Just because you operate a small machine shop or have a home machine shop doesn’t mean you can have all the luxuries found in larger shops. You just need to get creative and think out of the box. For example, if you don’t have the money to lay out for an expensive tool cart, make one yourself. All you need is a CNC 40 tool tray or 3 and an inexpensive 16 x 30 utility cart. Here’s how.
Start with the Utility Cart
You can get a pretty rugged and sturdy utility cart on-line or from your closest Harbor Freight or Home Depot.
Look for a 16 x 30 utility cart on wheels. Most teacher supply or tool supply shops will sell them. You really want a cart with wheels for the most versatility. Pick from metal or high-grade plastic. US General makes one that you can usually get for under $50. Go with a cart that has two or three trays, depending on the number of tools you need to store. The important thing it to make sure it is a 16 x 30 cart.
Add the CNC 40 Tool Tray Element
Next get the number of CNC 40 tool trays you need to store your tools. If you buy a CNC tool tray that is made by Sierra American Multi-Systems it will be 15 ¾” by 6 ¾”. That means you can set 4 of these trays side by side on each shelf of your cart and you will have a tool cart that stores up to 80 of your 40 taper tools (if you have a two-shelf cart).
There you have it. This is by far the most affordable way to keep your tools protected and keep them in order!
Even if you have a 30 taper, the same set up will work because a Sierra American CNC 30 tray is the same dimensions and holds the same number of tools. The only difference is the taper size. This hack works for manual machines with a 30 or 40 taper.
Why Use Sierra American Tool Trays
Just the fact that a Sierra American 30 and 40 taper CNC tool tray is a perfect fit for a utility cart is reason enough to buy them. But that’s just the beginning.
These tool trays are numbered for easy tool calibration and selection. Just set up the tools in the proper sequence for the job, set them up in the tray, and save time.
Sierra American Multi-Systems makes all their tool trays right here in the USA. As a machinist in the US, don’t you want to support other US manufacturers?
The 30 and 40 taper tool trays are made of high-impact plastic so they will protect your expensive tooling from damage. They even have side ears to make it easy to pick the tray up out of a cart. It’s like they think of everything.
So, get some CNC tool trays made by Sierra American and make yourself a rolling tool cart. Make sure you ask for Sierra American by name, so you know it’s made well and it’s made to fit a 16 x 30 utility cart.