View Full Version : How do you maintain and organize your metal and plastic stock?

Garrett Nors
07-18-2009, 7:58 PM
We mainly buy 24x12 sheets (starting to go into 24x24 sheets as we need certain materials more than others). I have 8 JDS boxes FULL of metal and plastic that are all jumbled up and very very unorganized.

I just hate seeing our stock get all scratched and bent and marred because we don't have an organized way of storing, recalling, then restoring individual sheets.

What are your ideas on this?


Michael Hunter
07-19-2009, 12:29 PM
I bought the plastics stock of a defunct engraving business and also got the storage unit. (Rather sad and very long story).

The storage unit is made from 4' x 2' 3" sheets of 3/8" ply, with 2x1" battens fixed to the long edges to form a sort of tray. About 30 of these trays were piled up and stuck together.

Advantages -
Holds full sized sheets
Everything flat
Can see into the ends of the "trays" when looking for colours etc.

Cons -
Small bits get pushed to the back and are hard to rescue

* Whilst each tray is manageable by itself, 4 or 5 trays fixed together is about as much as you can lift easily. So, rather than nail and glue each layer (as mine was), just pile them up and screw a couple of vertical battens on the side to stop them wobbling. That way, if you want to move it you can do so relatively easily.

(Mine was forklifted onto the top of my car when I collected it. When I got home there was no chance at all of lifting it off, so I had to break it up in situ and the air was blue!)

Garrett Nors
07-20-2009, 4:02 PM
I got fed up with talking to myself on what to do so I bit the bullet and got $60 worth of lumber from dad (pretty cool to also work at a family owned lumber yard) and built this. I don't think it turned out too bad, for a 21 year old with extremely limited carpentry skills.

Holds 20 different types of material, and they're easily expandable.



Yes, that's an urn (with remains inside) that's been in our shop for 2 weeks.

(shh, she's sleeping)

Mike Null
07-20-2009, 6:09 PM
A search using Google Sawmill Creek will turn up a couple of other threads on this topic.

Dave West
07-20-2009, 9:23 PM
About 2 years I bought my laser along an assortment of acrylic stock from a co-worker. He had made a wooden roll-around cart to hold all the sheets. I also built some dividers beneath the laser table for more stock.


Stephen Beckham
07-22-2009, 1:10 PM
Although I like the storage units above, I don't have 24" deep cabinets. On the flip side, I've got about 14" storage and about 32" wide.

So I built these with simple dado cut units (no I didn't use fancy dado blades, bunch of cuts with the normal blade). They are 25 inches wide inside with about three inches high between shelves.

I store fresh metal under a piece of cardboard (that JDS kindly provides with every order). That piece of cardboard is what holds all my cutoff and tweener sizes.

One of my key points that I haven't adjusted to yet is what to keep and what to toss. I mostly toss it all in a big box if it's less than 1" X 4" - as most of you would know, that means a bunch of tiny stuff. As far as tossing? Toss it in a big box - when you feel froggy, take the heavy box to a recycle point and see how much they'll give you. Best I got on one load was $33 and some change - yea - it was a big box...