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Kaizen Foam

An answer for organizing tools

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of drawers in my shop that are crammed with tools. It’s difficult to find stuff when I need it, and every time I open a drawer, I’m always worried that my sharp tools are banging around, getting dull or chipped. Especially my new lathe tools.
Jesse Wright sent me a text message recently with a photo of Kaizen Foam. He was writing a review for Tools of the Trade. The minute I saw the stuff, I knew it was the answer.

(Note: Click any image to enlarge)

I called Paul Akers at FastCap and ordered a sample package of each type along with the tools Paul recommended for marking and cutting. Kaizen Foam is not expensive—the thick material I used for my large lathe tools costs about $20.00 for a 2 ft. x 4 ft. sheet; the thinner foam is about half that much.

Paul also sent me a TriBlade utility knife—the type with the long replaceable blades, and a marking tool—one with a long-nose tip that makes tracing tools a snap, even when you’re drawing on black foam.
The marker comes with a long cap that protects the entire length of the tip. I was surprised at how dark a line it traced.
Kaizen Foam comes in several different thicknesses and styles. But they all share the same characteristic: each piece is made up from multiple laminations, so it’s easy to tear layers out and maintain a consistent depth—that’s the real secret to this innovative product.

I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands, so it was late at night, about 10:30, when I finally had a chance to use the foam in my shop. But working with this stuff isn’t brain surgery—it’s not something you have to do first thing in the morning. In only a few minutes, I had all my lathe tools organized perfectly. Now I’ve got my eye on a few other drawers.


6 Responses to “Kaizen Foam”

  1. Kreg McMahon

    Nice article and video. I have some of this foam also and it works great.

  2. Emanuel

    Great article with some cool products. I have some tools in my truck that could use better storing and I think Kaizen Foam is the answer.

    Thanks Again

  3. Sternberg

    Those foam shadow systems just waste too much storage space. I have found that it is much better to organize your tools in the drawers so they nest the best, and then to make small fillers of foam or wood to insert in the gaps between them. It still shows any missing tools, and it prevents unwanted shifting, plus it allows you to maximize your storage space.

    • Sternberg

      I found a picture of one drawer. This one has lift out boxes, with another layer of tools below each of those trays that you can see. Most of this is made out of left over flooring.

      • Sternberg

        It appears that I cannot make that picture less than 300kb so it will fit here.

  4. Matt Sanford

    Nice job Gary. I been “thinking” about tool organization for a while now, and this article just sparked a whole new chapter of possibilities. Also, I like the term Kaizen. Constant improvement is a great way of describing almost everything I do. Seems like I am always inventing or postulating new ways of being more efficient and make a better product.




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