Cardboard Drink – Flat Storage Racks

Okay, I told you about how Ms. Betty told me to get my act together and "GET RID OF THOSE BUCKETS!" Well, after I had made my rock fence, I was feeling pretty proud of myself and thought to myself … "You know yourself, you bought to go one step further and get all those piles of rocks downstairs put up somewhere neatly, so you can walk down there. " (Really, that's what I told myself! Hey, I'm like that … I often talk to myself! I could not just take THOSE rocks out to the new rock fence! I just had to come up with something else.

Well, again, after much deliberation, I came up with an idea. I would make a storage system for all my pretty rocks and still be able to keep them downstairs. (My sweet Ms. Betty really is not into rocks … except for those she can wear on her fingers, and she does not have appreciation for all my lovely rough ones!)

What I came up with is what I call my "CARDBOARD DRINK-FLAT STORAGE RACKS."

Like a lot of rockhounds, I store a lot of rocks in the cardboard drink flats that you can pick up for free at most any food or convenience store. They work great, except you just can not have them lying around all over the place. You have to store them somehow!

Well, anyway, here are some pictures of the racks I came up with to hold those cardboard flats.

All of these storage racks are made of scrap 2 x 4's and 1/2 "wafer-board (often called OSB board.) All the 2 x 4's are cut 10-1 / 2" long.

Naturally, the length of the wafer-boards depends on whether you make a rack with one section, three, five, or whatever, but it should be 10-1 / 2 "wide.

My niece dropped by to give us a hand sorting out a new shipment of shark tooth fossils from Morocco.

You could use plywood instead of wafer-board, but the wafer-board is less expensive. What you want to do is make the racks with openings that are 16-1 / 2 "wide. If you'll put the 2 x 4's on 18" centers, this will give you 16-1 / 2 "openings. Almost all the cardboard drink flats that you get are 16 "wide by 10" deep by about 2 "high. These flats fit nicely in the storage rack openings.

Once you make the individual storage rack sections with the 2 x 4's and wafer-board, just stack them up on top of each other where you want them. You might want to attach them to a wall or to each other if you stack the sections very high in order to prevent them from falling over. I have one section of these storage racks in my basement that is 25 sections high and has five spaces each. That's 125 flats of beautiful rocks I can put on this one section. (You can never have too many rocks you know). I have this storage rack anchored to the wall about every 5th section with just a couple of 16 penny nails.

Here are some working storage racks built to hold some of the Great South Gems and Minerals fossil inventory. We have rows and rows of these.

If you want to build one of these rack systems for your beautiful rocks or other collectibles, and have a problem working out the dimensions, drop me an email and I'll try to assist you.

I made this single-wide storage cabinet and put wafer-board on the sides and top. Then I made a wafer-board door for the front to make a neat storage cabinet out of it. It has a piece of 1/4 "plywood on the back.

This set of racks was made to organize my hand tools. Makes an excellent tool chest! Why, there's no limit to what you can store in these racks, but why would you want anything except pretty rocks?

By the way, the choice specimens that are in my rock and fossil collection are arranged neatly in wooden chests with pullout drawers. The material in many of these cardboard flats is overflow that I just can not part with. I know some of you can relate to that!

Well, now, you do not have any more excuses for not getting your rocks put up and stored away neatly. Go ahead, give it a shot. If your mate is anything like mine, she will appreciate your efforts!