A and P license tool box shadowing
with shadowing, a missing tool is easily recognized


Why Shadow Your Tool Box?

Most companies do not require their aircraft mechanics to shadow their tools in their tool boxes.  But all companies will require their mechanics to have tool accountability.   Tool box shadowing is an excellent way of keeping track of your tools.

Do it for Cheap

Step 1.  Find a suitable camping sleeping mat.  It must be foam.  High density foam works best.  I got mine at walmart for less than 4 bucks.

Step 2.  Cut the foam to fit in your tool box drawer.  Lay out the tools evenly.  Do not make them too close together other wise the foam gets real flimsy.  Take a sharpy marker and outline each tool separately.

A and P license tool box shadowing
Step 2: Leave enough room for future expansion

Step3. Cut out each tool.  Use something really sharp like an Exacto knife.  I always get cut at this point at least once.  After cutting out the tool, then slice the piece you just removed in half, then reinsert it into the foam shadowing.  This give the tools something to lay on.   It makes trying to grab the tool easier since it is not stuck in the foam.

A and P license tool box shadowing
Step 3: Cut it out!
A and P license tool box shadowing
Step 3: Reinserting the sliced cutout

Step 4.  This took me about 30 minutes to do.  Be sure to test fit all the tools.


FAA A&P license tool box shadowing


Step 5.  Put it into your tool box and enjoy how neat it looks.

FAA A&P license tool box shadowing
FAA A&P license tool box shadowing


Downsides to Shadowing

The downsides to shadowing your tools box is that you lose a lot of space.  It is best to try to leave room for future tool purchases.  Another downside is that it takes a long time to shadow a whole tool box.  Personally I think these trades offs are worth it.  I like knowing that all my tools are accounted for.  It helps me sleep better at night.



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