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A New Addition to Uni Watch HQ

Earlier today I shared photos of uni-related objects I recently encountered at a New Jersey vintage shop. The one item that I purchased that day isn’t uni-themed but is still beautiful: the metal cabinet for a 1960 microscope/chemistry set!

Really nice, right? It was priced at $48, but the shop was running a store-wide 15% sale, so the final price, after tax, was $43.50 — not bad at all.

Even better, check out the inner side of the door, which has the instruction booklet sitting within an amazing promo display:

The cabinet originally contained a broken, cheapo microscope sitting in a bed of molded Styrofoam. But I discarded that (and neglected to photograph it, sorry), because I had a project in mind. First, I ordered some super-strong magnets from Amazon and put a bunch of them on the back of the cabinet, like this:

I used the magnets to mount the cabinet on the side of my fridge:

Then I found some foam core board in the basement, cut it down to size to create a shelf, and voilà — a new spice cupboard:

The shelf is supported by the remaining magnets:

As you can see, the edge of the shelf is a bit ragged. I’ll replace it with a cleaner version later.

I had originally hoped to install two shelves, but the cabinet turned out to be too small for that. But it’s big enough to hold my most frequently used spices, so that’s fine. (The ones I use less often are in a standard cupboard, which is now less cluttered.) A fun and successful project!

Comments (25)

    This is very cool! I actually think the rough edge shelf should stay as a reminder you did it yourself successfully, but that’s just my opinion

    Not a fan of Rosemary, which for me is the purple of the herb world, but otherwise a nice array of spices [and one extract.] I’m a little surprised that Coleman’s Mustard made the Top Ten, but the more intriguing thing? What’s in the label-less jar?!?

    Chile powder! (I had a big jar of it that wouldn’t fit in the cupboard, so I put some in a small jar I had lying around.

    Cool design. Just wondering about the Bowl & Basket brand. I’ve not seen that in Texas. Is it a store brand from a New York store?

    So what’s the spice at upper right? All the other labels are visible.

    Old Bay for the win! (of course, being from Baltimore lol)
    I am ashamed that I just learned about another seasoning similar to Old Bay called J.O seafood seasoning. The brand is Baltimore-based and tastes REALLY GOOD! They have other spices as well. I will be trying them.


    Cool project! This reminds me, I’m always annoyed by the fact that my various spice jars are so un-uniform. I’m sure people with too much time and money on their hands transfer their spices to uniform jars with uniform labels and I would find that satisfying but just don’t have the time or patience to do it myself!

    Is looking at someone’s spice rack more interesting/telling than looking at their medicine cabinet? Probably! Food for thought (pun intended).

    This is great, good job on this! Plus I will never not crack up upon reading the word cheapo.

    I had that microscope when I was a kid. Made by Gilbert, the company that also made Erector sets.

    Are we not going to talk about the paper towel holder on the front of the freezer? Genius level.

    Insane Clown Posse and Dan Orlovsky are intrigued about Paul’s DIY spice rack.

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