hold a 5-pound box of fasteners.
Above the drawers is a segmented top-load bin in which I keep pencils, reciprocating saw blades, felt-tip markers, driver bits, cord ends, spare tape measure — you get the idea. The little panels inside can be moved to customize the bin to your liking.
At the bottom is a drawer. I can’t quite snug my finish nailer in there, but a jigsaw fits, along with a box of router bits, drill bit set, and roll of caution tape. I can lift my Lock n’ Stock full of gear, which is nice for in and out of the truck; for the haul between driveway and site, it trolleys on 7-inch wheels like luggage.
It’s not waterproof. The bottom drawer held water when I left it on site for a couple of soaking days. Actually, this is nothing that couldn’t be remedied by drilling a few holes in the bottom of the drawer. Good thing I know where my drill bits are.
FatMax Lock n’ Stock, The Stanley Works, 800/262-2161, stanleytools.com, Street price: $150