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05-29-2020, 05:15 AM - 4 Likes   #1
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the big grey box project - or where am I going to store 50+ lenses and the rest of it

so.... what do you do with your equipment?

I know - like me, you've kept your lenses and stuff in various bags or bins, even some of us have used cabinets, etc for storage....

kinda like me - I had a wall-mounted shelf unit that I managed to fill with bins and tubs of stuff:



and I hated it...

I labeled the bins, rearranged them, etc.... and was just never happy with it...

so, while working from home and looking at it (every day, day in, day out), I decided to find a better way to do this...




firstly, I needed a big box to house all the equipment in - so I bought a mobile workstation:



this should be enough space for now and for future expansion/additions to my LBA.... but how to store the lenses in it?

you can't just have them loose and rolling around in the drawers - so.... buy some foam!


I bought two sheets of poly-foam (essentially upholstery foam) but then found the biggest hurdle in the project:

how do you cut circles out of foam?

we tried knives (exacto and others), scissors.... even a hole-saw mounted on a drill....

that went poorly:



(hole-saw = bad idea)

I even bought a 'hot knife' - essentially, an electrically-heated blade that is for cutting foam, but had a devil of a time getting circles... plus, where it melted the foam, it left a greasy residue that was unacceptable...


back to the drawing board....

05-29-2020, 05:18 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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I settled on pick-and-pull foam and found some that was thick enough and stiff enough to make me happy....

I ordered a bunch of it and went to work:






it's essential to set up your spacing before pulling out shapes for your lenses:

05-29-2020, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Did you clamp something down on the foam before trying to hole saw it? e.g. a sheet of 1/4" plywood, to compress the foam down? I've never tried it, but heard it might work. Apparently the pro's use a laser cutter.
05-29-2020, 05:25 AM - 8 Likes   #4
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I was able to spend a couple of vacation days this week working on the drawers:








I'm using three of the five drawers (so far) for lenses, with the deep bottom drawer for equipment such as bins for lens hoods, caps, flashes/receivers, etc....

the big grey box is even electrified, so I moved my camera battery chargers over to it:




it's still a work-in-progress, but I think this will work for me for current and future storage needs....

if anyone is interested/curious about anything going on in this project, don't hesitate to ask...

05-29-2020, 05:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Did you clamp something down on the foam before trying to hole saw it? e.g. a sheet of 1/4" plywood, to compress the foam down? I've never tried it, but heard it might work. Apparently the pro's use a laser cutter.

I did - and it did kinda work, but still tore enough of the foam out (rather than cutting it) to make a mess of it....

and a laser cutter would have been awesome..... but beyond my reach...

we talked about having the foam professionally done, but that would have done away with future lens purchases for a while (and that wasn't happening)....
05-29-2020, 05:57 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Gotta get some foam for my lens drawers - neat.

Have you labeled your drawers (and even the lens cutouts) so you know which lenses are in each one?!

I have taken to putting little sticky labels on the lens caps for my lenses so I know which caps belong to which lens. How do others do this - or do you not worry about such compulsiveness?
05-29-2020, 06:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
Gotta get some foam for my lens drawers - neat.

Have you labeled your drawers (and even the lens cutouts) so you know which lenses are in each one?!

I have taken to putting little sticky labels on the lens caps for my lenses so I know which caps belong to which lens. How do others do this - or do you not worry about such compulsiveness?

with only three drawers to work with (so far), I've got them broken up into: prime, zoom/odd-shaped prime, and M42

as far as in the drawers, I set them up with wide on the left, progressing to tele on the right....

for example, in the prime drawer: I have a single section that is pancake/Limited, but then starts with 20mm and progresses to the right and ends with 200mm....

05-29-2020, 06:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
with only three drawers to work with (so far), I've got them broken up into: prime, zoom/odd-shaped prime, and M42

as far as in the drawers, I set them up with wide on the left, progressing to tele on the right....

for example, in the prime drawer: I have a single section that is pancake/Limited, but then starts with 20mm and progresses to the right and ends with 200mm....
And where is the drawer with all your camera's. Nice collection and I thought I had too many. Seems I am just a beginner...
05-29-2020, 06:12 AM - 1 Like   #9
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This is lovely, looks great! I have an upgrade suggestion! Reusable desiccant packs like this: (the 40g one are nice and slim)

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/workshop/tool-maintenance/53828-s...-dehumidifiers
05-29-2020, 06:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
And where is the drawer with all your camera's. Nice collection and I thought I had too many. Seems I am just a beginner...

cameras are usually in-use, so no space set up for them...
05-29-2020, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
This is lovely, looks great! I have an upgrade suggestion! Reusable desiccant packs like this: (the 40g one are nice and slim)

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/workshop/tool-maintenance/53828-s...-dehumidifiers


thank you - and that dehumidifier is perfect!

I've been looking at desiccant options - that's the best so far....
05-29-2020, 06:48 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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I'll be curious how well the desiccant works. My impression is that those types of tool drawers aren't sealed when shut and that it would be hard to control humidity in, but that's based on a casual look at big box stores not actual use. Let us know how it works!
05-29-2020, 07:11 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
. . . it's still a work-in-progress, but I think this will work for me for current and future storage needs....

if anyone is interested/curious about anything going on in this project, don't hesitate to ask...
silly idea

compress foam

use round cookie/biscuit cutters to cut opening for lenses ?

if foam is too thick, thinner foam then glued together ??

tin cans, edges sharpened for the larger sizes ??

what do you do with the extra blocks of foam with the method you are using ?
05-29-2020, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
thank you - and that dehumidifier is perfect!

I've been looking at desiccant options - that's the best so far....
Great project! I use evadry e333 and e500. You can reactivate it very easily. I would also recommend getting a hygrometer to make sure humidity is not too high. If it is, I would try to seal the cabinet as much as possible to make sure the dehumidifier works. I have also read that people use lightbulbs to lower humidity. Since you have electricity that might be a good option.
05-29-2020, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Hi
What I have done is used a Slope brand 1000 liter cafe type drinks fridge.
I removed the refrigerator unit which is totally self contained on top of this storage cabinet. You have two openings to then seal off and one opening at the bottom internally to seal off.
I then mounted two dehumidifiers that are rated for over 800 liters in the interior rear wall. These are the same design as the ones that are fitted to the Wonderful brand of dehumidifiers. A hygrometer is required to sit on one of the shelves to get the required humidity as the dehumidifiers are adjustable.
Any further information just message me as as I have done three for myself for my collection.
Regards,
Gordon.
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