Many years ago I was at a yard sale and I picked up this awesome filing cabinet for a mere $25!
When I agreed to purchase it was open. By the time I got back with cash another yard-sale patron had decided to close the top drawer… the owner didn’t have the key. I went ahead and made the purchase anyway. It took some doing but I eventually drilled the lock out and got the thing open. My vision has always been to make custom drawer inserts for the storage of Magic cards. Currently they look like this:
One of my boxes does fit in the drawer of the filing cabinet!
The goal was to have various sizes of card trays such that I could mix and match depending on how many cards from a particular block or set I have. I finally took to the AutoCAD to design my trays.
Here is the first generation:
It had too many pieces that were unnecessary, and designing sloped ends to a box is a pain. This was very far off from working the way I wanted.
Take two was better, but there were some things I still didn’t like. The front and back pieces weren’t very strong, and they stuck out in an odd way.
And finally I came to take three:
I shifted the sloped front out to cover that front piece and extended the back out to cover the back piece as well. You’ll notice in the smallest box I have grooves etched in. I’m on the fence about these. You can see the larger boxes don’t have it. I like them because they don’t let the cards slide around as easily if the tray isn’t full, but there’s potential for damage to the cards as well, and they take a fairly long time to etch depending on the orientation… and sadly the longer boxes require the orientation that takes the longest to etch.
I made three sizes. They can mix and match and the length always works out. The small is “1”, the medium is “2” and the long is “3”. So two medium trays will be the exact same length as four single trays or a triple and a single. The idea is to be able to store one category of card in one tray.
Each of these trays houses one “block” of cards. The long tray was required for the Kaladesh block because I happened to get more of that block than most other recent blocks. Amonkhet is the newest set, and is the first in the new block, so currently it only needs one small tray. As I get more and/or when the next set in the block comes out, I’ll migrate it to a double or triple as needed.
Of course, custom trays also means custom dividers:
And here they are in the filing cabinet!
The drawer isn’t full yet, but it’ll get there. I can fit a length of five single trays with three rows wide, per drawer, with a bit over an inch left over in width… These trays are somewhat less efficient than the current storage, but I think I can get my whole collection in three to four drawers.