Storage of ceramic caps of beer bottles

Over the years I tried differnt ways of storing ceramic beer bottle caps and saw other solutions from fellow collectors. The subsequent examples are intended as suggestions to other collectors. Of course I'm alwas interested in further ideas how a ceramic bottle caps collection could be stored or displayed.
Fig. 1 Cabinet used in the past by architects to store  construction plans
Inserts for storage of the ceramic caps in the drawers of the cabinent, made from different materials Fig. 2
My collection of ceramic bottle caps is stored in an old wooden architeict's cabinent (Fig. 1). The cabinent contains 24 very flat drawers (inside hight about 2.5 cm), so that there fit manny ceramic caps in a very small space. Inside the drawers I put inserts made from a special type of foamed polystyrene. Into these inserts I punched manny small holes, each of which accomodates exactly the lower tip of a ceramic cap (Fig. 2). This way 360 ceramic caps fit into one drawer resulting space for a total of 8640 ceramic cap. However this cabinet is only 100 cm high, 75 cm wide and 65 cm deep.

Selection of the right type of material for the inserts is important. The left hand panel above (Fig. 2) shows different materials I tested for these inserts.

  • Regular foamed polystyrene (white, top of Fig. 2) is not very well suited, as it is difficult to punch out holes and as the material tends to release manny small polystyrene particles.
  • Special foamed polystyrene (Fig. 2 middle, light green), which is sold in do-it-yourself stores as impact sound insulation to be placed below laminate.
  • Finally I tested a sponge-like material which normally is used to fix flowers in flower arrangements (Fig. 2, lower right-hand side, olive-green). Thes material is suitable to easy punch holes into it and it also easily adjustes to the exact shape of cermaic bottle caps. Unfortunately this material is not very durable and in addition releases a powdery unpleasant dust.
In summary I used and recommend the impact sound insulation material.
Fig. 3 Pharmacist's cabinet with manny small drawers for storage of unsorted ceramic caps
Double trading ceramic caps I store, sorted by alphabet, in small cabinets with manny small drawers, similar to pharmacist's cabinets or cabinets used in libraries for storage of index cards. The cabinets I use were bought several years ago at Ikea, but no longer are solde by them (Fig. 3). This type of small cabinets can be piled up to form a lager cabinet.
Fig. 4 Inserts / holders for storing and transporting ceramic caps Initially I build special shaped insert / holders for storage of my collection of ceramic cap (Fig. 4). I used plywood into which I drilled holes with 22 mm diameter using a specialized driller. At the bottom and at the top edge of these plates I glued small wooden bars. At the bottom I glued a board of plywood without holes in order to stabilize the construction. These frames can easily be stacked without the risk of damaging the ceramic caps. However building such frames is quite laborious and I stopped building such frames.
Fig. 5 Corrugated cardboard with crossing incisions for fixing ceramic caps (good for shiping of ceramic caps)
Corrugated cardbord with inserted ceramic caps; bottom view Fig. 6
A very economic way of storage of ceramic caps is as follows: take corrugted cardbord, cut crossing incisions into the cardboard using a cardboard cutter and insert the bottom tips of the ceramic caps into the incisions of the cardboard. (Fig. 5 and 6). 
Fig. 7 Wooden board with holes of the size of ceramic caps drilled into it Foamed polystyrene insert used for packaging of kentchup tubes, now used for storage of ceramic caps Fig. 8
There are numerous further options, how to build from different materials ceramic bottle caps storing aids.  One example is to first drill into wooden boards holes of the size of the bottom tip of ceramic caps and subsequently, using a bigger drill, drill at the same positions holes of the upper diameter of ceramic bottle caps into the wood. The bigger hole is drilled only about 2/3 deep of the thickness of the wooden boards (Fig. 7).

A very simple way of storing ceramic bottle caps is the use of inserts of foamed polystyrene used for packaging of ketchup tubes (Fig. 8).

Fig. 9 Rubber mats with punched out holes to fix the lower tip of ceramic caps; good for bringing double ceramic caps to fairs

Another idea for storing ceramic bottle caps and to fix them in an ordered way is the use of rubber mats with punched out holes. The holes should be a little smaller than the diameter of the lower tip of the ceramic caps. The lower tips of the ceramic caps easily can be inserted into the flexible rubber mats (Fig. 9).
Fig. 10 Wooden board with drilled holes for presentation of ceramic caps
the ceramic caps are fixed by squeezing in a small piece of cork Fig. 11
If you plan to fix cerami cap on a wooden board in order to hand them onto a wall for presentaion purposes (Fig 10), you can prepare them as follows. First drill holes into the board, which holes have a diameter slightly bigger than the diameter of the tip of the ceramic caps. Put a small piece of cork into these holes (Fig. 11) and squeeze in the tips of the ceramic caps. The flexible cork will fix the ceramic caps and it is not neccessary to glue the ceramic caps.
Fig. 12 Transparent plastic boxes with play dough to fix ceramic bottle caps
In order to dust-safe present a single ceramic bottle cap you can fix it in transparent plastic boxes using play dough (Fig. 12).
Fig. 13 Fixing ceramic caps on mounting rails normally used for electricity cables Finally ceramic bottle caps can be fixed on mounting rails normally used for electricity cables, by use of the rubber seal of the ceramic caps. Such mounting rails can be purchased in do-it-yourself stores. The mountig rails can be fixed to wooden boards which can be hang up onto a wall. This way large numbers of ceramic caps can be presented on a wall without the need to glue the ceramic caps to the wooden board.


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