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Parts Trays

by JRinTawa

My modelling time is limited and of late much of the time seems to have been spent hunting out "that" section of brass or styrene from relevant draw.  Two draws, one for brass, one for styrene.  The frequency of the search some evenings seem to be just slightly longer that the time spend finding each piece.  Along came the current issue of the NZ Model Railway Journal in which was an article describing how a chap made a parts bin from an old plastic picnic table.  Set me to thinking it did, laying awake after yet another frustrating search (trouble sleeping does leave a lot of time for thinking) and I came up with a cunning plan using rectangular uPVC downpipe.  
And it worked!  So this is how I did it.
Take a length of downpipe (I'm using Marley 65x50mm uPVC) and cut in half lengthwise.  I cut it in half on the 65mm plane to give 50mm wide trays for my brass trays and on the 50mm place to give 65mm wide trays for my styrene.  Then the two halves were cut into 325mm lengths for the brass trays and 410mm for the styrene trays.

We then need to cut either on tray or the last section of halved downpipe in half length wise so we can then…..
…cut the now produced 'L' shape strip into what will become the tray ends.  (Done nice and safely using my wee home made slide table adaption.)

A slight down side of the downpipe is it has rounded corners so both side of one leg of the ends need trimming so it will sit flat.
You can tell this operation needs care and concentration.  If your not well practised with benchsaws I'd suggest this stage may be better done with a sharp (Stanley)  knife.

Glue the ends into the trays with plumbers solvent and we have, umm, trays. Lots of trays.  As you can see the packets Evergreen Styrene comes in fits neatly into the 65mm wide, 410mm long trays.

So into the workshop and sort brass shapes into the smaller trays and styrene into the bigger trays.

After adding some intermediate shelves of hardboard to a filing rack we have organisation!

I know, it's a sheltered life I live that I can both get excited by making parts trays, and photograph making them!  But if it helps make better use of my modelling time then that's exciting to me.  Time wise the trays took no more than 3 hours to make with total cost for 26 trays of about $75.00, so true there was some expense but that could quickly be offset by avoiding repeat buying shapes I can't find, and how can I value the time it will save me?