Portabins: Harbor Freight Utility and IKEA Styling

I've got a storage and sorting problem, and I built a solution out of off-the-shelf parts to see how it would work and fit together.

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BOM at time of purchase (05/20/2017):

IKEA 301.711.23 $44.99 qty1 ->$44.99
IKEA 802.518.91 $9 qty5 ->$45
HF 93927 $13.69 qty5 ->$68.45
HF 93928 $8.99 qty10 ->$89.90

Total: $248.34 (Before Tax and HF coupons)

  • 5 × Harbor Freight Large Storage Case 8 Bin Large Portable Parts Storage Case, Item #93927
  • 10 × Harbor Freight Medium Storage Case 20 Bin Medium Portable Parts Storage Case, Item #93928
  • 5 × IKEA TROFAST Shelf 2 Pack TROFAST Shelf, black, Article Number: 802.518.91
  • 1 × IKEA TROFAST Frame, white TROFAST Frame, white, Article Number: 301.711.23
  • 2 × Cat A small, typically furry, carnivorous mammal.

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  • The build: Yes, the cats helped.

    cprossu05/21/2017 at 03:12 0 comments

    I got all the parts and pieces in one general area, and this took about 1Hour and 15Minutes to put together.

    Contrary to belief and expectation, I still find the time to read the instructions my shelving unit came with. It told me little hints like how many parts I should have with the kit, and awesome tips on what order to put the things it came with together in!

    OK, so that's 10 medium bins and 5 large bins, Check!

    The large bins are all these:

    The medium bins are all these:

    As you might be able to tell, 2 of the medium bins are slightly taller than one of the large bins.. Something to take into account if you wish to store 2 of them in the same space as one of the large ones.

    So, let us see about that shelving system, and a cat too...

    Cat approves, the shelving frame is a IKEA TROFAST 301.711.23

    Shelves that fit into the TROFAST frame come in a 2 pack and are IKEA TROFAST 802.518.91

    Let's get this thing unpacked, I'd have had a much easier time getting this into my car if I had opened it before leaving!

    OK, let's see what was in 'de box:

    One forty-five caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days' concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings... wait that was the wrong box, I digress.

    Upon further inspection, plastic rails and a bag of hardware too

    There's phillips head screws in that thar bag, better get my leatherman out too...

    O hai Laila, do I haz all the hardware?

    Are you sure there's 20 rails in that bag?

    OK, fine I'll double check. Thanks IKEA for the extra washer and extra wooden dowel!

    Back to business, let's get these parts down and do things with them.

    I never knew my cellphone camera was made out of potato, but the proof is in the pudding! I hope I don't screw this step up.

    Ok, looking good, one down, one to go.

    Let's get that other one started and make sure I don't put the rails in upside down or sideways.

    Before going any further, let's see, does what I have match the picture? Good enough!

    Let's check on that hardware inventory:

    OK, wooden thingies go into 'ze holes in the prefamulated amulite baseplate, and the logarithmic casing goes onto the wooden thingies, got it!

    I think it would suck as a shelf in this configuration, so we must press forward still...

    Got the other side of the prefamulated amulite baseplate aligned.. When we install the pentametric fan it will become critical to align it perpendicularly... Now is a good time to do a cat scan, thanks Carrie!

    Surely this will fall apart without fasteners, good thing IKEA thought of that!

    My Leatherman does not have an IKEA bit, so we shall use this instead:

    One side done, but it still won't hold up to the test of time without fasteners on the other side!

    Again IKEA to the rescue with more fasteners! No sperving bearings though, very disappointing.

    Side done, it's starting to look like something!

    What's left in our hardware pile anyway? Thanks IKEA for the extra stuff, I do not foresee me mounting this to a wall though, but perhaps I might put it on wheels later.

    Let's stand this upright now, not too bad!

    Now about those shelves...

    I've got a fever and the only prescription is more shelving!

    Now the moment of truth, these bins fit the one at the store, will they fit into the one I just put together?

    Let's get all these bins installed, hey can I get another cat scan of this thing?

    Beep boop

    Scan success!

    Ok, lets see the spoils of war:

    One shelf, one dowel, one ikea key, 2 wood screws, 2 "L" brackets, and 5 washers.

    That means if I was building 2 of these instead of one I could purchase 9 twin packs of shelving and it would even out. (Since I did not have to use the top rail on the shelving frame).

    If you made it here congrats! The medium bins are a snug fit stacked two high, but...

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  • The reason:

    cprossu05/21/2017 at 02:26 0 comments

    I had bought many storage solutions before, and they all have failed in one way or another.

    Take this for an instance:

    It's messy, the frame can't hold any weight, so the frame tends to flex and bend which causes the bins to fall out of their holders, and I can't simply take a self contained bin out and toss it into my car either. It looked really nice when I built it, but it is impractical to use every day

  • I needed to build this 'thing' that I 'need'

    cprossu05/21/2017 at 02:21 0 comments

    I started off going to the local HF to look over their catalog of portable bin boxes, and I found two styles I could live with for a quick prototype. I noticed that 2 of the smaller medium boxes were just a bit taller than one of their large boxes.

    With a car full of bin boxes, I took 2 small ones and one large one into IKEA with me to stuff and prod them into all the shelving systems they had to offer until I found a good balance of cheap and efficient.

    It wasn't until I got to the kids section that I tried stuffing these into the TROFAST shelves, and noticed that they would not stay on the plastic rails as I had hoped, the bins were just a little short, however I noticed another one was equipped with the TROFAST shelves, and I tested the large bin in, and it fit very well, and 2 of the medium bins I could just squish in barely. Good enough, because this means I don't have to engineer anything, I can just stuff it all together and call it a day!

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