What do you do with all your boxes?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Chessie1973, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I pretty much have every box from every piece of rolling stock and locomotive I have bought since I got back into the hobby earlier this year.

    The problem is I am starting to trip over things and I was curious wether or not those of you on the gauge keep your boxes from your kits and such or do you toss them out?

    The reason I ask is that I am planning a massive room cleanup/out this week in the train room and I was wondering if I should perhaps keep all those boxes but perhaps pack them up somewhere or just pitch them and use the space for something else.
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I save the original boxes that locos and rolling stock come in to store them in.
    I have 8 old metal kitchen cabnets that I have them stored in.
    I also make boxes for locos and rolling stock from cereal boxes (Similar to Athearn boxes) for the ones I aquired without boxes.
  3. Topo

    Topo Member

    I usually discard the kit boxes after cutting the picture or image that shows the built structure (all my kits are structures, not cars), and save all RTR cars and locomotive original boxes. I pile orderly the boxes into bigger cardboard ones and then I put these into big plastic garbage bags, drop a moth-repelent pill into the bags, close and store them in a shelf in my garage.

    The original boxes can be cumbersome, yes, but they are the best and safest way for transport your rolling stock when you are moving and, if you ever want to sell it, having the original boxes is a plus and makes the item more appealing for the buyer.
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I put them I a big box, when it's full it goes to the attic. Fred
  5. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    I keep them, being that I rent you never know when a move is coming, also what isn't on the layout is in the boxes and easy to know what I have by the ends of the boxes rather than having them in storage boxes all wrapped up. I built shelves under the layout just for this plus the rest go into the attic. It seems like alot but if you have to move the boxes are invalueable, there are exceptions like some kits once built won't fit in the boxes anymore. All in all for now I will save them. :)
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I'll be the first to post that I discard them. I kept them for a long long time but they got out of hand. I don't bring them to a club or such, don't plan on moving again for at least 15 years, and have somewhere in the area of 50 locos and hundreds of cars. I have most of the loco boxes, except for the ones, like Lifelike, which won't hold the assembled loco anyway. When I've moved in the past I simply wrapped each freight car without a box in paper towel, packed them in a sturdy carton with suitable packing and moved them in my car, as opposed to say a moving van. I'm not worried about reselling them, I may sell many when I move in the future (retirement or beyond, when health fails) but frankly keeping all those boxes all that time to enhance my return is not a concern.
  7. Rusty Spike

    Rusty Spike Member

    I pitch them. I can't imagine selling any of my prized rolling stock or engines - we've become too attached.

    I thought I was moving recently - I bought a couple of those bigger plastic containers with the lid and wrapped some cars in newspaper, tissue paper, etc. It seemed to be working well but we backed out on the move for now.
  8. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Rolling stock - RTR boxes: I keep them and stow them away in bigger cardboard boxes in the attic.

    Rolling stock - kit boxes: If the kit box is big enough, I insert a 'cradle' for the built up model out of foam rubber, else I look for a convenient cardboard box (chocolate or candy boxes are fine - eat the chocolate first :D) and build up a cradle, too. (Oh well, sometimes I forget to do this - that's why some rolling stock is just standing side by side on a shelf or in a cupboard... ;) )

    Kit boxes, which are too small for the finished model: In this case I keep only the box cover and file it with...

    Instruction sheets: I keep all of them and file them in ring binders. (This can be very convenient, when you have to repair a loco after x years!)

  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Anything that comes with protective packaging, like my P2K 0-6-0, I keep the original box. For the Accurail kits and stuff like that - I put the box to use doing something else, like holding parts, or junk, or decals on the shelves above my work bench. I do not have so many that I have "extras" yet, but I anticipate that I will probably chuck them. The assembled kit may not fit in the box, and none of the kits I have come with any protective packaging anyway.

  10. pdt

    pdt Member

    For freight cars, I toss them. I store my trains in shoe boxes from The Container Store. These aren't your typical flimsy cardboard shoebox. They are molded clear plastic and they're large enough to hold about 20 HO scale grain hoppers. I used to keep the boxes around, but now the only original boxes you'll find are those that high-end cars like Genesis and Intermountain RTR come in (they truly are the best way to store those cars).

    Locomotives are stored on a display shelf and the boxes are kept in the shed inside another large Rubbermaid container.

