Proving ground: Tactix Shadow Board
Okay, it’s not really a shadow board but it serves the same purpose. In the old days (pre 2012), workshops often featured a giant board on the wall where tools were hung. The ‘shadow’ was created by drawing an outline of the tool while it was on the board and painting the space black when the tool was removed. The advantage of this system is that you could see instantly if the tool was missing. The boss could walk out at night with just a glance to tell him that all the tools were ready for service the following morning and weren’t lying in the sludge under a truck somewhere.
The Tactix ‘storage set’ channels this concept but in a less-substantial way. It would still be a handy addition to the wall of most garages and would help most home mechanics get some order into their collections of spanners, screwdrivers, nuts and bolts.
There are two boards in the kit measuring 483 x 540mm each. One board is supposed to hold 28 small, medium and large storage bins and the other is dedicated to storing tools. Given the space, the number of storage bins is probably excessive but it’s easy to change the arrangement to suit individual needs. The set comes with a variety of hooks and tool holders that connect to the holes in the back boards. More hooks could easily be fashioned by cutting up a wire coat hanger.
Mounting the boards on the wall could be problematic, depending on the wall material. The Tactix storage set assumes a wood background and there are eight wood screws for each board. This is certainly enough to hold the storage set securely on the wall and carry the weight of the tools. If you have a brick background, you’ll need the appropriate drill bit, a drill capable of working on brick and a bit more time to get a result.
The entire kit is plastic, of course, but the Chinese are doing plastic better than anyone has before them and, since the storage set will be living inside and away from direct sunlight, there’s no reason to think it won’t go the distance.
We’re using a Tactix storage set as part of the workshop MT is currently creating so will let you know how it goes as time progresses. So far, so good.
The Tactix set is $44 and is available from Bunnings.