Project Garage

You’ve gotta love foam core and hot glue. This combination is so quick and forgiving that you can test almost any idea with a ruler, a sharp knife and a few minutes of spare time.

And so, when I found myself burying the modelling desk once again with pieces of 622, I decided to try to solve my problem. Now this is a complex problem, not because it’s difficult to put things away, but because I’ve demonstrated I can’t be trusted to tidy up if I have to wrap parts carefully and put them in a box.

To prepare 622’s subassemblies for painting, I taped many of them to pieces of foam core. This gave me the idea of using the foam core pieces as removable shelves, and building some sort of structure into which they slot. Those ideas percolated until this week, when I found myself once again struggling against a desk full of 622’s parts.

Even after putting away almost all the tools, the modelling bench was strewn with parts.

So, I got out a ruler, a sharp knife, some Dollar Store foam core and Bristol board, and in about 45 minutes, I had built a box with slots to accept the pieces of foam core onto which most of the parts had already been taped. The box has slots on both the sides and the back. To put a shelf in, you push it into the slot on the back and slide it over into the slot on the side. The shelf is supported then on two adjacent sides, and while it probably wouldn’t survive an earthquake, it is sufficient to keep the parts safe. I also created a Bristol board door that folds down to help the box look neater, and to protect the parts from dust or other mishaps. Inspired by appliance garages, which were all the rage in kitchen design a few years ago, I’m calling the box a Project Garage.

At 9x4x5.5 inches, dimensions dictated by the piece of foam core I had on hand, the Project Garage is almost big enough for 622. The back is perhaps a centimetre or two too far from the front for convenience, but definitely workable. I spaced the slots 1/2 inch apart, and on reflection, the top-most slot is unusable by my big hands and the bottom slot is unnecessary.

While the Project Garage is big enough for most rolling stock projects, it probably wouldn’t fit a passenger car, and any decent-sized building will not fit. I wonder if a larger Project Garage could have movable internal partitions, allowing for multiple projects of various sizes?

That, I think, is a question for another day. First of all I need to see if I will actually put projects away, or if they will gradually migrate back to the desk surface. One thing’s certain, I get to try out the idea with very minimal investment.

2 thoughts on “Project Garage

  1. I’m constantly fighting the messy work surface/vulnerable model parts problem. I have a fondness for rubber-maid (or similar) rectangular boxes, but they do not fully answer my needs. While they help group project A separate from project B, loose parts in the box are at risk of damage or loss. I find this makes me less efficient – especially when modelling time comes in short bursts. So I will be really interested to hear whether this concept meets your goals in the long term.

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