This is a project in which we make a safe and handy storage organiser for medium to small electronic components.

These were our requirements: first, we wanted it to be mobile, so we could take it to places like the Maker Faire, as well as back and forth from home to the Flowering Elbow workshop. Second, it had to be effective and easy to use - while it needed to do a good job of keeping things safe and dust free, we needed easy access to its contents (no rifling through multiple compartments looking for this or that component). Third, it would be nice if it could be quickly mounted on the wall at the shop, to keep it in place, out of harms way and easy to access. Fourth, in line with the Flowering Elbow ethos,we wanted it to be made almost exclusively from re or upcycled material. Here’s what we came up with and how you could make one too.

Step 1: Materials & Tools Overview

This project tweaks the classic zip-tied disk box, and uses it as a removable drawer. A signifying handle (an electronic component that will act as both a handle and an indicator of the contents) is added to the front. And a folding ply box is used to house a bunch of individual disk drawers.

For the disk drawers you need:
Lots of old floppy disks. One drawer requires 5 disks and 12 zip ties (2.5mm x 100mm). So to make this particular size of store, which houses 16 drawers, you need 80 floppies and 192 zip ties (though we also experimented with old wire wrapped tight and soldered in place instead of zip ties - it works but takes much longer) . Of course it is quite possible to scale the project and make as many drawers as suits your needs. This was something of a prototype, but I can easily envision large wall sized stores, and modular stores that fit together.  

For the folding ply box you need:
Some plywood. We gratefully received a load of off cuts of 12mm shuttering ply form a local ‘sure chill’ cooling company, who use it for overseas packing crates. Shuttering ply is not the best quality ply in world (in fact in its raw form it’s pretty awful), but it’s cheap or free if you can find off cuts, and there is a lot you can do to improve it, not least a bit of sanding.
One 10” wide 8’ long board will do for both halves of the folding box.

The dividers are scraps of 5mm thick ply - long bits that are 115mm (or 4 ½”) wide is what you want.            

