Space optimization

I can’t have things on top of my table, I just can’t, specially modular storage boxes. (or any other boxes, btw).

What happens with that, is that I put it somewhere it can fit over the table, just like this:

                  071s - Combibox panel
But, in doing so, even with my table completely clean, bottom drawers become annoying to use. I  have to keep clear some space in front, wich is just impossible for me to do for more than a pair of days.

Today I decided that enough was enough, and I had to move the modular storage somewhere else. I don’t have any shelves or similar, so that was not an option. I also discarded mounting a shelf for it, it gets dust, it’s insecure if is shorter than the drawers, and if it’s longer, things will be put in front, wich is the original problem I’m trying to avoid.

So, what bout direct wall mounting?

These modular boxes are quite wall-unfriendly, at least the ones I use (combibox). There is no wall mounting option other than plain old school drill/screw wherever you can, and it’s tedious, and fairly unpractical (been there, done that).  So, I decided to try using the actual dovetail rails as supports. My first intention was to mount points simetrycally, so one piece would be a positive dovetail, and the other, would hold the dovetail by the ends, actually making the pieces interconnectable.

To do so, I made a simple lasercut pattern, to push some polymorph (from now on, “poly”) on it, while holding it next to a dovetail pattern (aka: a single box ^^U ).

071e - Combibox panel

071f - Combibox panel

However, that was quite a failure. The piece moved around, you couldn’t get an actual good impression of the dovetail (piece on top of this text, falls off). Also, the amount of “dovetail holding area” was quite limited, and I didn’t like it at all, so I devised a different method to build the holders.

First, lasercut a mold for the screw part:

071a - Combibox panel

The holes where undercut and then reamed to 3mm, so I could use lapped shafts to have nice holes in the pieces.
Next, pick the thinnest HDPE film you can find, and boil some water for the poly.

071h - Combibox panel
When cool, lift the pins and use a sharp cutter to remove excess, then pull the piece with a screw (I used the actual screws I planned to use) :

071n - Combibox panel
Onto the dovetail:

071i - Combibox panel
You actually want to press the still hot poly against the table, so it gets pressed agains the dovetail walls.

071j - Combibox panel
And you get this:

071k - Combibox panel
Now, the poly magic begins:

Put back the dovetail piece on a box, and heat it with hot water, you don’t need to make it transparent all the way, just deep enough so it doesn’t cool while you heat the second part.

071o - Combibox panel
Put it on the table and heat the base of the screw piece, just enough that a layer on the base turns transparent, but the piece mantains integrity:

071p - Combibox panel
And then…kiss!
On this photo, you can see that the dovetail part is still transparent.

071q - Combibox panel

071r - Combibox panel
And there you are:

071b - Combibox panel

071c - Combibox panel

071d - Combibox panel

WARNING:

Altough it holds, and it holds well under load, I just put two dabs of superglue on the topmost  supports, just to ensure no accidental slideout. Still, undoing two screws wich are readily accesible, is WAY better than having internal screws around the whole drawer assembly. (In fact, I had to slide out it four times while rearranging components and drawers, and I didn’t mind about it, it’s that nice to remove and put in place.

5 responses to “Space optimization

    • Thanks!
      They’re locally sold in my country. They are called “combibox”, and they’re fairly expensive (like 4€ in shops, 2€ in the manufacturer, for the smallest one, but I like their modularity so much, I keep buying them from time to time.

  1. Ill let you know, if $ is there in the near future ill get them, they are more expensive then “normal” sorting boxes but the quality seems to be many times better and just the fact you can customise them are worth ever $ :)

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