large tray, small compartments
January 25, 2011 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find plastic storage trays with a large (50ish) number of small (about 1 cubic inch, or a cube of about 16 ccs if you roll that way) compartments?

So I bought a bunch of Gamescience dice. Much of the point of these dice is that they have nice sharp edges, so I don't want to blunt them by grinding them against each other in a dice bag. So I'm thinking of storing them in individual compartments of a storage tray.

It's easy to find such trays in craft stores, art supply stores, or hardware stores, but all the ones I've seen have a strong correlation between the overall size of the tray and the size of the compartments. Only the smallest trays have compartments of an appropriate size, but they only have about 15 compartments total.

So does anyone know of any larger trays with small compartments? Big bonus points of they slide into a carrying case like some trays for tackle boxes or hardware toolboxes do.

Yes, I realize this is precious as all hell and I don't care.
posted by Zed to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (19 answers total)
You might find something good at American Science and Surplus - I've linked to the "bottles and cases" department, but browse around.
posted by moonmilk at 8:40 AM on January 25, 2011

Boxes! Boxes and cases.
posted by moonmilk at 8:40 AM on January 25, 2011

The closest thing I can think of is something used to organize nuts/bolts/washers/etc... You can get a bunch of these stackable tip-out bins. Unfortunately, the bin sizes are a bit larger than your 1 cu. in. specifications (they're 1 3/4" x 2 3/16" x 2 1/2", according to this PDF).
posted by mhum at 8:41 AM on January 25, 2011

How about a couple of those medication pill organizer things?
posted by jasper411 at 8:42 AM on January 25, 2011

Ice cube trays with a makeshift lid of some sort?
posted by Grither at 8:42 AM on January 25, 2011

Oh wait, I thought of something else: jewelry display cases.
posted by mhum at 8:45 AM on January 25, 2011

35 Cavity Plastic Storage Box!

Ooo, this one has 24 individual screw-top jars!
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:56 AM on January 25, 2011

Bead storage boxes might work.
posted by phunniemee at 8:59 AM on January 25, 2011

You might like a machinist's toolbox. I see them often on Cragslist/kijiji. If you want to go full-bore precious, then you might want to invest in a type cabinet.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:05 AM on January 25, 2011

I use stackable ice cube trays for my coin collection and it works great. You might be able to find on freecycle or something one of those babyfood jar racks which are super great and would look sort of cool. Otherwise jewelry boxes will highlight your collection in a neat way but not display them but a drawer-system tackle box might be the best way to achieve many compartments, low price and safety for your dice &c.
posted by jessamyn at 9:32 AM on January 25, 2011

How about interlocking individual boxes? They are about 1.5 cm cubes, $2.98 for 10, cheaper if you buy more.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2011

They are pretty cool looking. Anyway you would buy a printer's box and store them on a wall??
posted by beccaj at 10:43 AM on January 25, 2011

Response by poster: Oh, those individual interlocking boxes look really cool, but actually too small. The comments describe the opening as being 1.5 cm on a side, and as being unable to accommodate a nickel (.835".)
posted by Zed at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2011

The Container Store is fabulous for this kind of thing. Check out their Divided Boxes category.
posted by vytae at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2011

If you really want to protect the dice, you should use the foam mini trays used by wargamers. Several come in "pickable" cubed segments so you can create the compartments yourself. And they are designed to go in travel cases.

Search for companies like Battle Foam, Games Workshop, and Reaper. You can usually buy the trays and the carrying cases separate. Just get a bunch of the small trays and load them up.
posted by Wossname at 1:34 PM on January 25, 2011

Or, roll your own with some cases and pick n pluck foam.
posted by Wossname at 1:37 PM on January 25, 2011

Response by poster: If you really want to protect the dice, you should use the foam mini trays

This is the boundary of my crazy: I'm willing to let them rattle around a plastic box a bit, but not interested in going whole-hog with foam-packing. And I would like to be able to get them out easily to, you know, use them. (In the foam-padded dice tower that'll be next project up...)
posted by Zed at 2:02 PM on January 25, 2011

Perhaps an EMT case would work? I have no experience with this seller so no recommendation implied.
posted by buzzv at 3:36 PM on January 25, 2011

What about a case used to store flyfishing lures? I use one similar tothis for the various feet that attach to my sewing machine.
posted by catlet at 8:04 PM on January 25, 2011

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