I've been reading a number of blog posts recently, primarily on mrhmag.com, where people have detailed the various solutions they have come up with for carting around the flotsam & jetsam associated with building a layout. There's electrical, tracklaying, scenery, and layout construction equipment that is useful at this end of the layout one minute, and down at the other end of the room the next. There are some very creative ideas out there, and it spurred some thought as to how I might want to tackle this in my own basement.
So it was no surprise that as I found myself wandering the lower levels of our closest Target store a few weeks ago, I viewed the store shelving and racking that was up for disposal (Target is closing their Canadian stores) with my model railroading eye. And I liked what I saw. Here were some heavy-duty, mobile units with adjustable shelves fairly screaming out to me regarding their usefulness for my modelling needs. After a quick internal debate, I rolled out the front doors of the Target with a 2 foot wide, double-sided mobile unit sporting six height-adjustable shelves. The price was right at the time, and with the closing dates fast approaching my wife tells me the units are now going for half of what I paid.
Once the shelf unit was in my basement, the question became one of how do I best utilize what it had to offer. Drawing on some of what I'd read and seen others doing, I purchased some pegboard and slid that down the middle in order to have a place to hang tools. I also cut a piece of plywood to fit on the base, upon which were placed several plastic drawer units that have been occupying various spots in my workshop, but never all in the same, handy spot. Now I could have them all next to my workbench or roll them out to whichever portion of the layout I would be working on.
This is about as far as I've gotten so far. How to best utilize the shelves, especially with respect to not having things slide off of them as I roll through the basement, is one item still to be addressed. I should note that the rolling qualities of the shelf unit are not the best on the varying carpet surfaces I have loosely laid down in the basement until the walls are finished, and the unit is quite heavy without a good fixed handle to maneuver by. A smooth, hard floor would work best.
Having said that, I now am one step closer to having the model-building tools I need at hand without having to search throughout the basement for where I last put them down. A place for everything, and everything in its place, as they say!