15 May 2021
Beverly's got a fair amount of Lego. Most of it fits into a set of plastic storage drawers from Acro-Mils. They are great; I've got six more of them for other things.
However, there are some bulk lots of parts that don't fit in the drawers. My first attempt was to construct some storage using floor boards. These bins turned out to be too deep; it was quite difficult to paw through them to see what colours were still available. We also needed to store some specialized parts, such as motors and train tracks.
Since Beverly is outgrowing her storage container, I figured it could be repurposed for Lego. The plan was to fill the bottom with train tracks, and build a tray for bricks that sits at the top.
I made a prototype of the tray out of a banged up piece of foam board that had inexplicably been following me around for more than a decade. After a couple of iterations I was able to dial in the optimal dimensions.
For the real tray, I used a large sheet of acrylic. A bunch of these sheets had been used as temporary fencing to keep our rats, our cat, and our daughter contained.
Cutting 45° bevels at a 5° miter angle on the bandsaw was fun. I'd have preferred to use a table saw due to its cleaner cuts, but thanks to the pandemic I'm stuck with what's available in my garage. One trick that proved invaluable was to place a square of double-sided tape on the miter gauge so that the part being cut doesn't slide around.
Weld-On 16 from TAP Plastics did a fantastic job of bonding the acrylic, despite the rough edges from the bandsaw.
With the outside edges permanently welded, I just used hot melt glue for the internal dividers. Theoretically, this will allow me to rearrange the dividers at a later date. The 5° outward cant of the edges made everything much harder, but was necessary to match the container.
Next we need some posts for the tray to rest on so that it can sit at the top of the container. My wife has some big styrofoam rollers for yoga. I (wrongly) figured she wouldn't notice if we used the top 20% of one of them.
I anticipated that I'd need to build a hot-wire cutter for the foam, but it turned out that my bandsaw did a great job of cleanly cutting the four posts.
The posts hot-melt glue into the corners.
And the tray sits on top.
Now Beverly has no excuse not to clean up her Lego.