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Peel ‘n’ Stick Disc Storage

Turn any smooth surface into a CD file.

Peel ‘n’ Stick Disc Storage

These stick-on CD/DVD hubs are marketed to publishers who want to include an optical disc in a book, card, folder, or other printed matter. They cost pennies apiece and, with the aid of the attached print-and-cut template, are easily arranged in a hexagonal grid on any smooth surface you might want to use for disc storage. Discs stored this way are easy to browse at a glance, without flipping pages, and don’t take up space on a table or shelf.

Steps

Step #1: Plan layout

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  • Choose a surface.
  • My home-office door is almost never closed and the back was not in great shape to begin with. I was therefore not too concerned about messing up the finish, but you may want to be more careful.
  • The surface needs to be smooth enough for the hubs to stick. Besides a door, a mirror or a piece of cardboard or masonite hung on the wall would work.
  • Draw a plan.
  • I used Adobe Illustrator to figure out how many discs I could fit on the door and how I wanted to lay them out, but InkScape, SketchUp, or plain old pen and paper would also work just fine.
  • A full-size CD is 120 mm across with a 15 mm hole. The template allows for 15 mm of clearance between CDs, as well, which puts them 135 mm apart on-center.

Step #2: Print and cut template

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  • Print template at full size on heavy paper.
  • Cut out along dotted lines.
  • I used a swing-arm paper cutter, but a pair of scissors or an art knife and straightedge would work just as well.
  • Punch holes.
  • If you cut the template edges accurately, a US-style single-hole punch centered on each short edge should put a hole in just the right place.
  • The holes do not have to be precisely positioned, so it's OK if you miss the black circle by a little bit.

Step #3: Lay out grid

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  • Use an erasable marker to do your layout work. You may want to perform a discrete test, first, to verify its erasability. I used a wet-erase overhead projection marker.
  • Measure and mark centerline and position of first CD.
  • I measured and marked the center of the door at the top edge, and right above the knob, and connected those two marks with a line.
  • Then I measured 16 cm down from the top edge, along the line, and made a witness mark to position the center of the top CD.
  • Iterate template over surface and mark grid locations.
  • Start with your witness mark, and work along the centerline first.
  • Once you've got the center column of discs positioned, finish out toward the edges.

Step #4: Affix hubs

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  • Peel the adhesive off the back of each hub, center it over one of your grid marks, and stick it in place.
  • Once all the hubs are attached, erase any remaining layout marks, e.g. with a damp cloth.

Step #5: Use it

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Click your discs onto the hubs, and you're done!

Conclusion

It remains to be seen how well the adhesive on the hubs will hold up over time. If this were a door that were frequently opened and closed, I might be a bit more concerned about the hubs eventually working loose and falling off. Stay tuned for updates.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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