    Some of you mentioned you don't plan on moving any time soon or that you would never part with certain models. I've felt the same way before. When my daughters were born, the hospital bills were so out-of-control I had to part with roughly half my locomotives, and almost all of those were custom built and painted by me. We've also moved numerous times (only once since the girls were born, but I've had the trains for 22 moves) so I've got a system down for preventing damage. I also don't like to waste space, which is why original boxes for kits I've already built get tossed.
  11. pdt

    pdt Member

    I keep all my decals, my Excel list of paint mixes, painting diagrams, bills of materials for projects in the works, etc. in sheet protectors in a 3-ring binder. I can't even imagine how many decal sets would have been lost to age, moisture, sun/light exposure, etc. without this binder. (Wife's idea):oops:

    I also use a flat organizer (like what you might store screws, fishing tackle, etc.) for all my detail parts. I like to stockpile parts like MU hoses, plows, horns, lift rings, and grab irons because when you need them, they'll be out of stock! These parts all fit quite nicely in this organizer. Very handy. (Wife's idea):oops:

    I never thought about keeping instruction sheets, but then again, Athearn locomotives aren't very complex. I've torn apart and rebuilt enough of them to know what I need to know.:cool:
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Oh man - I have a closet half full of clothes & half full of G gauge boxes :) :) My dear wife is afraid to even open the door.
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    I'm so glad that she understands "I'm an Addict" and even gladder that she doesn't try to find a rehab clinic. :p :p :p
  13. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Thanks for all the input folks. Yet again the Gauge steps up to the plate for the Q&A I need.

    I found a fantastic source for really sturdy cardboard boxes that you can fit a lot of rolling stock or locomotives.

    Safety glasses boxes. I work as a security guard in a factory and the boxes that Wilson safety glasses come in are perfect for storing my rolling tock and such. If you cut a sheet of cardboard the same size as the inside of the box they are tall enough to put two layers of cars or loco's in and you can easily fit 4 50 foot boxcars side by side with room for a couple of 40 footers turned sideways at the end of those cars per layer.

    For now I gues I will sort my boxs out and see what i should keep and what I should toss. Unfortunately my best detailed loco's didn't have boxes (customised at the shop or used) so I will need to find a way to preserve the details.
  14. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    I try to keep my boxes, but have had an unsuccessful attempt at keeping them.
  15. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    I keep them and put them in a large plastic Tote. Available at HD, WM, and other stores for about $6.99 CND. I use them for all my Train stuff.....
  16. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I've found that they make an impressive confetti like display when a .223 or a rifled 12 gauge pumpkinball goes thru them at the gun club. ;)
  17. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

    Mine go in carrier bags, which are then tossed in the loft. I keep the Athearn boxes out as they are good for keeping bits and bobs in.

  18. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The boxes which permit safe transport,(RTR boxes,loco boxes) I keep, and use as designed. Kit boxes, in which the finished car will fit, are modified with packing material to permit safe transport,(survives checked baggage on the airlines). Kit boxes in which the finished car will not fit are trashed, and new boxes are made. In some cases, ie. 34' hoppers,tank cars, narrow gauge, I make boxes which contain multiple cars.
    Checked baggage! :eek: :eek:
    The last time I visited the San Diego Model Railroad Club layout in Balboa Park, I brought my D&H Challenger, and about thirty pieces of rolling stock. One of the members, who was having trouble with almost all of his rolling stock, blamed the packing and carrying of his rolling stock in his car, from his home, to the club,for all his problems. I happened to mention that my train had come "checked baggage" from Chicago Ohare, and hadn't dropped a single wheel all weekend! (I hadn't learned tact and diplomacy yet :D ) I think that was the last time I spoke with that member. :rolleyes:
    I guess my method of packing worked. :D :D
  19. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    I am certainly glad I made a decision sometime back to keep all the boxes, at least until I couldn't keep any more. I just finished up returning all the rolling stock to their boxes and packed everything away for our move. I think without the boxes and the uniformity it allows in packing into a moving box there is a much greater possibility of damage to the pieces.

    I have torn down my entire layout :( :( :cry: :cry: and it looks awfully bare in there. I think like most of us on The Gauge I have already started thinking about my next layout effort and I don't even know where we are going to live yet :eek: :eek:

    I know it will be smaller and I hope I can remember at least most of the mistakes I made on the first layout so I don't repeat them next time. One thing I am going to be lest concerned about or interested in will be elevations. I got carried away with too much up and down and it eliminated some of the flexibility I might otherwise have incorporated into the layout.

    Also, after reading the item in the latest MRR I think I may ditch all my UPRR equipment and model with something else. Gee, I'm afraid I might get sued for having any of their equipment on my layout :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

  20. petey

    petey Member

    Train Storage/Original Boxes

    Another good source for storage/movement of multiple pieces is, Bingo boxes. You can get them in at least two sizes. They are generally thrown away. Within these, you can store whole trains, in their original boxes. Such as, an entire streamliner w/its engines. Or an intermodal/unit train. Since they are relatively flat, they store compactly.

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