I needed an organizer for compact discs for a cabinet I was building and none of the off-the-shelf ones I saw fit my requirements. Naturally, I did what any full-blooded Instructabler would do: I built my own at the Tecshop, http://www.techshop.ws
. The overall dimensions were fixed by the shelf available and I wanted to maximize the space I had to work with.
The first order of business was to measure a stack of five CDs in standard cases. I added a bit to the width and a scoatch to the stack depth and that established the "pocket" size. I had decided to use 1/4" MDF for the four sides and two column dividers and 1/8" MDF for the row partitions. After hand sketching my plans I did the parts layout in a 2D graphic program I have used extensively, DeltaCad 8. The finger joints, interlocking slots and slot and & tab dimensions were based on the material dimensions.
Just for giggles I reproduced the part layout in SketchUp to do a fit check.
I imported my DeltaCad drawings into Corel for the actual laser cutting layout. Someone is going to ask why I didn't just use Corel to start with. The answer is that I am more familiar with DeltaCad and that's where I started the layout.
It turned out that everything fit onto four 24" X 18" pieces. There was even room for the fit-check pieces shown in the next step.
Before I cut the whole shootin' match, I made a test set of the joints. It turned out that things were a bit tight. That's not a good thing when there are this many pieces that need to go together. Once the corners are glued, the assembly is plenty rigid, so it's better to be a bit on the loose side for the sake of assembly.
I went back to the Corel layout drawing and "loosened up" the interlocking slot and tab & slot joints.
Assemble the pieces for a fit check.