Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lift-out trays designs for figure storage

I mentioned last post that I plan to use lift-out sheet metal trays made from shingles in the black plastic trays I'm using to store my figures these days. Lift out trays served me pretty well for my Snapware trays, and I'll show that design in a future post, but for the black trays I think I'll need a new tray handle design. Here's what I came up with in Sketchup. The handle is 1/8th" mdf and 5/16" quarter round wood (which I happened to have lying around. I mentioned in my last post, the steel sheet bottoms will be made from powder-coated shingles from the home improvement store. There will be two lift-out trays per 14 3/4" x 8 1/4" storage tray.

handle design on left. On right, testing for the best position for the handles, along the wide edge or the narrow edge and center.

With the handle design my aim is to have something easy to make, easy to glue firmly to the sheet metal, and easy to lift out. Please let me know if you see a way to improve what I've got or you have another idea I should try!

Mock-up of two figure-placement options depending on where the handles are glued

I put mock-figures in the trays to test how the figures would line up. Either way you sacrifice a footprint large enough for six 25mm-based figures. Even so, you can comfortably store ninety-two figures per tray, and even ones that have weapons extending forward of the front edge. The test was helpful because I thought the handles along the long edge would be better (right side of each pic), but seeing the layout above I think the short-edge/middle handles have a more elegant pattern for the placement of figures (left side of each pic).