Saturday, 16 October 2010

New Barracks

Last weekend saw the installing of new barracks for my 25mm troops. Until then they had been stored in some metal cabinets I had rescued from a skip at work. The cabinets were of a very solid construction, ie they were blinking heavy when empty, let alone when housing troops. Their original purpose had been to store video cassettes, so they were of ample depth to accomodate 25mm cavalry. The only drawback, apart from the weight, was that the drawers were of a size which meant that I could not fully open them in the rather narrow 'glory hole' which houses my collection. Management had been concerned about the weight stored in the 'glory hole' for some time and the IKEA catalogue left my daughter showed some 6 drawer units which seemed to fit the bill. I checked with a colleague, who remarked that he found them very suitable for the job of storing 25mm troops and so the plotting, scheming and measuring began. I reckoned that two of the cabinets would replace the ex video ones and of course I made great play of the weight which would be saved. "Will they fit" was the question. "Of course", I replied; "it will be tight, but I reckon that if I move up the bookcase they will just fit in".

The cabinets were duly purchased and brought home. I was somewhat surprised to find them flatpacked, but they assembled very well. The day of the big move arrived and I duly emptied everything out of the 'glory hole' to make room for the new cabinets. Isn't it amazing how when you start to look, you find all sorts of interesting bags of lead that, at the time, were absolutely essential for that wargaming project? Eventually, the space was cleared, the old cabinets emptied and offered to the chap next door, who accepted them gratefully as "just the job" for storing tools etc in his new shed. One by one the storage units were put into the 'glory hole'. Now it was the turn of the last of the new cabinets, as I manoeuvred it into place the first seeds of doubt began to emerge. "Was that gap big enough?", "surely I had measured it correctly?".

As you suspected, the cabinet did not fit. I tried moving the bookcase a bit to the left, the 15mm cabinet a bit to the right, but although the new cabinet did fit at the front of the gap it would not fit back against the wall. What had happened was that I had only measured the gap in the centre of the 'glory hole', the length of the back wall was 1/4" shorter, not a great difference, but when something is "just a fit" it is enough to cause a problem. What was I to do? I did suggest, rather tentatively, to management that perhaps I could remove the skirting board and part of the architrave. One look was sufficient to make me reconsider and look for a Plan B.

Getting out the trusty tape measure again, I considered height rather than width and discovered that I could stack the cabinets rather than put them side by side. Storage either side would hold them in place and thus encouraged I began to rearrange things. In the end everything went back and an extra pile of books appeared on my bedside table, having been rediscovered whilst the bookcase was moved, (I double-shelve them because of shortage of space).

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