  • Clamps: The more the better!
  • Table saw and all the safety equipment that goes with it - dust extractor, goggles, ear defenders, etc...
  • Side cutters or sharp scissors
  • Marking knife
  • Measuring tools
  • Drill and 3mm bit (or you can try a quality punch)
  • Sander random orbit power sander recommended
  • Finger jointing jig easy to make yourself if you have a few scraps of ply - fits nicely onto a shop make cross-cut sled
<p>Nice! That's a pretty clever re-use!</p>
<p>but, how will you reach the top ones?</p>
I guess my link didn't work. Here's my creation! http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a172/Jake4x/456D99E4-6DE6-4820-9D6B-0C95E845444B.jpg<br>
<p>Oo, this slipped past somehow. That's really cool :) Thanks for sharing! </p>
Love it! Finally, something to use those old discs for! <br>[URL=http://s11.photobucket.com/user/Jake4x/media/456D99E4-6DE6-4820-9D6B-0C95E845444B.jpg.html][IMG]http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a172/Jake4x/456D99E4-6DE6-4820-9D6B-0C95E845444B.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
I have a bunch of empty CD &quot;jewel cases&quot; &nbsp;(I use thin sleeves for storing my CDs), and am wondering if the zip-tie technique you use would work for those, too... Bigger drawers might be useful for a lot of things. Could use clear ones for the front panels, allowing you to see the contents... I had been giving my &quot;empties&quot; to a music publisher for re-use, but if they're cracked they can't be used for packaging new CDs...<br> <br> The box-making instructions are very clear, and you get a very nice result from your cheap wood!
Interesting idea, give it a try maybe. I remember cd cases being quite brittle though so take care...
To help make it easier to put on the wall, a few thin strips of wood mounted to the wall along the bottom and sides would give a starting point for the alignment. You then just have to move the box up until the screws line up, then lower it down on the keyholes. <br> <br>Beautiful project, it looks quite nice on the wall.
Thanks! Good suggestion that. A french cleat would have been the way to go (I think - though twisting when opening may be an issue) but I may as well make the best of the bodge ;)
Very cool! Great idea!
This guy got it all : genius (or almost), ideas, materials, tools, a workshop, and &hellip; two beautiful women ! <br>On the top of that he tells it all to us poor morons !&hellip; <br> <br>Oh well !&hellip;&nbsp;That's how Darwin wrote his book I suppose. <br> <br>Congrat's !&hellip; Very nice idea. <br>If you put your case on wheels with an extension handle it will make a perfect moveable organizer. <br> <br>Thanks for posting !
Chuckle.... I can't think of anything witty and pc to say that talks to the first part of your comment (I guess that falsifies most of it)... <br> <br>Nice idea the wheels though! I can imagine a large rolling toolbox style one...
Hum... a bit, pleasantly, ironic. Very nice.
After asking all your friends for the disks they haven't tossed, and checking all the 'used stuff' stores and garage sales... You can still find them online. I got over 10 pages of hits when I did a search for 'free 3 1/2&quot; floppy disks'. Admittedly they weren't free, but some were very inexpensive. Amazon has some. Ebay has a lot of 36 used disks for 40 cents right now. They also have new boxes for anywhere from 99 cents to $25.00. Good luck.
That's an awesome idea! I just wish I hadn't thrown out the last of my floppies five years ago. Can you even still buy those?
You can, but that would defiantly take away a lot of the charm. Some people like the disks to be bank and label-less, but my favourite disk-draws are the ones that remind me of good time, playing Settlers1 on the Amega, and MS-DOS install disks ...
Here's a tip I learned a million years ago in a shop class for making boxes. <br>Instead of making two halves of the box, make the full box at once and then cut it in half when you're done. <br>The only thing you have to do is add enough extra width to account for the saw kerf cut (usually 1/8&quot;). <br>It's way easier to build and when you're done, the two halves actually FIT together.
Nice tip, thanks! I actually thought I might try that on the next ones I make. The only downside it that the panels become a touch more cumbersome to handle during the finger jointing operations. .
I like this in concept, but the idea that we're too good to call it what it is; the whole &quot;upcycle&quot; word...it's just people that are too proud to say they're recycling junk for a new purpose. <br> <br>Let's just call a spade a spade, shall we?
eeek. I wouldn't say I'm too proud to admit to using junk, if anything I am loving the junkiness! <br> <br>I'm not sure what the 'dictionary' says about 'upcycling', If pushed though, I know I have been using the term for some time to mean something a bit different from 'recycling'. With 'upcycling' I think the junk isn't being melted down and re-processed like with recycling, But really everyone round these parts tends to use the two interchangeably assuming people will get the gist... <br> <br>Anyway, I'm off to do some digging with my spadearooo ;)
Great idea! <br>
saw the thumbnail for this and thought I recognised it, loved this when I saw it at the Maker-faire :)
You know your a mega nerd when you see this and think would this work for my Warhammer 40K army as a travel case! This is awesome! Saving this for when I have the tools to do this.
Cool. Looking forward to seeing it one day... ;)
Pretty good. I've done a lot of box joint boxes but I've never cut joints for the bottom. I still don't see how you lined those up. If it was me I'd have probably splined the bottom. It'd look the same as box joints and I know it'd work out. <br> <br>As far as the disks go did you consider splitting them apart? I suppose that might be more trouble than it is worth doing. <br> <br>I still have tons of floppies thinking I might use them again someday. But I hated those things years ago! I might have to investigate recycling them into storage bins, or something.
so good to see someone making something useful out of what is essentially scrap.
Nice work but it would have taken hell lot of your time.
if i have 5 thumbs, i'll give this 5 thumbs up! so probably i'll just give u 5 stars for this!
Very clever! Recently found a trove of floppy disks while cleaning my basement; now I'm glad I didn't just toss them :)
very cool I may follow this instructable to make me one of these

About This Instructable




Bio: BongoDrummer is co-founder and member of Flowering Elbow. He loves to learn about, invent, and make things, particularly from waste materials.
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