Thursday, 30 July 2009

Taking Stock!

Last month Colin Lea described his new stock boxes over on his blog, so I thought I'd describe my stock boxes I made a couple of years ago. Someone (I can't remember who) turned up to a Sussex Downs 009 group meeting with one of these:

It's a tough plastic crate containing four compartmentalised storage boxes (one of which has been removed in the photo to show how they slot in), which at the time were available in B&Q for about £20. Several of us rushed out to buy one as we saw the potential! Each of the storage boxes has four compartments with removable dividers, but with the dividers removed they are an ideal size for 009 stock.

A local upholstery shop supplied some 5mm thick foam sheet for about £5 - I also had some similar left over from a previous stock-box. This was cut into strips and sheets to line the bottom and sides of each compartment, and the lid, and glued in place with Bostik contact glue. Some removable strips can be added to reduce the depth of some compartments for narrower stock, and some "chunks" were cut from thicker foam to use as spacers between each item of stock, to protect couplings. In fact the springiness of the foam and lid tends to grip the stock gently, and stock is put in such that when the storage box is slid into the crate they are on their wheels. So the stock is well protected from damage.

It is surprising how much stock this can contain, and when in the crate it is very well protected. Unlike bespoke wooden stock boxes it is relatively light (though not with lots of white metal loco's in it! Even my rolling stock contains a fair amount of lead ....). So I have a robust and effective stock-box big enough for all my (serviceable) stock, for a reasonable price and a couple of evenings work cutting and gluing the foam.

I actually have a fifth storage box of near identical dimensions (it will even slot in the crate) which I bought from Hobbycraft previously and lined with foam in the same way (hence the left-over foam), and I'm sure other similar compartmentalised boxes are available.
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