Blue print cabinet? Map cabinet? Cheap!

ClareSeptember 21, 2005

I need a storage piece for all the largish flat items that pass through this house due to husband's teaching profession. Most are only here a few days, but some linger for months. He brings home a lot of photographs. Some are matted, some not--so they're more fragile. The few that are framed are big space takers, but at least I can slip them behind a piece of furniture. Usually they no more than 20 X 24.

We also usually have empty frames and uncut mats awaiting photos.

Our house is very small, but we do have a basement and that's where I want to to be able to put at least some of these things.

Do you know what a map cabinet is? That's the kind of thing I'm thinking of, so we can stack these things flat, but without them being in a big pile that would damage them. Still I imagine stacks of four to twelve items, depending on what they are.

Can you help me with ideas for this kind of storage? There's no way I could afford to buy such a piece of cabinetry. It wouldn't have to look great, but would need to be sturdy.

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If you lived here, you would salivate over the chart table I inherited from family stuff would work so well for you.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 12:57AM
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well, if you know someone sort of handy, they could knock together a big bookcase of sorts w/ very closely spaced shelves--use 2x4s or 4x4s for the corners, cut 1/2 inch plywood for the shelves.

If this is for your husband's profession, can you make his "profession" pay for it somehow? Even if it's only to justify the cost?

These aren't phenomenal quality, and maybe they are too shallow (bcs they're only 17.5 inches deep, and that's the OUTSIDE measurement) but...
do you have $319 for one that's 28"H x 40"W x 17.5"D., w/ 9 drawers?

or $500 for one that's 33.5"H x 40"W x 17.5"D and has eleven drawers

or $200 for one that's 16"H x 40"W x 17.5"D and has only five drawers

This one is $430, and has a slightly more finished look, w/ feet and apron, etc.--it's 32.5"H x 43"W x 17"D and has nine drawers

These are from the Home Decorators catalog. They are the WIDE ones; there are standard ones that are narrower but the same depth.

Then there's the EasiFile (but it might be expensive, 'cause it's a commercial solution

(ooh, yeah, the smallest is $1,300)

Then there's the Schoolfolio, which is a set of 5 rigid plastic cases about 2 inches high that will hold items 24x18". They open along one long edge, and slide into a larger outer case. It's designed to stand upright, but it could CERTAINLY be laid on its side. It's $75.

You can also buy just the , but the opening is a different design (maybe better?)--you flip up the entire large side. and they'll hold 3.5 inches of stuff. One of them is $28. You could lay them flat (even stack them) on a shelf or table.

These folks sell

You could get some sort of art portfolio or shipping box. All you need then is a place to lay it flat--like on a card table or something. Go to any art store. They have them in and sometimes in posterboard.

This comes in 22"x30" for $16.28; this is $11.78.

A of the size you'd need is $135, but it does have much more rigid sides and you could stack them higher.

Again, if you want them to lay flat (these last 2 are designed to), you need some sort of surface; frankly, a card table would do. And you could even stack them if they were firm enough (these last 2 look like they are).

For that matter, you could take two sheets of posterboard and tape them together along the edges to make an envelope. You could use duct tape along one long seam (on both sides) to create the hinge; then, to make it reusable and openable, take strong clear packing tape and coat the edges of both boards. Then, when you put the artwork in, you can tape the edges over the clear coating; then peel that tape off easily when you want to open it back up.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 4:45PM
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Maybe if you hit the right antique store at the right time...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 11:47AM
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Wannadanc, I sure would love to see your chart cabinet. I bet it is a unique piece. Some of the ones Tally Sue found are even pretty good looking. And Alisande, maybe I could call some antique dealers and places that resell furniture from businesses. Even if they don't have anything now, maybe they could put me on their list.

Tally Sue, thanks you for all the searching you must have done. May I ask what were some of the search terms you used? You turned up more than I did by myself. Plus, that site for the portfolio shipping boxes is much cheaper than we payed locally, years ago. He has a few of those and they are always full, but mostly with his own work.

You've given me some ideas for how to get this storage cheaply. Out in my garage, I have an crude chest of drawers that is built of scrap wood. Open wood boxes with rope handles on their fronts fit into it with a lot of wiggle room on the sides and top. I could probably make a cabinet like that and then slide into it cheaper portfolios or envelopes like Tally describes. Those boxes on the Blick site look attractive for their price and archival quality, too.

Thanks, everyone. I just wish a ready made solution would just appear in my basement with no effort on my part. (Yeah, like that's gonna happen.) The piles of stuff all over the diningroom/office don't seem to bother my husband. But to me they are in the way.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 4:22PM
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I searched map chest, map storage, map case, flat file. And then, portfolio. Plus I went browsing on some art-supply places for "storage"

I knew about the "Schoolfolio" from some other source.

Not only are those piles in the way, but they're AT RISK!

Ask me how I know *that*!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 12:30PM
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