by: Ian Mordue

For Meccano enthusiasts, one of the biggest problems (after deciding what to make next), is how to
to store the (seemingly) ever growing amounts of the stuff itself.
I am sure we have all been through the many different phases of storage, the move to each new phase
being usually prompted by the fact that you find that the space allocated to 2 " strips has
strangely contracted, and the wretched things are spilling all over the place.

For me, these phases have always been linked to the acquisition of more, or larger wooden boxes, of some description.Whether this has been as a result of convenience or convention, I am not too sure, however what I do know is that it does not work!
After a period, which admittedly could stretch to years, the new box (es) would be unsuitable due to two prime reasons:

1. The division of space in the box (es), due to fixed partitioning, was unable to cope with the
increase in volumes of parts.

2. Accessing parts in wooden boxes, trays etc. eventually becomes physically impossible due to weight,
and the general unwieldy nature of wood when filled with large amounts of heavy metal.

With the impending upheaval of a house move, I decided the time was right to review storage of my Meccano
and look for something that would address the two issues mentioned.

The Internet provided a wonderful resource for this task. I had come to the conclusion that wood was nice to look at, and to keep mint no 10's in, but was not very good for holding building stock.
I had therefore resolved to look at metal storage. I had seen normal office type steel cabinets, but they presented as many problems as they solved due to the requirement to be able to store, individually, hundreds of different parts.
Also, office metal cabinets are meant to store, (in the main) paper, and are not capable of holding the substantial weights that we enthusiasts can accumulate.
I therefore searched the Internet, looking for Industrial metal storage units, and eventually came to the site of a company called Polstore, based in Horsham.
They are Sole UK Distributors for an Italian manufacturer of Workshop and Storage Equipment, which trades under the name of Famepla.
An e-mail to Polstore produced an absolutely fascinating catalogue of Famepla products and the offer of help from their area salesman if I needed it.
Polstore normally supply engineering companies, and similar, with specialised storage solutions for both heavy and varied metal components and tools.
As I looked at the catalogue I realised that the Famepla range could provide me with just the storage that I needed. The key features which I needed were as follows:

1. The drawers of the units were on rollers and could each handle up to 100 kilos! A full 200kg load capacity with full extension drawers if required.
2. The drawers within the cabinets came in a variety of depths, from 50mm to 300mm.
3. The drawers were perforated on the bottoms and as such, would permit virtually any configuration of dividers, thus allowing for future changes. Additionally the perforations were such that they actually coincided with Meccano spacing at two inch centres, allowing for storage of strips, plates etc on pins bolted into the base.
After measuring and calculating, I worked out that two pedestal units connected by a work surface would provide convenient and enormously capacious storage. The choice of fittings for the drawers was huge and included dividers and custom made plastic boxes, which will fit within the drawers exactly. I submitted my order to Polstore and they were extremely efficient in the delivery and after sales support that was offered.

I now have storage which will last my lifetime, and which will aid model building through the flexibility and ease of use of the units.
The equipment is not cheap, but when compared to the convenience it gives and the overall quality, it is a bargain

The photographs give a good impression of the solidity and flexibility of the units themselves.
If any enthusiasts want to talk to me about using the units, my UK telephone number is 0191 3789770
and my e-mail is ian@mordue.co.uk


Ian Mordue reports 30-09-2008:
Polstore have recently advised that they are now able to deal with small orders from Meccano enthusiasts again.

As an alternative, may I recommend Lista products, available through

Lista (UK) Ltd,17 Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK13 9HA
Tel: 01908 222333
Fax: 01908 222433

Web site for the UK: http://www.lista.com/int-en/

e-mail: info@lista.com

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