Shadow tool storage – where a tool’s outline at a glance reveals what’s missing from storage – is a really smart way to keep your store tidy. These are also extremely important in cases where any equipment left behind can be a tragedy. Think, where-is-that-10-mm-socket when working on a jet engine? Important (this is always a 10-mm socket.)
But just because shadow boards are smart doesn’t mean they’re easy to make. For this [Scott Prince] Toolbox has come up with this semi-automated method for creating shadow boards. The task of tracing and cutting shapes around each tool with one or the other suitable material seems straightforward, but the technique comes down to organizing the outlines in the context of the available space and the specific collection of tools available.
[Scott]The process begins with taking pictures of each individual tool. He used a PiCam and a lightbox to keep him on a storage bench, oddly enough; We want to hear the full story behind it, but almost any digital camera will do the job. After compensating for distortion with OpenCV, cropping the images and converting the image into a vector outline of the tool, [Scott] The task was to place the tools in a logical group and arrange them sensitively. After tweaking the outline of the tool and adding finger cutouts for easy pickup, [Scott] Utilize his CNC router. She chose to use a high-density polythene product made by her employer, which looks gorgeous, but MDF will also work well.
We now have to acknowledge the fair amount of toolbox jealousy that we have seen what shadow boards can do. Although we are a bit torn – [Zach Friedman]Much is also going on for its gridfinity storage system.