Organizing your surface mount component hoard

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 in DIY, tools by DP

Keeping track of all the strips of surface mount components you’ve amassed can be a pain. Some people stick them in large compartmentalized boxes, others get the expensive metal storage drawers.

Here is a simple and cheap DIY method to keep your SMD components organized. All you need is a soldering iron, a metal ruler,  and some sheets of plastic page protectors for binders. Using the ruler to outline where you want to heat seal the plastic, run your soldering iron from one end to the other. Once you’ve compartmentalized the plastic, simply cut one side to have a way of accessing the compartments.

Below the fold you can check out a video of the soldering iron heat sealing method.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 at 9:00 pm and is filed under DIY, tools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

12 Responses to “Organizing your surface mount component hoard”

  1. Max says:

    You could also use 35mm archival film storage pages which are already sealed in strips of 7, like these:

  2. bzorg says:

    CRKT M21 knife ? (on the video)

  3. Drone says:

    It looks like he inserts the strips from the open end of the binder. That’s a recipe for disaster. They should insert from the other side, closest to the binder rings.

    I do this but in an (arguably) better way. I can buy tough food grade plastic bags on a roll for a couple of bucks. I trim the open end of the bag down to lay on a standard size piece of stiff paper then glue the bag down on the paper. (If you use a filing folder cut in half for the sheet of stiff paper, then the sheet will have a tab on it where you can write component information.) Then I heat seal the sections like shown in the video.

    Finally I punch holes into the sheet with a hole punch making sure the holes are on the edge with the open end of the plastic bag. Insert the sheet in the binder and you are done. With the open ends toward the closed end of the binder, the strips will not fall out no matter how you orient the binder. You can obviously put two bags on one sheet of paper; one on each side.

    • Yes, you’re definitely right, the openings should be on the inside edge. I thought about that too late to bother redoing all the sheets.

      BUT while that’s true, the edge isn’t left completely open. If the melting forms a sort of fully closed pocket, the opening is on the TOP towards one end, rather than on the very edge. So if a strip starts sliding out, it gets hung up on the end of the pocket rather than slipping out completely. I haven’t had any problems yet, even shaking it a bit to test.

  4. JBeale says:

    Could you use existing 3-ring binder sheets intended for 35mm photographic negatives? You get seven sections per sheet, fairly close to what is shown here, but the opening is on the rings side so your parts won’t fall out easily. Such as, for example:

  5. Winston says:

    Made specifically for this purpose, inexpensive and includes folder:

  6. JBeale says:

    I have two of the Adafruit binders, they are fine for a small set of SMT tapes but they are about 1/2 the size of a standard 3-ring binder, and also more expensive.

  7. JRD says:

    I’ve found booklets and blank pages that are offered in 6, 9 and 12 rows on Alibaba. The pages are roughly 5×7.

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