Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.


A friend got a job emptying an industrial warehouse in a nearby town.  Everything in the warehouse was to either go to the landfill or to the junkyard to be melted down.  Knowing that I'm always looking for unique things to recycle, he gave me "scrounging rights."

Most of the junk in the warehouse was rusted beyond use or just plain too big to fit into my van to haul home.  One of the treasures I found there was an orange electrical Control Box.  It measures 24" by 24" by 9".

The box is made of 1/8" thick welded steel, with a Piano hinge holding the door and a gasket all the way around the door that makes it dust-proof inside.  A nice, sturdy cabinet.  Including contents it weighed about 90 pounds, and looked too useful to pass up.

Inside the box was a control panel with 5 relays and 2 cartridge fuses in holders.  Removing 4 nuts allowed me to remove the entire works, leaving me with an empty box.  Some cleaner and a few paper towels later, I had a sturdy metal storage box that was respectable looking inside.

A few minutes work cutting up some bedrail material with a circular saw and an abrasive blade gave me sturdy shelf supports.  A couple scraps of 3/8" thick plywood made shelves, and a quick coat of polyurethane sealed the plywood and made it look nice. 

I mounted the cabinet on the wall above my workbench, and it quickly filled up with electronic components.  Suddenly there was more available space on the top of my electronics workbench!  New Integrated Circuits, Nixie Tubes, sockets, LCD Displays, LEDs, and other parts, many of them purchased on eBay, fit nicely inside.  Yes, those are a couple old 5 1/4" floppy disk boxes in the picture;  they serve well for organizing components.

The door to the cabinet was unbearably ugly, so I covered it with a corkboard.  The corkboard made it much more pleasing to look at and functional as well.

The cabinet should serve well for a lifetime.  :-)


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