Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Troop Transport Expansion: More Drawer, Please

 A little over a year ago, I built a custom troop storage and transport cabinet.  The goal was to make something the efficiently stores my 15mm Napoleonics collection and help me cart stuff around to put on big convention games.  At the risk of sounding a little self-congratulatory I was thrilled with how it came out.  The cabinet worked fantastically at Historicon and made both transport and keeping my troops organized a snap.  Another plus was there were zero figures damaged in transport.

I've decided to build some more troop storage under my game table and will be using the same drawer size as the troop transport so I can switch drawers out to get ready for future convention games.  I'll also be making some improvements to the base unit (security, more compartments but that's a future project).

 The first step in any project that has some repetitive aspects is to build a jig.  The jig is built to the exact outside dimension of a drawer which is 10 x 16.5 inches and 3 inches high.   There no magic to those dimensions - it's just what I decided to use when building the first set.

With the jig done, I then moved on to cutting the parts - I had enough scrap to make 5 drawers and that was a good number to refine the build process.  I also got to use "Betsy" my trusty cross-cut sled.  I'm sure all of you name your jigs also.  Well if you don't, then, you're just weird - "aren't they, Betsy?"
 OK all the wood is cut.  Each drawer requires the following parts:

2, 10 x 2.75 inch 1/2 inch plywood

2, 15.5 x 2.75 inch 1/2 inch plywood

1, 10 x 16.5 inch 1/4 inch plywood (bottom)

I'm using simple but joints - not the best looking but fast and strong enough.

Exterior drawer dimension remains 10 x 16.5 x 3 inches
Lets try the jig - plop the sides in with a bit of wood glue and brad nail them in place.  Nice, snug fit.
Put the bottom piece on and with glue and brad nails (I did get a new nail gun and love using it). The nail holes are that visually appealing but it I'm not making fine furniture.

Total assemble time - including cutting the wood, roughly 7 minutes.

but does it fit in the cabinet?
 Yup - it fits perfectly!  I'll need to do some sanding and finishing but will wait until the weather warms up a bit.
Ok 5 drawers built in under 30 minutes.
I didn't have enough 1/4 ply to have single piece bottoms for all the drawers so two of the drawers have bottom made of two pieces of 1/4 plywood.  I ran an interior brace across the seam to create some stability and ended up with a nice pencil / dice storage area.  So that's the way I umm planned it...

I'm planning to build another 15 drawers for a total of twenty.  That should allow me to hide - oops store a lot more new miniature acquisitions.


Lasgunpacker said...

Great work. Using the jig and the nail gun seems to really speed things along.

You have much more useful scraps than all of the old used plywood and random 2x4 ends I wind up with.

Peter Douglas said...

Looks great Miles. Anytime you want you can make a couple of those for me....

marinergrim said...

Very nice Miles. Very nice indeed.

Miles said...

I've got loads of 2x4 sections - all in the 24 inch or shorter range. I would try to mill them up into usable short boards but am just too lazy to do so. They'll likely become firewood at some point

BigLee said...

You have 'skillz' !