Losing Fasteners and Parts

When I was preparing to yank the engine and transmission out of my 1987 325, I arranged the parts and fasteners in a nice row on the shop floor, in the sequence in which I removed them.

But, instead of lasting a week, the project took more than a month.  In the process, some kitty litter engulfed my nice row, and things needed to occupy the same space and the items were moved. All this was done for logical-enough reasons, but now it’s an Easter Egg hunt to find the parts and fasteners.

Next time, I’m being more cynical.  Right now, my best idea for next time is to have a bunch of tin cans wired or taped together, with the size of each can corresponding to the size of the fasteners and parts I plan to drop into each can.  Obviously, I’d have to plan the work ahead of time, but that’s not a bad thing.  I could even stick some labels on the sides of the cans, to show what should go into that particular can. The label could even identify which tools I should use.  This way, the set of cans might actually help guide the sequence of events.  In case of surprises, I’d have a few extra cans.

The labels would be helpful when I take things apart and also when I put them together again.

I plan to attach the set of containers to a rotating belt, so that I can move the can that I’ve just used out of the way, and bring closer to me the next can that I plan to use.

Often, when I remove fasteners, I put them back onto the place where they came from, so that I don’t lose the fasteners.

Instead, I’d now need to put into storage containers all fasteners that I undo.