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Thread: How do you setup and have room for all your Classic Computers?

  1. #51


    Quote Originally Posted by 2icebitn View Post
    I'm curious where you buy your sheet metal. And what it costs. I'm nowhere near you. Just curious.
    We have several small privately owned, skeleton-crewed local metal suppliers.

    This is my favourite: it's a one man shop:

    Prices fluctuate wildly. I never know real prices unless I get a hard quote.
    Last edited by KC9UDX; May 17th, 2018 at 03:24 PM.

  2. #52


    The wildly part is what skeers me.

    Years ago I would frequent a scrap yard. Everything was 1.50$/lb. Brass, bronze, stainless, aluminum, sheet, tubing, solid. The worst aholes to deal with. I just can't go there anymore, it's an hour and a half away and I don't need the stress. Their prices likely went up considerably. Steel plate is easy and not expensive more or less locally. But sheet I can't find reasonably.

  3. #53


    You could make an enormous desk from a piece of kitchen worktop and some of those worktop legs. That's what I'd do, if I was starting over; but for now this is what I have.

    A cheap plastic shelving unit which fitted the available space. That monitor on top is a Sun unit with a Trinitron tube, so it is very heavy.

    The "console" computers live on an Ikea Billy bookshelf with added shelves. This is a good solution, but you have to keep the power supplies, cables and other paraphernalia in a separate box.

    These plastic boxes are labelled (mostly) and store the aforementioned paraphernalia. The idea was to be able to pull the console and its box of bits and assemble the thing on the desk, as and when. Then return all to storage after playing. Of course, it never works out like that! The shelves are Ikea and they also carry manuals and books for all the computers.

    The really heavy items (PET 2001-N, PCW9512, TRS-80 Model IV, Model II, Sharp MZ-80A, Exidy Sorcerer and an extremely heavy Audio Innovations Series 500 valve amp) sit on a steel framed unit such as you would find in a garage or workshop.

    This is the desk; it's an Ikea unit with extension that I bought second hand. Of course, it's not big enough, especially with that SuperBrain. There's a drawer unit to the left, out of shot, that is stuffed full of cables and other detritus. On top of that is a "tweener" PC. Above the desk there is a shelf which has the desoldering station, 'scope, a stereo for music and a seldom used 24 pin dot matrix printer. There are a bunch of machines under the desk, too - A couple of Power Macs, TRS-80 Model 4P, Philips P2000C, Sun Ultra 10.

    Reading the thread, I am pleased to note that I am not alone when it comes to chaotic "retro" work spaces. Seems to me there is just too much junk that comes with these machines, and no perfect method to store them in a way that allows for tidy display and easy access. Unfortunately for me, I have to use this space for real work and so I cannot afford to leave the desk cluttered with retro computers. The other thing is that I have very little time to play with the old machinery, and so it is more of a museum now. I have over acquired, that's for sure, but can I bring myself to start selling?
    Last edited by JonB; May 18th, 2018 at 12:26 AM.

  4. #54


    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Sheet metal is cheaper than angle iron and readily available round here. So worst case, he'd have an hour drive. If he wanted, I would happily purchase the sheet metal and cut and brake it to his specs. I'm going to have to buy some soon anyway.

    But I wouldn't use sheet metal for that. I'd look at workbenches and picnic tables. I have a bench like this that would more than fit the bill but the top of it looks thinner than mine, so it would be necessary to go look at it before buying.

    I also have a wooden picnic table that wouldn't sag if I put a thousand pounds on it. I got it for free, and don't know where to buy picnic benches or what they cost, but that's something worth investigating, I think.
    That table I pretty small, space enough for 2 units. It seems flimsy and overpriced. For approximately half you could build a 4' x 8' table (granted You may not want one that large). For that much you could build 4 identical tables that are far sturdier. Maybe angle iron has gone up, and tubing would look considerably nicer. You'll want 3/16" material. But look at different thicknesses and see what suits you.

  5. #55


    This is fine for you and I. But for someone not experienced in metal working, the extra bit of price is worthwhile.

    Those Edsal benches are far from flimsy. I've put over a thousand pounds of weight on them at various times. I have one with a butcherblock top and one with a 16Ga top. These can be found for $10 at industrial auctions.

    I wish I had time. I've said for a long time that I could make a business out of making hobby-oriented relay racks and shelving systems.


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