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Model Railroading > How do you organize your projects?


Date: 06/19/22 14:22
How do you organize your projects?
Author: mcdeo

I'll just ask the community. I'm looking for a solution to help organize ongoing projects. What I'm thinking of, is like a stackable drawer solution, about 1-2" deep, and 9"x12" or so. So you could put a full sheet of paper/directions in and all of the parts for say a project. Currently, I have some locomotives to paint up and want to keep all parts per loco in one spot with the locomotive. Same thing for say freight or passenger cars. Something long enough (HO scale for me) that can hold the entire item and it's associated parts. 

I'm also thinking if they could be stackable, that would be nice too. Not looking for a complete rolling system or something like that, but more of flexible location kind of drawer that I could take to the workbench as needed. 

As I look through the internet, it's not producing good ideas yet. So wanted to ask the group here, what do you use? 

Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. 

Mike ONeill
Parker, CO



Date: 06/19/22 16:00
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: alongthejointline

Mike, here's what I use. https://www.uline.com/BL_1401/Carrying-Cases
Can also get same without handle.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/22 16:01 by alongthejointline.



Date: 06/19/22 16:04
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: TCnR

Bought two sets of those Rubbermaid style cabinets with about five drawers each, maybe inch and a half deep, filled them up in about five minutes and they're sitting there waiting for me.

It's just about the last place I look for anything now, since I know all the right parts for those projects are sitting in the drawer and not to steal them for another project. Fortunately, I learned not to build things sequentially.

Someday....



Date: 06/19/22 16:32
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: march_hare

I’ve learned to live with utter chaos. 



Date: 06/19/22 16:38
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: pilotblue

I think the first qualifyer is "What scale?" That will determine how much raw space is required.  Luckily for me, space-wise, I model in N scale. I went to the state surplus warehouse and purchased some of the old Dewy-decimal system Library card file stands. Amazing quality, hard maple, heavy as hell. I had a time getting it into the basement. When I asked the warehouse guy how much?, He said, "How many drawers?, Me:65 Ok, then $65," That gave me a ton of shelves to store/stage stuff. 

I do group items together, kit, decals or details, sometimes paint for when I will take on  a project. This allows me to factor in lead times, train show visits and of course the auction site searches. That way, when I am ready, everything is ready to go. I do admit that sometimes I get excited about a particular project and just dive in working out the details later. (We're all human) I do take into account the time of year/weather and do as much airbrushing outdoors as I can. I don't do contest level work or custom painted locomotive/rolling stock.

As far as benchwork, I did a benchwork model for the layout and was able to pre-cut, label and stack all of the lumber. Some of my fellow local modelers came and the four of us had the layout standing tall in a short day. I have said here before that cordless drills, extra batteries and a free lunch were critical to a succesful day. 

Here's where I am at on my 18' by 28' single level N scale layout:
Room prep with lighting - done
Benchwork- done
Backdrops-done
Subroadbed-done
Track-done
All DCC and track wiring-done

I am currently blitzing on structures, goal, all done by the end of 2022, we'll see. That will leave only scenery to do at my leisure, I kind of view that as desert! I freely admit to some mild OCD regarding my approach but once Uncle Sam teaches you how to do things, it kind of sticks with you.

Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!


 



Date: 06/19/22 16:49
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: WrongWayMurphy

I tend to finish each project before moving on to another.



Date: 06/19/22 17:05
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: mpe383

WrongWayMurphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I tend to finish each project before moving on to
> another.

A long time, very successful modeler with a large museum grade operations layout told me that was what he did.  He didn't mix projects, he worked each one individually before finishing it and starting another.  I, personally, have realized that working on a project until I hit a wall, need to order parts or supplies etc. and then starting another is setting up for failure.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/22 17:26 by mpe383.



Date: 06/19/22 17:22
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: TCnR

Agree, if it's gonna get done, it doesn't need it's own drawer.



Date: 06/19/22 17:51
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: gandydancer4

Agreed. I do projects like eating a steak dinner: one bite at a time. 



