Monday, November 25, 2013

A Storage Project

I have been slowly working on a set of modular terrain tiles over the course of the past several months. In the interests of minimizing the amount of storage space needed compared to the pile of big terrain boards (4 by 6 feet) that have accumulated in the unfinished part of the basement, I figured that a nice set of modular tiles would give me a lot of flexibility and allow me to discard a bunch of big rarely used boards. The purging part has been completed, and the first 10 terrain tiles are complete (I'll do a separate post soon on those).

Something that became apparent to me as this stack of tiles was accumulating was that I needed a good storage solution for them, or they would end up jumbled in a pile much like the previous stack of stuff leaning against the wall. While watching a cooking show on the Food Network with Grace it occurred to me that what I needed was a customized version of a baker's rack. So this weekend, I built one.

My terrain tiles are 22.5 inches square, so the interior needed to be an opening of approximately 2 feet. To give some wiggle room, it is 26 inches wide and 24 inches deep. It is a simple frame made of pine boards, with pairs of "shelf" braces every vertical 12 inches or so. Due to the lightweight nature of the foam boards, the framing can be pretty basic, and you don't need true shelves, just slats front and back to rest the boards on. I offset the slats from the front and back so the tiles sit comfortably on them, and installed a vertical "stop" in the center of the back so that the tiles simply slide in on the shelves until they hit the riser in the back (so they don't keep right on going and fall out the other side). It is braced properly so it won't fall apart.

The whole assembly is six feet tall and will hold somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-24 tiles, assuming that some will be thicker than others. I mounted the unit on small caster wheels so I can move it around as needed. The finished product can be seen with my tiles in it. Each shelf will hold 3-5 tiles. I have put scraps of green fleece between each tile to cut down on friction, so that the flocking doesn't rub off as easily.
Current state of the gaming area

The seemingly never ending quest to reorganize is finally starting to feel like the end, for the moment, is in sight. I have purged a lot of things, sold some on eBay, sold some at the convention last week, and have spent a lot of time making sure I am using the available space as effectively as I can. I'm sure I will never really be done, but for right now, my gaming area no longer looks like a tornado hit it. So that's a good thing.

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