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Creating the elusive ultimate storage solution

soundmarshsoundmarsh Charlotte, NCMember Posts: 11
Hey everyone, I am fairly new to the forums. I have been on a quest for sometime to find a storage solutions for Lego bricks. I have tried the sorting trays with lids, the tackle box type, the Akro Mills bins, the craft trays, IKEA trofast bins, etc. My favorite solution to date is the old system that Lego designers used (you have seen them around ;)). I have come to the ultimate conclusion that there is not any system out there that will work exactly like I want unless I make it. So I am doing just that. 

I already work in manufacturing and have run a facility for almost a decade. I have done custom cabinet work, metal works, polyethylene work, etc. I am done looking for a solution and I am now just going to make one. I am able to create shelves, inserts, and the cabinet to hold them. I think I have found a material and system I like but now just need to fine tune it. 

My question for everyone here is: What is your wish list for a Lego storage cabinet? Like number of drawers (think about 20" wide), number of cubbies per drawer. What is your issue with the system you use now? 

What I am working on is a drawer type system with removable drawers. I am also working on a modular divider system for said drawers so that they can accommodate different sizes and styles of bricks. 

Anyway, I would like some feedback and thoughts on this idea. 


Jackad7kiki180703

Comments

  • soundmarshsoundmarsh Charlotte, NCMember Posts: 11


    Just to clarify. This is the Style of Drawer I am going for. I just don't know what good sizes to go for on the inside. I only have about 20k pieces right now. So, I'm sure people with many more run into needing something more specific than this size for all bricks. 


  • yg77yg77 Member Posts: 32
    My perfect solution would be wide,clear drawers (think Sterilite) but with modular inserts of different sizes.  Also some type of lock to connect one drawer unit to its neighbor- just like a lego modular but also with said connection points on top for secure vertical stacking .  Finally, a completely flat square top of the unit to better display sets on without things getting uneven or bumpy. Looks like you are on the right track so far!
    catwranglerkiki180703chuckp
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 926
    If money was no object, then I think Bisley (http://www.bisley.com/en-GB/products) offer a great combination of professional storage units. Otherwise, Really Useful Boxes (http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/uk/html/onlineshop/rub_storage.php) have some great expandable tower solutions with tray inserts and multiple height drawers. Not exactly cheap either though.
    catwranglerkiki180703
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,054
    I use RUBs mostly. The issue is that collections grow. So what might be perfect for your collection now, won't be in two years time. For example, I have about four times as many black 1x2 bricks as are in that photo, so clearly that storage system wouldn't work for them.

    You need something expandable and flexible. Personally, I would prefer a drawer system which allowed swapping out different sizes, from 0.1L drawers to 1.6L drawers, depending on your needs.

    I'm not a fan of the drawer systems shown above, with inserts in the drawers. They're too inflexible for my liking.
    Jennicatwranglerkiki180703
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    I kept trying to grow my sorted storage until I realised there isn't much point (for me).  I have a whole load of sorted bricks ready for MOCs (maybe 10-15k, at a guess), everything else is just sorted into RUBs based on something like; bricks, plates, slopes, modified, etc.  When my MOC stash get depleted then I sort more into the smaller groupings.  Unless I'm working on something huge there is more than enough in the sorted stuff to keep me going.  Once or twice I have run out of a certain bit and had to hunt through the big RUBs for it, but it doesn't happen often enough to be worth investing the money required to sort all the bricks I have.
    The only real downside is that occasionally I have ordered a part from bricklink then found one in my RUBs during a sort some time later.  I probably ought to sort them and pull out anything unique too, but then I found you just end up with the same piece in different places.
    andhecatwranglerkiki180703
  • soundmarshsoundmarsh Charlotte, NCMember Posts: 11
    OK, that's good. So the cabinet I am building is a wooden style with glides for the drawers to set on. Similar to the trofast system from Ikea. Like this photo. This is what my kids use now, but I just spent 3 hours yesterday looking for parts in these color bins and it was insane trying to find what I needed. So, my thought is a cabinet like this but with the drawers like my previous photo. I know companies make office supplies and general storage solutions. I just want to make a lego specific one. So part of that is making the drawer and the inserts separate. That way is you want a drawer with 2x2 slots you can have that, but if you don't then just leave the insert out. Which is what I would do for large plates. 
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,105
    Fairly certain there are a few threads discussing this exact topic...

    I use Sterillite 6 Qt bins (about 99 cents each at Target) for almost all larger part (or larger quantity) storage.

    I use Akro part storage bins (that are usually found in hardware stores for those wanting to sort screrw and what not) for smaller special peices, or clips, eyelets, etc.
    SumoLegonatro220kiki180703
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 14,064
    (There are seven or eight other threads.)
    kiki180703
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    My idea of a perfect system is one that sorts itself. :)
    Jennikiki180703chuckp
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 14,064
    One wonders if there is a CoinStar Machine out there for organizing and cleaning Lego...
    bandit778Jackad7kiki180703
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,477
    @SumoLego - its coming......
    tallblocktooDaraghbandit778catwranglerJackad7kiki180703Recce
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,751
    ^ Dang, I want one...
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,257
    The fact that it's also made out of Lego is marvellous. Although after building it he shouldn't need to sort 1x 16 technic bricks.
    SprinkleOtterJackad7kiki180703
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,105
    I have been toying with the idea of building something with LEGO and technic that can replicate a swirling motion in a little tub I have where I soak dirty LEGO I receive to further agitate the water while soaking (like a washing machine, but more like a mixer type action). that way my LEGO can clean my LEGO, just switch it on and go back to the TV.
    bandit778kiki180703
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,751
    ^ I don't know much about them, but LEGO does (did?) make boat motors...
  • soundmarshsoundmarsh Charlotte, NCMember Posts: 11
    Wow that sorter is awesome, it is impressive that it is made of Lego. 
  • Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 553
    ^ I don't know much about them, but LEGO does (did?) make boat motors...
    They worked for about as long as the seal on the battery portion held(two weeks?). Fun whole they lasted though. I still have mine but I think the corrupted battery did it in.
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    yg77 said:
    My perfect solution would be wide,clear drawers (think Sterilite) but with modular inserts of different sizes.  Also some type of lock to connect one drawer unit to its neighbor- just like a lego modular but also with said connection points on top for secure vertical stacking .  Finally, a completely flat square top of the unit to better display sets on without things getting uneven or bumpy. Looks like you are on the right track so far!
    ^ This is exactly what I would want too!

    I bought a bunch of the LEGO 3-drawer units (http://brickset.com/sets/5000248-1/3-Drawer-Storage-Unit) when LEGO blew them out a few years ago and they work good, but have their limits. 

    My biggest gripe is even with the thin plate on the front to attach parts for identification, I still have to open them all to find parts. Something clear would be a real plus. The LEGO drawers also use non-adjustable trays, which is OK, but sometimes it would be nice if they were expandable. 

    @CupIsHalfEmpty posted a photo of the ArtBin Super Satchel bins in this thread
    http://bricksetforum.com/discussion/22733/piece-storage . This is what I plan on using for all my future storage upgrades. 
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