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Pen Storage Solution


risingsun

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I went to a neighborhood estate/moving sale yesterday morning and ended up buying this great cabinet for pen/ink/book storage. It is cleaned up, put into its new space, and today I get to start migrating stuff into it. It is built like the old attorney bookcases, but instead it is filled with removable bins/drawers. Drop down/flip up/slide back glass fronts. Two huge drawers in the bottom for holding ink by the gallon. Top and sides are unfinished, so I believe it was originally built-in. Mahogany wood on fronts and inside. Drawers are stained like the mahogany, but a different hardwood. 50" tall and 38" wide.

 

And it came with 2 fountain pens! Though only lowly Parker Vectors from 1986, a white one and a black one.

 

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38215967/Photo%20Mar%2001%2C%2011%2012%2051%20AM.jpg

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38215967/Photo%20Mar%2001%2C%2011%2013%2021%20AM.jpg

Sun%20Hemmi2.jpg

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That looks great, congrats. I think I'd put paper in the bottom to lower the center of gravity.

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That's a really nice set up!

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Get in touch with Michelle at Pendora. She had a big supply of pen tray liners made up, and they are both very nice and reasonably priced (I picked up a couple at the LA Pen Show). I believe they would be easy to trim and you could turn those bins into pen trays in no time at all.

 

ETA: had a bit of a time finding the site, it is pendorapens.com. Anyway, here's a direct link to the pen tray liners.

Edited by JonSzanto

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Thanks for the idea, Jon. I have some of Gary Lehrer's trimmable pen trays left - I bought a dozen a while back to build cigar box pen cases, which is what I have been using so far for my burgeoning collection. They will fit with a little trimming, allowing two rows of normal sized pens in each bin. I do think I need to get some velvet to cover up the pens I place in the trays, as the location where this cabinet resides gets a lot of sun, though indirect, especially in the winter, and the last thing I need to do is start sun-bleaching my pen collection. I have just put my full cigar boxes in the bins for the moment, but that is wasting a lot of real estate, so longer-term I am going to switch over to the bins with trays.

 

Cyber6, I appreciate your concern for the window I am covering. Yes, I hated to do that, but I wanted this piece handy, and we have a lot of window right next to it (see the glare/reflection in the first photo) that is our view direction anyway. The stained glass pieces are antiques from old, demolished homes that we have just hung for decoration in the existing fixed window. I suspect I may end up relocating the lower one, but that can occur at a later date.

 

I truly enjoy everyone's comments about the cabinet. It is not anything like others I have seen, and it just screamed 'pen storage' to me the moment I saw it. The glass is all original, vintage wavy glass with infrequent long bubbles in it. The only perplexing thing about it is the hardware, which is just cast iron that is painted gold. Seems kind of cheap compared to the rest of the construction. But I am inclined to keep it as is, since there is no indication of it not being original, and I am usually a stickler for leaving things in original condition whenever possible.

Sun%20Hemmi2.jpg

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A really beautiful find! I've been mulling over a change in storage for several years now, and I do like what you've found as a possible inspiration for what to build. A favor? Could you share a picture of one of the drawer/bins in an extended or removed position? And explain how they move in their places? Thanks if you get the chance.

 

The sun is a great concern, not only for the light itself but for the heat it might generate. To ameliorate the second risk, I might be tempted get some ventilation into each unit by opening the back discreetly. I recognize and appreciate your desire to leave things as intact as possible, but you could cut two small rectangles in the top corners of the backs without causing too much trouble. The doors are not airtight, and with the openings in the backs you could get a little breathing. I worry about this with my own collection, just for any out gassing the old celluloid might be doing (plus the very few hard rubber pens I have). Just a suggestion; purists reading this I make no effort to offend.

 

Excellent find-- enjoy!

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ljwahl, let me get a photo of an empty bin for you in a bit. Here's the first bin with Gary Lehrer tray installed, filled with the bulk of my Parkers... I have plenty of room to grow, which will undoubtedly occur, though I admit I am getting pickier as time passes. Each of my daughters have claimed a bin for themselves, as they are FP'ers as well, each one owns 3. But their other FP accoutrements take up enough space that I can sacrifice a little space at this time. :thumbup:

 

One of my cigar boxes, now empty, sits aside the bin.

 

My wife has her calligraphy/dip pen items in addition to a handful of FP's, that I'd be foolish to not make space for...

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38215967/Photo%20Mar%2002%2C%201%2038%2002%20PM.jpg

Sun%20Hemmi2.jpg

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ljwahl: A couple photos of a bin/drawer and how it fits into the cabinet. It just slides right in, no grooves or runners or anything, so you can easily swap them around if needed. Couldn't be simpler and it is easy to pull out a bin and take it to the table, or wherever, to ogle/fondle the contents.

 

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38215967/Photo%20Mar%2002%2C%202%2017%2043%20PM.jpg

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38215967/Photo%20Mar%2002%2C%202%2018%2009%20PM.jpg

Sun%20Hemmi2.jpg

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Ok-- thanks for the great pictures. You're right, nothing simpler, and I'm glad to see how the bin sides rise in the back. Wonder what their original function was?

 

As they just sit on the cabinet floor, does each bin have felt or some such on the bottom? I'm guessing it's not wood-on-wood. ..

 

Parker collection looks great, by the way; and how nice there is room for the whole family!

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The reason the bins rise in the back is genius... You can pull a bin out 1/2 to 2/3 of the way or so, and the bin won't tip forward and fall out because the raised back of the bin hits the underside of the shelf/door above it as it becomes front heavy.

 

The bins slide in and out very nicely, and it really is just wood on wood. I suspect there is some furniture wax or something on the bottoms of the vertical side pieces due to how easily they slide. The bottom panel of each bin is elevated so that it does not make contact with the shelf. Very much like how a dresser drawer works. A good woodworker could do some 'boxing' (runners) on the bottoms of the sides of each bin with some boxwood or lignum vitae, and they'd really slide nicely, I suspect. Much like the old hand moulding planes of the 19th century had along the working face of the plane.

Sun%20Hemmi2.jpg

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Man, that is fantastic! If the glass is wavy, it's got a few years behind it. Interesting about the hardware, I would have expected brass. I wonder if the cast jron was originally black then painted gold later to "dress it up."

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