How do you store your spaces slugs?

I just finished identifying and separating 25 half-full milk cartons with the lead spaces that were previously kept in type trays. (The moving company thoughtfully turned them on their sides and the piles broke through the cardboard covers that were sandwiched to keep the spaces contained). Now I am wondering if their might be a better way of storing them? Someone may have a better method that would permit me easy access when setting type but not as cumbersome as California sized type trays. Invariably I need only one size of space from one tray and another size from a second tray and I’ve only got so much room for setting type. Has anyone got any novel ideas? I thought about those open plastic parts bins that cleave onto a rail and can be removed easily. (You see them in auto repair garages a lot).Not sure. Interested in any ideas. Thank you.

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I bought these plastic Raaco boxes and created a kind of a ‘space tray’. You can lift them out when needed. I tend to put them next to my case when I’m typesetting. In Germany you still find ‘Ausschlussleiste’, either in wood or bakelite, narrow strips with compartments that will hold all the spaces for one size. Very practical as well.

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Brasspounder, Sir, re your space storage situation, way back in a typical composing room with even a few compositors, in a convienient position stood a *Space Barge* U.K. terminology, all steel, with many divisions.!!! …Obviously not practical or desireable for smaller varied needs.
As you have implied, Garage/Workshop type parts bin system fits the bill but in actual useage tend to be a little fiddly and unstable because the tounge and lip attatchment clip on to the rails, is (generally) not deep enough, and tend to dislodge in use!!!! …
If you go with this method, and choice may be limited, (a) cut hard plastic, perspex, or plexiglass ramps to fit into the front of each compartment, to facilitate extraction of as many or as few spaces at a time,as required.!!! .. (b) beg/borrow/steal, Kitchen Type plastic spatula and fashion to fit your compartments!!! … (c) as I have done with mine? one little tiny self tapping screw, throught the plastic top rail or immediately above, into the steel backplate.? Improves Stability.!!
We have here in U.K. one variation to the system, whereby each bin can be subdivided, with plastic inserts longitudinally, implying that with only 4 bins across the back plate in mutiples of, 2 i.e. >Quads/Nuts,< >Thicks/Mids,< >Thins/Multi Quads< can be accommodated, and with possibly, only 6 pt. 8 pt. 10 pt. and 12 pt. to accommodate, very little wall space would be needed.???
Good Luck, Mick.

For my small spacing material I use small screw and parts cabinets purchased at the local hardware store. A friend made a wooden cabinet to contain the two metal cabinets with plastic drawers, it has a sliding wooden lid on the front to keep the individual drawers contained in case of an earthquake. The cabinet as set-up contains 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 24 point spacing. I keep larger sizes in an old Hamilton wooden spacing cabinet. I also use plastic cases purchased at an outdoor camping supply store (used I think for fishing lures) for smaller and didot sizes that I use less frequently. I also have two full-sized cases that were designed specifically to hold spacing material. I’ve got quite a bit of spacing, and take care of it just like I do my type.


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At Lead Graffiti we searched for a while to find the right plastic container. It is really useful if the bottoms of the cells are curved to make it easier to slide a piece and get hold of it. The dividers can be adjusted a bit depending on if you have a lot of one width and fewer of another width.

We built a cabinet that holds 15 of these plastic cases. We bought the cases at Home Depot. We are just getting ready to build another cabinet so we can keep the spacing in two different areas of the studio.

We do a lot of creative letterpress workshops with students and they tend to use a lot of spacing material trying to be creative with the type. We have a galley that sits out where we put un-sorted spacing to just keep it all in one place. Then when we have a few minutes we do an initial sorting where we just sort it into the various type sizes. This is a galley that has a quad in every size with a long think reglet between them. That way you get all of the spacing headed the right way and it is a lot easier to sort it out. Typically we work from the wider sizes to the thinner sizes.

Then we get serious and put the right ones in the right cells.

We have them for all of the various sizes and have two for some of the more common sizes. We also have them for didot sizes.

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Thomas, Mick, Paul and Lead Griffitti-
THANKS for the excellent suggestions. I am weighing each one of them and will post here what I decide. Ireally appreciate the help. Now where were you helpful guys when I was hunched over my card table for days and days sorting out all these spaces? :)

I have used the 30 flat egg crates and the dozen egg crates they work ok, they stack on top of each other just fine. Dave

I have used the 30 flat egg crates and the dozen egg crates they work ok, they stack on top of each other just fine. Dave

I have used the 30 flat egg crates and the dozen egg crates they work ok, they stack on top of each other just fine. Dave