Date: 06/19/22 19:29
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: TCnR

In all seriousness, if a person doesn't have a traditional full time workbench, there's been some great work done using a stout TV tray. Not the one piece fold up leg type, but the larger folding legs with a seperate, good sized tray, some sort of border or edge to keep parts inside and useful sized handles. All the tools and the work stay on the tray overnight, maybe placed on a shelf, maybe something placed over the work, or whatever. It works really well.



Date: 06/19/22 19:46
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: tomd

I use these stackable storege boxes.  I got the idea from my eye doctor.  They would bring my glasses out in them.

Found them on that auction site.  Ended up around $2.50 a box.  I print a label for them so tht I can easily find them

I have a bunch of project ongoing, some waiting for the next custom decal order, some 3D printing work, and others on the next run to the hobby shop

Tom Daspit
Morgan Hill, CA
Tom's Trains




Date: 06/19/22 20:49
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: BoilingMan

I tend to jump around between projects- not the best plan, but it's not exactly a hobby with "rules".   Each project goes in a small sealed tub that stacks.  The model(s) is/are wrapped in bubblewrap and the tub also carries the detail parts, decals, etc for that project.  For instance, I'm building an NWP Redwood, so the tub has the SD7 (finished), Chair Car (finished), and Baggage Car (In Progress) along with decals etc.  
I also jump back and forth between the House here on The Hill and our boat in Santa Barbara.  The tubs make it easy to take projects with me and not worry too much about leaving something critical behind by mistake.  We leave for The Boat in about 2wks and I've pulled 2 tubs to go South: An A-B-B set of ALCo PA/B's and a Flanger Set- 2 SD9's w Flanger.  These will be my Summer projects for days when the Fog Horn keeps us holed up below decks.
SR



Date: 06/20/22 07:58
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: cvrrr

march_hare Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I’ve learned to live with utter chaos. 

Ditto

cvrrr

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/20/22 10:12
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: Lighter

Organize? Huh? What's that?

I use the heavy shipping boxes that Tangent and others use for mail orders. One project to a box. As others have noted, when a project goes into marination it sometimes never emerges. After a couple of years, I pull out the detail parts and so forth for other projects.

These cartons are also helpful for storing bulk parts like trucks and wheelsets. I have one dedicated to car and truck parts. Another is dedicated to highway and street details. Another is dedicated to building details. And so forth.  They live in several unorganized locations adjacent to my workbench as well as in two steel office cabinets.

The downfall is that I need to order something from Tangent whenever I start a new project.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/22 10:14 by Lighter.



Date: 06/20/22 12:29
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: grahamline

We have a surplus of empty shoe boxes and a label maker. Sometimes parts take a while to materialize and progress comes to a halt.  The box holds the kit, parts, some reference data, and a parts list.  Not as organized as it might sound.



Date: 06/20/22 13:15
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: LarryDoyle

My workbench is organized geologically.

-LD



Date: 06/21/22 09:28
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: JUTower

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My workbench is organized geologically.
>
> -LD

I nearly spit out my coffee on that one. I still have projects from the Mesozoic Era.  Sometimes I get more excited to do something else. So I have several projects, some of which I prioritize based on where things are on my layout, when my next operating session will be, etc.

As far as storage, my workbench is an Ikea desk, and I use old Athearn boxes to store in-progress projects in a few of the drawers.  Good enough for me. :)



Date: 06/21/22 09:40
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: SPDRGWfan

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My workbench is organized geologically.
>
> -LD

I can relate - I have a Masters in Geology and my progress is occuring at a glacial pace.



Date: 06/22/22 06:03
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: wabash2800

When I worked as a controller for a machine shop the folks in the shop used a "Job Box" with everthing they needed for a particular job in that box or on that cart, including their tooling. I try to follow that with totes but having said that, It does seem to work better if you can concentrate on one or two projects at a time.

Victor B.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/22 11:49 by wabash2800.



Date: 06/23/22 16:02
Re: How do you organize your projects?
Author: NDHolmes

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My workbench is organized geologically.

Best description of my organization system that I've ever heard.  Kudos, sir!

The further down you go, the further back in time.  If you get to the bottom, you've probably found things from the day I built the bench.



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