Component Storage-Parts Storage

The storage of small parts with tiny inscriptions that are difficult to read maybe a problem, but fishing tackle boxes or component trays come to the rescue. Also ideally suitable are the storage boxes that contain small drawers. These can often be found in hardware stores and in shops such as Wilkinsons, B & Q, and Woolworths from time to time (in the UK). My label template creates trapezoid labels that are 4.1cm wide at the top, 3.9cm wide at the bottom and a diagonal slant of 1.1cm.

It is difficult to make a neat job of labelling such drawers, so I have made a label template to make the job easier. The images below show a 16 compartment storage box; the left image is labelled by hand, the right image has been printed on my printer. I have used Sun Microsystems Open Office to create a label template.

Click each image to zoom.

There are certain advantages to using a printer. First, it will produce much more accurate and consistant results than labeling by hand. Secondly, printer ink is light fast and will not fade like ordinary ink. The label template is made using the Drawing package of Open Office 1.1.3. Open Office is available across a number of platforms, including Mac, FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux and Windows. Click this link to be taken to the Open Office home page. The download is large and best suited to anyone with a faster connection, broadband or dsl.

Once Open Office is installed, the following label template needs to be downloaded. Click here to download my label template. This will download a file called labels.sxd You open the file with the Open Office drawing program and fill in the boxes according to your requirements. The bottom of the label template has a selection of components, a resistor, capacitor, inductor, FET, diode and transistor. These can be dragged into the label space and help to quickly identify your components. I used a Nimbus font size 16 but any font may be used.


The labels were printed on 190gm paper A4 paper. Important! When printing the template do not select the option "Scale to Fit", otherwise the dimensions of the drawers will be lost. I used a Rohldale sheet cutter to cut out individual labels, but scissors or a steel ruler and knife could also be used.

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