Valve boxes can make cheap component storage drawers too.
If you've got a wide range of resistors, you could easily have 72 different values (E12 series, 10Ω - 8.2MΩ) albeit with a few omissions. Even so, having six neat rows of 12 boxes makes it possible to find any value in virtually no time at all, so it's worth having the empty boxes to keep the rest in order. You'll be surprised how many 0.5W or 0.25W resistors you can get in a small valve box!
Take a box and work out where the glued join is. Then with this at the top of the box, find which end flap opens downwards (Figure A). The reason for keeping the join at the top is that, if your storage is in less than perfect conditions, the box wont fall apart if the glue gets damp!
Now cut along both corner edges of the top, leaving a short piece uncut at the other end. Cut across the box and remove this piece (Figure B).
Now fold the side flaps together (figure C), lift the end flap and fold it right over the side flaps and align them to keep the box square. then, taking a small desk stapler, staple the three thicknesses of card together (Figure D). This is the rear of the drawer.
After neatly writing the value and power on the other, front, flap, run clear tape over it from top to bottom. This protects the writing and makes the box much stronger.
Make racking out of suitable card - it will be surprisingly strong when fully populated. Much of my 'racking' was comprised of thin cardboard sleeves that originally held five valves and was only ever intended to keep things tidy for delivery! Once they were all glued together and filled they turned into surprisingly rigid blocks.
Make sure that the depth of your rack is slightly less than the length of a drawer - it makes them easier to get out.
I first got the idea for this when we ordered some Mullard 'mustard, capacitors many years ago and they turned up in a valve box, with a perforated tear off strip. By the time I left, my wall* of cardboard storage - all valve boxes - must have been five years old. It was a busy workshop and we sold a lot of components to enthusiasts but every box was still intact (although the exposed edges of the front flap of the most popular values was getting a bit 'furry' but the 'sticky backed plastic' still did its reinforcement job!).
* It was indeed a wall, above a narrow shelf for support. Full ranges of 0.25W, 0.5W and 1W resistors, Silver mica caps, polystyrene, tubular, electrolytic (low voltage types) fuses, etc., yet it took up a fraction of the space of any other form of storage I've seen.
Last edited by crustytv
on Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: A very useful idea, split from the for sale thread as it would have become lost over time.