Introduction: Resistor Storage

Storing resistors in envelopes or small plastic bags is an obvious way of storing them in a way that makes them easily retrievable. I followed the same route, but in a way I think has some extra benefits: It's very easy to find a specific resistor and retrieve it without getting bags/envelopes mixed up or lost.

Step 1: The System in Theory

I based my system on a quarter watt resistor kit containing the E12 set of values ranging from 0 ohms to 10 megohms. The E12 system contains 12 values per decade, namely 1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8, 2.2, 2.7, 3.3, 3.9, 4.7. 5.6, 6.8 and 8.2 ohms in the 1 to 10 ohm range. (Multiply by 10, 100 etc. for the other decades, or divide by 10 for the 0 to 1 ohm range.)

It made sense to me to divide all the resistors into different groups according to decade, with each group then containing its 12 values in ascending order. That gave me 9 groups (0-0.82 ohm; 1-8.2 ohm; 10-82 ohm; 100-820 ohm; 1k-8.2k; 10k-82k; 100k-820k; and 10 megohms (my kit only came with 10 and 15 megohm resistors).

To retrieve a resistor of a specific value, it's easy to first go to the right decade and then find the required value.

Step 2: The Physical System

Luckily for me the supplier of my resistor kit already sorted all the different values into resealable bags, 10 of each in a bag. The values were also already written with a permanent marker on the different bags (first picture). All that was left for me to do was to arrange them in value from low to high.

I then grouped the bags according to decade, which gave my nine groups of 12 bags each. Then I carefully lined up each group of bags (second picture) and stapled their bottom ends together (third picture). In that way the order stays the same and no individual bag can get lost or misplaced. But it's still easy to flip through them to find a specific value. (You can of course also mark the bags with stickers which is more legible -- last picture.)

I now had my 9 packets of bags, but still needed a housing to keep them neatly in order and in place.

Step 3: The Box

To house the packets of resistors, I built a cardboard box with the required 9 compartments (first picture). The size of the bags dictated the size of the box, which came to 27 cm in length (9 compartments, each 3 cm thick) by 11 cm high and 9 cm wide. The side of each compartment was then marked with the corresponding decade (second picture).

Now it's easy to remove the packet of resistors containing the required decade, flip through it and take out the needed value, and then put them back without misplacing a bag, or disturbing the other bags in the box.


smandal13 made it!(author)2015-08-12

this is very helpfull to me. Can you please explain how actually did u make the compartments?

mxx made it!(author)2015-08-14

Smandal13, hi! A very good question, as it was actually a bit of work to get it just right. To build the box, I converted an existing one, and before I glued the sides of the box in place, I first glued one end of the dividers with a thick strip of glue to one side of the unfinished box and let it dry, keeping the dividers in the right position with a piece of sponge and a weight on top. When the glue was dry, I applied glue to the remaining ends of the dividers while holding them in place at the right distance from each other with a piece of hardboard in which I cut notches 3 cm apart. I used PVA glue (the white stuff for woodworking) thickly applied to do the glueing, as it hardens to a very durable substance when dry. It is quite strong enough to hold the cardboard dividers in place by itself. If my explanation still does not make sense, let me know and I'll make you a picture of how I did it.

smandal13 made it!(author)2015-08-14

Thank you very much for sharing.

Jenny00 made it!(author)2015-08-06

I like this, it's actually smaller and better than the set of drawers I have, which takes up quite a bit of wall space. I shall make one as soon as possible, thanks for a great idea. I think I may experiment with using those small metal and wire binder clips to hold the bags together (easier to replace a bag), also I think I may angle the internal dividers and place the box vertical in the space that will be left when re-purposing the drawers.

smandal13 made it!(author)2015-08-12

Jenny00, I would love to see your modifications. Please post photos if you make one

mxx made it!(author)2015-08-06

Jenny00, thanks for your comment, and your modifications make perfect sense!

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