Introduction: Cork Board Project Phase 3

I made it at the TechShop ( in Menlo Park.

This project supports the earlier ones described for making a bunch of cork boards.

To make a cork board which looks good, the corks should match for size. This describes a little project to build a sorter for when one has many hundreds to deal with.

I show how it looks, but you, the maker, must work out the dimensions to fit your needs. From the images it should be clear how to scale it. The only numbers I'll mention are the cork diameters. If you have more corks, you need a bigger box, but the corks do not change.

The image shows a box with nine compartments. That turns out to be quite enough. It's easy to use. Just push a cork though the smallest hole (in the top board) where it passes easily. The holes are stepped by half a millimeter in diameter.

Step 1: Tools and Materials Used.

Materials used:
Plywood 3/8" thick, several square feet, scavanged from the scrap bin, as required.
Lengths of wood 3/4" or 1" square. From the scrap bin, as required.
Plank 1/4" thick, 4" wide, as long as needed. The only wood I bought and paid for: 2 feet long.
1" screws as required.
Wood glue.

Table saw.
Drill press.

Step 2: Basic Design

Starting with a large collection of corks to play with, I measured the diameters of some of the biggest and smallest. They ranged from 2.0 cm to 2.4 cm. I decided to sort them in steps of 0.5 mm. That gave nine buckets.

I designed a box with nine receptacles. It is two feet square, which is a compromise of space needed and space available.

Because of the software I needed to use, and my limited familiarity with it, I translated the metric measurements into inches, which caused no problems at all. They ranged in equal steps from 0.787 inches to 0.945 inches. The only point relevant here is that the range and step size has worked out quite well for my project.

The box has the size filter across the middle and the receptacles ranged along both sides of it.

Step 3: Construction

The basic design involves use of glue and screws. (Since it is purely utilitarian, looks are not a concern.) The position of the divisions and sides is set by wood bars which are glued and screwed on. The attachment of the sides is only by screws. The divisions are only slotted in place. So when it's not in use it can be disassembled. The images show this very clearly when the device is partly assembled.

All the material except the small plank on top was found in the scrap bin.

The small plank across the top will receive the holes for the sorter as shown later.

Step 4: Construction Half Done.

The next images show the box fully assembled. The design should still be clear. All that remains is to make the holes in the filter device across the top. It can be built to any scale the user needs.

Step 5: From Another Angle.

The same stage of construction from another angle.

Step 6: Cut Holes

The hole diameters needed do not match any available set of drill bits. No problem.

I put the plank in the laser cutter/engraver and programmed the device to cut holes of graded sizes to align with the receptacles in the box. Piece of cake. The laser device is very precise.

The final result is shown below. It has speeded up a very tedious process of sorting the corks. (It's still tedious, as long as there is human labor involved, but much improved.)

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