Retractable Resistor Rack




Introduction: Retractable Resistor Rack

About: Just a mild mannered programmer by day and a wannabe evil mad genius by night.

Well, here is something I thought was a bit nifty and as far as I can tell fairly original.

I tried buying the bins with drawers for my resistors and other through hole components but I never bought enough at one time to keep things consistent. I saw the resistor / component envelope storage technique which is cool, but it just wasn't appealing to me. So I finally decided to do what I thought would work best and have some kind of cool factor for me and here it is.

I had 4 of these saunder computer desks that I inherited when the kids left the house. Two were donated for other projects and I have 2 still standing. One I will be saving for a radio rack and the other is my electronic bench.

Step 1: The Electronic Bench

Someday I'll cover the insides of the desktop computer converted to a bench power supply. For now this is the bench and all it's mess. The organizer I made here doesn't cleanup much but it's a start as they say. In the picture that shows the wires under the desk where a computer typically goes there is a shelf that goes in there. It just sits on 4 plastic non securing brackets. I had that shelf sitting on my table saw / work bench when this picture was taken..

Step 2: The Shelf

In this picture is the shelf and I already have the main half a of 20" drawer slide secured to the top of it, centered of course. When I measured for the drawer slide I was initially only going to use an 18" slide but part of the component drawer would most likely still be under the desktop of the bench. So I went with a 20" drawer slide, and made the back of the slide flush with the back of the drawer. I used the screws that came with the drawer slide, for now anyway. I have to add another drawer slide underneath this shelf (future retractable wire rack, although I may go with a retractable wire ferris wheel, still thinking about that) and will probably have to get some fairly precise (length) bolts to secure the 2 slides together on each side of this board. I don't know when I'll get to that.

Step 3: The Drawer

The wood I used for the drawer is 2 pieces of floor laminate. I cut both pieces to the same length as the shelf. The bottom piece is a light colored wood and the top piece is a dark color wood and I cut out a large section of the inside so the remaining portion serves as an edge (tray?). I will be hanging my resistors from plastic bags and I'm sure some are going to fall out of the bags from time to time and they should fall on the inside of the drawer and this edge made from the darker laminate flooring piece will stop them from rolling off the shelf to who knows where.

I used the light color wood to hopefully see the resistors (or any other components) easier. This picture I only rested the drawer on top of the slide mechanism. In next / later steps you will see the mounting screws poked through the bottom of the drawer, I know ewww.

Step 4: Resistor Pack Support Structure

There are lots of notes on these pictures. But the basics are:

I used some scrap pieces of 2 X 4s which were already cut down that actual size is: 1.5 X 2.5 X 5.75. But there's one on each end of the drawer. I stacked the supports together and clamped them together while I drilled a hole for the metal rod (3/8") in them. This was done to make sure the hole was equally placed in both supports without having to measure umpteen times and hope that the rod doesn't bind in the supports when you thread the rod through the holes after the supports are secured to the drawer.

I used a router forster bit to make the hole for the magnets which got me a nice snug fit for the magnets. Although they were falling out way easier then I expected. I then placed the support on the drawer where they should go and threaded the rod and made sure it all fit together to test the fitting. It did so I reassembled the whole thing upside down on the bench and lined up the wood supports to center the slide rail.

I then used 2 screws on each support with each of those screws on each side of the rail (sorry forgot to take that pic).

Then flipped the whole assembly upside right.

Step 5: Securing the Shelf

I used a couple of small angle brackets, most likely donated from some other saunder piece of furniture, and used those to secure the back of the shelf to the desk. Remember this shelf was originally just sitting on 4 four of those plastic shelf supports. Pull the drawer out on the slide and it's going to slip and slide to the floor or foot if your not paying attention. So I used these to secure the drawer. I thought about just screwing the shelf through the sides of the desk into the edge of the shelf, but I didn't feel like measuring and hoping I measured right. Basically this was the lazier way.

Step 6: Trim the Metal Rod

Here I free-hand marked the rod just a bit on the outside side of the support/drawer. I then cut the rod what would be on the inside of the mark / drawer so that the rod will end on the inside of the support. The end was filed a bit, but this location of cutting will keep the end from being exposed anyway.

Step 7: Hot Glue Time!

Probably a bit too many pics here, but I'm just trying to show where the tips of the screws (mounting screws that came with the drawer slide) are sticking up through the bottom of the drawer. I covered them with hot glue and I just placed the magnets in the hole I made for them and then just hot glued them in.

Step 8: Racking the Resistors.

Here I have a few pictures of the resistor packs. I used 4" x 4" plastic zip bags. I placed (had to cut to fit) an index card in each bag that is marked (by hand) on each side what the resistor value is. I also made labels with a C# program, way too complicated to share but I suggest you use either word or excel. I used Avery labels template 5195 2/3" X 1 3/4" for those labels. I also included the color code bands on the labels. For each bag and index card I used a standard notebook hole punch to punch a hole near the corner of each bag. In the pictures where the wire is keeping the resistor packs like a big key ring.

I just put the rod through the outside support part way, loaded the bags in order onto the rod and when I was finished I just put the rod in the inside support hole and the magnets clicked the rod securely.

Step 9: A Bonus Discovery.

So I finally decided to go through my components, and I found some still in their store bought bag. Seems they have a hole in those bags already for hanging the bags and are clearly marked what the specs of the component is. Well I tugged the metal bar from the magnet that I use to rack the components and slid the prepackaged bags on the bar to hang them with. I was going to rebag them but that would mean I would have to create labels so I know what they are in the future. Also note that the 4 x 4 bags I am using also hold an Uno R3 quite nicely. I used dry transfer lettering to put the 00 and 01 on each of the Uno R3s shown. Still have to hang the Unos but not until I get an index card behind them. I don't trust the bags with that much weight without the card as a reinforcement.

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    5 years ago

    Great Info, Your pre-planning Paid off! Your Instructable is clear. You have denied me [Yet Again] any reason not to get Organ-gin-nised. Thank You


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    thanks, I plan to add diodes, small transistors, small capacitors, and other similar small packaged components as well, right there on that rack.