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Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets
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TOPIC: Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets
#46062
Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
I know keeping DF pieces in their original Styrofoam packing boxes is the best way to keep your collection safe & sound. Unfortunately, I think storing all your pieces in them is far from being the best solution to have them readily accessible for real-time gameplay. I think the most popular solution I've seen on the forum is the use of "Real useful boxes" but I hesitate buying them. I have about 30 sets and I would therefore need to buy around 12 boxes (around 250$) to store my collection. 12 boxes stacked on top of each other takes a bigger volume then a washing machine does and I believe it would not have a very esthetic look staying on the floor of my future perfect and complete gaming room. Furthermore, accessing the box at the bottom of a 12-box pile would probably lessen my experience of using DF in real-time gaming.

So, I've considered another option! Lately, I found many different metal cabinets with very numerous large "Flat" drawers called "Flat files" cabinets. These are usually designed to hold 500 to 1000 huge drawings, maps, posters, or architectural plans per drawer. As an example, I've been eying a 4994 Safco Flat file cabinet with 5 drawers (internal dimensions for 1 drawer: 37 inches width, 26 inches depth, 2 1/8 height).



Supposedly, one drawer can hold 60 pounds (maybe 3 DF Sets worth of weight?). I believe the height of the inside of those drawers would be perfect for DF. These 5-drawers cabinets retail at around $700 each brand new. I would probably need 2 cabinets (10 drawers) to hold my entire collection and 2 cabinets including the matching base sells for $1400. On ebay though, I found a few used ones, not necessarily the same model, for much cheaper (around $300) but most are "local pick up" only and it is kind of a lottery to find some for sale not too far from your location.

So, before I buy any of those, would you guys have any advice regarding this option? Are DF pieces too heavy for those drawers? Do you think most DF pieces would fit in such drawers? Does any of you have similar metallic drawers they use for storing their collection? What do you think about this storing strategy?

Thanks!
biowizard
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#46063
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
Thats a good idea.. I used to have a large wooden plan chest to store architectural drawings in but got rid of it a few years ago , in hindsight it would of been great for DF storage as a permanent solution.

The 'Really Useful' Boxes are great but they do have the disadvantages you mentioned, getting to a box at the bottom of the stack can be a pain and also they arent the prettiest. The main reason I use them over something more permanent is that i often need to take my setups to other peoples houses and this is their main advantage I can just put them in the back of the car which I wouldn't be able to do with a plan chest.

In the future when I have my own permanent geek room I will probably look at getting some more plan chests though, great idea.
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#46064
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
If you are going to shell out 700 bucks on a steel cabinet.
Then have a consider of this..

Get a custom made shelving unit made by a cabinet maker / local carpenter.
That way you could get it "made to fit" your gaming room in style/size and have the draw dimensions you want.

The issue with stele cabinets is they are heavy, unsightly and not cheap.

If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated gaming room or static location where you need not move your collection (I don't sadly, hence gone for the really useful boxes) then I would say, go for a custom solution in wood.

One I like wood. :)

Two, you can design it to fit, and also have things such as an open work area on top, maybe with some pull out flat trays where you can put smaller sections of layouts on intack and store them between games.

An old wooden mircoscope slide or geological samples cabinet might also fit the bill.

Just an idea anyhow.
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#46067
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
I agree with Ninthgoose. Have a custom wooden cabinet made. There is an old post by Crioux that shows his beautiful custom cabinet with drawers. He gives some specs for it too. If your storage is in your home, I think you will be happier looking at a nice piece of custom furniture than a stack of metal drawers.
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#46071
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
It seems to me GeekChic and Dwarven Forge ought to team up to make this a reality. And then I should win the lotto. Yup. That should definitely happen.
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Make something idiot-proof and someone will just turn around and make a better idiot.
 
#46075
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
Geekchix stuff is nice. But they are over priced a little.

You can probably find a local cabinet maker who will beat them easily on prices. And if you are not in a rush. You can often get craftsmen to lower the prices, as they can work at their pleasure. Its the difference between a handy man, and true craftsman.

As long as you get your self a simple written contract, with the design agreed and you find one where you can see examples of their work and a true craftsman will have clients willing to show off what they had done, you will then beable to get a custom solution that will be nice to look at. Fit in well in your room and do exactly what you want.

Like DF in a way. Its not cheap, but its worth the pennies spent because it does its job so nicely and has build quality and detail.
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#46076
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
Thanks for your advices and opinions! Keep them coming!

I am for sure looking for a permanent storing solution, with no need of moving my collection around.

I had of course seen crioux's storing cabinet a few times, including here. I must say though that I'm not a big fan of wood. Perhaps it is because I know a metal cabinet the same size as a wood cabinet has a bigger storing capacity (due to how thin the bottom of drawers are as compared to wood)? Perhaps I also prefer the smooth opening of metals drawers fitted with ball bearings for sliding mechanisms instead of the squeaking wood? Finally, I think you underestimate the cost of a custom-made beautiful wood cabinet such as the one crioux has:



Maybe crioux could tell us how much his uncle would have charged him for this cabinet if he had not been his nephew, but I estimate it at roughly $2000. I might be wrong about this as I never contacted a professional carpenter but I've seen the price of the wooden furniture from specialized stores I would want in my house one day and they don't come cheap. Crioux's cabinet does not seem to be made of cheap material and good-quality wood is quite expensive!

I was saying that I could probably get my hands on such an assembly:



for around $600 second-hand on ebay if I keep looking regularly. Considering the cost I payed for my 30+ DF Sets or the "cost" of having to leave this nice collection in their Styrofoam boxes without gaming use, I don't mind the $600 at all!!!
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#46077
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
As an example of a cheap ($299) storing opportunity:





The problem: Wisconsin is too far for me.
biowizard
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#46134
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
I recently seen a number of flat filing cabinets on criagslist.com for as low as $65.00. I have a window in my family/game room I too have been thinking about using a few of them below window with a plank of wood across the top for making a bench seat.
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Srry,, Save vs Dragons breath
 
#46412
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years, 4 Months ago  
This seems like a very good deal for someone close to Fort Wayne Indiana



Furthermore, the drawers have the very rare 2 1/2" thickness.
biowizard
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#47912
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years ago  
(this is a follow up from here.


shoesan1,

The model numbers (4996, 4998,...) of a Safco cabinet are found if you dig up the info on the Safco web site. When people take over an architectural and/or engineering office (and sell the old furniture in it), they do not have access to those numbers. Sometimes in order to know who is the original manufacturer of a flat file cabinet, there is a simple sticker on the cabinet that can easily fall off or have been removed. So, in your quest to find yourself cheap flat file cabinets, do a more generic "flat file drawers" search on eBay or the likes. It took me about 2 months to find the perfect deal for me and I'm sure you can invest some of your own time to find what is good for you. The first 3 hits I got with a "flat file drawers" search on eBay as of today are:







They are all under $250 each (cheaper then what I paid!... but less nice)

Then you have to find what dimensions, colors, shipping option, budget fit your specific needs and tastes. Most of the time, shipping fees are tremendous and you have to wait for the perfect deal to show up near your location so that you can borrow your uncle's pickup to go and get it yourself!

Good Luck!

p.s. Make sure the drawers are 2 1/4 inches deep!
biowizard
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#47915
Re:Advice about DF storage using Flat Files cabinets 2 Years ago  
While you are conducting your Internet search for "flat file drawers", throw the word "used" in there.

Then the trick becomes finding vertical depth measurements for the drawer interiors.
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