Friday, 12 September 2014

New paint rack design

Hobby Nirvana
Recently I have been struggling for space on my hobby desk what with all the projects, bits and paint pots scattered all over it. Having access to a laser cutter at work and seeing some of the designs floating round on the internet I thought I would give it a go and create my own.

My first attempt was a turntable utilising the bottom of a microwave to make it turn around. While reasonably successful it proved to be slightly unstable and actually not very functional. My paints ended up piled by the base rather than being placed on the rack most of the time. It also did not store as many paints as I had so I needed another anyway, so back to the drawing board I went.
Attempt one, the spinning wheel
So my second attempt was a 3 tiered rack that could sit at the back of my desk but was easy to store and access the paints when I needed. After numerous attempts (every time I fixed one mistake and re-cut the design I discovered another one that needed fixing...urgh!) I finally got a design that I could at least assemble (but still with flaws. In the pic you can see the tabs at the front of the second tier that are not supposed to be there, and some slots are slightly ill fitting, including the back which was an absolute bugger). Also please note the pile of paints at the bottom. This is why a) I need a paint rack and b) I need a bigger one! So onto the design of the four tier beast.
The privileged few
Here is a pic of some parts before assembly. They are basically cut from a sheet of 3mm mdf and assembled like a jigsaw. The piece to the left is the back of the shelf, and all the slots are for each shelf tab to slot into. The problem was that being a numpty I got some mis-aligned so fitting was very awkward and involved some very British swear words. This has now been removed completely from the 4 tier and slightly less expletives were used when assembling as a result.
Jigsaw pieces
Ah the four tier! You think it would be so simple to copy amd extend certain parts and voila, Bobs your uncle! But no, not if I have anything to do with it. 4 attempts later and I have the design finished (I say finished but I had to revisit it again after the final cut for more tweaks). This one was slightly simpler as I took out the back part so the shelves are supported by the end stands and a couple of supports in the middle of each shelf. I learnt from no 3 that simpler is much better :). Anyway all my paints are now tidy and I have a cad drawing that I can cut more if needed. Sorted!
Side view

The shelf supports

The four tiered beast

A tidy desk leads to a tidy sock drawer
Being a sucker for punishment I am now trying to make one for all my vallejo paints that are currently perched precariously atop my spinning wheel design. I might also design a swear box to go with it :)
Nafnaf out!


  1. Really nice job with the laser cutter! It looks great! I imagine this is one of those things that might look easy to people reading, but is probably really time consuming and full of trial and error in real life.

    1. Lol I think it has more to do with me making too many silly mistakes than it being difficult. The actual design is quite simple as you say but it was very time consuming to begin with. A fair few lunch breaks and after work hours were spent designing and fiddling with it. The actual cutting takes about ten minutes to do but when you have to do it multiple times as more mistakes keep cropping up it can be frustrating. I was taking the parts home and assembling it there, so had to wait to go back to work and start all over again. Worth it in the end though. Done a load of infinity terrain on it too which I will post up at some point

    2. Sounds a bit more fun then dealing with 3D printers. I had a rose setup to print, on hour 47 out of 48, it caught on something, and started spinning out of the control (at around 4am). I came in till a giant mess. Luckily the model was 90% done and you couldn't really tell a difference...but being able to work in 10 minute increments sure would be nice.

  2. Sheesh that is harsh. Nothing you can do at 4 am, always happens at the worst times. At least the model was not completely ruined. Cleaning of any sorts is never pleasant though ;). I would love to get my hands on a decent 3d printer to try out but we dont have one yet so only can keep on dreaming. Do you make any hobby bits on yours at all or is it not possible yet?

  3. It works for simple structures. I made a "base" for a quad gun/icarus lascannon, and the pieces fit. But the amount of time it took was pretty severe. 3D printers are very slow. That's the one thing many people don't realize when looking into them. We are talking multiple hours slow, to multiple days.

    1. I see. That is a very long time for something to print. I have heard the resin compound used is very expensive too. Still a way to go then before we download our minis to print ourselves. GW will be around for a while yet :)