Parts Cabinet

There comes a point in every electronic enthusiast's life that find you just have to have the entire E12 resistor range on hand. All those little bags laying around in the junk box just doesn't scale to your needs any more. This was my solution.

completed parts cabinet unit

It has three tiers of 4 draw cabinets, each containing 25 draws. The draw themselves can be partitioned into two parts if required, but I haven't bothered yet. I guess it would have been nice to have decade or half-decade wide rows for the E12 range, but you make do with what you've got.

The top and bottom are particle board scraps that I had laying around (MDF would probably be a better choice). The unit has four castors on the bottom to allow easy moving around the room. A booker bolt with two wing nuts and some washers runs through the middle holding it together.

The bottom "trolley" has a 12 mm right angle section of extruded Aluminium screwed around the edges to hold the parts draws and stop them moving around. Each layer and each cabinet in each layer is tacked together with a little epoxy to make it rigid.

When I first built the cabinet I bought the local DSE out of the particular draw set I used. They had the cheapest units of reasonable quality, even compared to Jaycar and Bunnings. So for a long time the unit had only seven sets and just wasn't finished. That bothered me a lot! I went around all the stores eventually finding another that had two more in stock which let me complete the first two layers with one set to spare.

me posing with the 2-layer initial unit

It was a long time before I got the last three to complete the unit. The spike in demand for this particular set apparently set off a restocking purchase at DSE, and in a month or two every DSE store I went to had hundreds of the things at reduced prices trying to flog them off. Hehe, the butterfly effect I guess. It is a shame the booker bolt is too short to accept a forth layer, I've since cut it to size, but I could get another longer piece or work out some kind of join with a pipe and two nuts, but there is already too much storage space for me to fill, unless I decide one day I want to keep the E24 range in stock...

Now days there are CMOS, TTL, MCUs, capacitors, LEDs, and all kinds of weird things in my parts cabinet. I am almost reaching the point I need that extra layer. I've started an E12 collection of ceramic and MKT caps, so I guess it is only a matter of time before I build an even bigger version to hold them all.

If I built another I'd probably include a "lazy susan" for ease of rotation. While the castors are sufficient, it is getting quite heavy (now it is full of components) and it digs into the carpet making that initial effort to get it moving a bit annoying.



2007-01-20: Parts Cabinet (Mark II)
Another rotating multi-draw cabinet.