Comic Book Storage: Part 3 - The Epic Conclusion

Well, this post has been a long time coming, but (6 months later) here we are!  Constructing the comic book storage unit!

Drilling holes on the freshly cleaned carpet might not have been a win.  Oh well.

Drilling holes on the freshly cleaned carpet might not have been a win.  Oh well.

To refresh from Part 1 and Part 2, we have the parts from two Ikea RAST dressers (dyed not-neon purple) and ten painted knobs with representations of ten carefully selected super heroes.  We also have a 1"x12"x10' common board, cut to 1"x12"x5', and also dyed not-dark-neon purple (not that you can tell from the pictures - I've upgraded my camera, swear).  Time to play!

The RAST drawers attach to the dressers via plastic bolts that screw into plastic slides.  The plastic slides are hammered into pre-drilled holes in each side of the dresser.  So, to recreate the RAST functionality in a taller and more spaced out way, I needed to drill large holes *not all the way through* the two common boards, which were the new sides of the dresser, that the drawer slides could be hammered into.  Drilling these holes required a 3/8" drill bit, which of course I didn't have (Assembly trip number one to Home Depot).

Measuring where to put the holes was a little more challenging than it should have been (though I'll admit that not having access to most of our tools, including a flat ruler, didn't really help).  This was the process.

When I planned everything out, I knew that I wanted five drawers.  When you assemble a RAST, there's a 3" base, and about 1" at the top, including the top piece and the overhang of the sides.  That leaves 56" of height to work with.  So, I calculated that with five drawers, I had approximately 11" per drawer, including the open space that I wanted above each.  This was perfect, because comic books are approximately 10.5" (and even when you bag comics, as Troy does, the open bags are only 12", and the top flaps are flexible).  Excelsior, True Believers! 

Indentation showing where each hole needed to be drilled in the common board.

Indentation showing where each hole needed to be drilled in the common board.

To figure out where to drill the holes for the slides, I started with the left/right side of the RAST dresser.  I took a blank piece of 8.5" x 11" paper, and laid it on the pre-drilled holes at the bottom of the RAST left side.  I marked the center of each hole on the paper, and then did a pencil rubbing of the holes.  I then put the paper on the bottom of the left-side common board, and traced the circle several times, leaving an indentation in the wood (There's probably a better way to do this, but operating with very few tools and in a pretty tight time frame, this is what I came up with - it worked).  I then drilled each hole, trying not to go all the way through the wood.  Which only happened once. #hulksmash.

What sawdust? I don't see any sawdust...

What sawdust? I don't see any sawdust...

Once I had the bottom drawer slides installed, it was pretty straightforward to move up each side, adding 11" to each of the three holes, and then hammering in the slides.  This meant that the top drawer had a tiny extra bit of space, but it's really not noticeable at all.  Once all the holes were in place, I was able to pretty much assemble as per the IKEA picto-directions, using the provided hardware.

For dividers, I got ten of these mini tension rods from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I'm kinda "eh" on them, but they do what they're supposed to, so it's all good.

I think it looks pretty awesome, and Troy was super excited.  And here's another picture of the completed unit, installed in Troy's office.  It got a little beaten up in the move, and I have some touch-up plans anyway, but overall, I'm calling success.

That said, there is a small problem that, should someone attempt to recreate this, it would probably be good to take into account:

The overlap hasn't been a huge deal, because Troy is using the unit for his "current comics" - he swears there are fewer of those.

The overlap hasn't been a huge deal, because Troy is using the unit for his "current comics" - he swears there are fewer of those.

When I measured out 11" for each drawer, I was measuring the drawer front and the amount of space that I wanted at the top of each.  That's all well and good, except that the drawer bottom is not at the bottom of the drawer front.  This means that the comic books can't stand straight up (see picture), because you wouldn't be able to pull out the drawer, as the books would be blocked by the next drawer up.  Functionally, the only thing that this has meant is that there's slightly diminished capacity for comic storage.  If I were to recreate, I'd buy a 1" x 12" x 12' board, and make the unit 66" tall, instead of 60" - that would allow each drawer the clearance it needs.  Maybe once Troy runs out of comic space (again).

On the off chance he does (HA), what are you doing to solve the dilemma of the long box?