I organise and map screws with a sheet of paper

Most have to do this sooner or later, where we take something apart and have to remember where the screws go.

While looking at a family members laptop I stumbled across a way of keeping my screws organised while mapping them to the device I’m dismantling.

Yes, I considered other methods like using pill boxes, but this method works best for me to keep them organised and gurantees I will always have an appropriate method at my disposal (e.g.: if I forget my pillbox/screw caddy).

The basic method to organising and mapping your screws

There are some variations to how this can be done depending on your environment and what tools are at your disposal.

My basic method was pushing screws into a sheet of scrap paper in the same order I extracted them, but scaled down so it fits onto the paper sheet.

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The screws hold themselves into place because they’re threaded, so you wont make a disorganised mess if they get knocked. Any blank areas (if say some screws have been lost) I draw a black dot to indicate a void hole.

It’s also possible to fold the paper over and use a paper clip to keep them secured when you need to put them aside.

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Additional tips

Be careful not to tear the sheet as you press the screws in. This is obvious but easily done if you’re not delicate and maybe in a hurry.

Also be careful not to knock your other screws out in the process.

Here are some suggestions on how to do it more easily and fast.

Cocktail stick method

With the sheet of paper on carpet, a towel or over a scrunched up piece of tissue,  pierce a hole to make inserting the screw more easy. This also helps you align your screws into grids to get a more accurate representation of where the screws go.

Pipe light method

I would like to announce an idea for a tool I have come up with that would allow you to easily punch a screw in fast, easily and accurately.

Most screws are less then 5MM in diameter (particularly those used for electrical devices) so I would use a 5MM pipe. A pen barrel could work well. I would also need to help guide myself where to punch the screw based on where the pipe is as fast and easily as possible, which could be done with a simple LED torch shining through from the bottom end to guide a punch point through the paper sheet.

I coin this tool the pipe light punch (trademark pending).

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