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Storage Cabinets Project

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Cowboy writes:

My sympathy man...

I had an Ikea shelving unit full of minis mags and books fall over in the basement...

-shudders at the memory-

Hence I bolt most shelves down securely before loading them...


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8 April 2004page first published

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With spring, comes spring cleaning - which in my case, means trying to get my miniatures more organized.

This Ogre Mark IV is not securely stored!

For instance, here's this Ogre Mark IV precariously perched on the edge of my WWII figures cabinet. Obviously, he needs a better home - out of the dust, and less prone to being knocked off the shelf to woe and destruction.

Now when it comes to hobby storage, I divide it into (at least!) four different needs:

  • travel storage (tough, durable)
  • permanent storage (light storage)
    • painted figures (need room, protection)
    • unpainted figures (need less protection)
    • tools and supplies (many varied needs)

For travel storage - such as taking figures to a game or a convention - you need something that holds the figures securely while in transit. For permanent storage, however, you don't need quite the same level of protection - most of the time it'll be sitting on the shelf or along a wall somewhere, not riding in the trunk of your car!

In my particular case, I'm looking for permanent storage for the Ogre units I've been painting up over the winter. I need something with relatively wide drawers, since Ogres (and even most of the associated lesser fighting vehicles) are fairly large.

Manufacturer-supplied photo of the EMplast 19-drawer storage unit (mine is actually white, not blue)

After a shopping trip, my choice for storage is an EMPlast brand Storage Solutions 19-drawer storage unit. This is quite inexpensive - I picked mine up at a Target store for about $10.00 USD. It has two sizes of drawers, and they have slots for sub-dividers (which I don't think will be useful, for this project). The drawers don't lock in place, which makes this cabinet unsuitable for travel.

(Another concern is that the cabinets don't "lock" together when stacked, but have flat tops and bottoms. In the past, I've used cabinets that stack more securely...but I can't find them in stores any more...)

My next step is to line all of the drawers with magnetic sheet. Even though I'm going to use this for "permanent" storage, I know the cabinet is going to get jostled from time to time, and I'll feel more secure if I have magnet sheeting in place. (I'm putting my Ogre models on steel bases, so they should not jump around too much if put in magnet-lined drawers.)

Now, I could buy magnet sheeting and cut it to size...but since I'm dealing with standard-sized drawers, and I may want to get more of these cabinets later, I've decided to put in a custom order for magnet sheeting cut to the right sizes.

So I measure the drawers. I figure it's better to be slightly smaller rather than slightly larger, since I want these to fit snug in the bottoms (but if there's a bit of a gap at the edges, it won't matter).

Two sizes of drawers

The small drawer (allowing for the walls) measures 1 3/4" x 5" on the bottom. The large drawer is 4" by 5" - and by the way, has an annoying bump in the middle, which may cause a problem later...I wonder if I can easily flatten it, somehow...

A quick check on the internet shows that nobody makes the sizes I'm looking for (not surprising!). However, Litko Aerosystems...

...can also outfit your carry box with a precisely cut sheet... up to 11 inches by 23 inches...made from 0.020" magnetic sheet.

So I'll place an order, and see what happens next...