Marker Trays From Robax Engineering
Marker Trays From Robax Engineering
A while ago I was honoured to have been asked by the founder and owner of Robax Engineering, Robert Baxter, to test and review his amazing pencil storage systems. I have added a link if you have missed that review and would like to see it.
I know that since that review and before it, the Robax Pencil Trays have been selling like hot cakes and people I know that have purchased them absolutely love them. However, in this review I won't be talking about the pencil trays, I will be reviewing the brand new marker trays that Robax Engineering has produced.
Obviously mixed media is such an awesome way to create art with more and more artists creating outstanding art lumping all manner of mediums together, one such incredibly popular medium is markers.
There is such a variety of outstanding quality markers out there for artists, brands such as Stylefile, Copic, Spectrum Noir, Touch, Pro Markers from Winsor and Newton and Chameleon Markers. As a result, Robax Engineering has created a very similar style to the pencil trays only for Markers, allowing the artist the same small footprint on their studio desk whilst allowing for a large amount of markers visually on display and readily available for use.
Marker Tray Dimensions
Each individual tray can hold 17 markers and as with the pencil trays, they are designed to stack one on top of the other in a concertina style effect. There is a base plate that sits on your desk and the trays stack on top, which is one of the many reasons people like the Robax stacking systems so much as it is only the dimensions of the base plate that will be taken on your desk.
There are two types of trays for the markers as there are different length markers, however I will cover this more in second. As with the Colored Pencil Trays, there are two types of bases, a wooden one which allows for a higher stack, allowing more trays and therefore markers. This is primarily down to the weight of the base being wood and anchoring the stack better. The wooden base is a half inch Birch Plywood with a lacquered finish, 13 inches by 12 inches and 8 inches tall with the rear support attached, altogether the wooden base weighs 4lbs. It was because of the over all weight of the wooden base and the trays that Robax designed a lighter plastic base, posting the wooden base tray system was a very costly exercise, particularly those customers living outside the States.
Should you decide to opt for the Wooden base Marker tray system, this will allow you to stack approximately 10 trays comfortably, this in turn means you can store and display 170 markers, all in a small desk space of 13 inches by 12 inches.
The second base is made from the same plastic the trays are made from, this stand will obviously still allow for you to stack trays, just not as many. This base has a dimension of 13inches by 12 inches and 5 inches tall, it is worth mentioning that the height only corresponds to the supports at the rear of the base where the trays rest against for extra strength and stability as the trays are stacked. This plastic base on its own weighs 1Lb 6oz and the two supports can be removed for travelling with the system or postage.
The plastic base can comfortably accommodate 6 marker trays, totalling 102 markers stored and displayed on your desk
Two Different Tray Models
Robax have been incredibly smart and designed two different models of the marker trays, whereas with the colored pencil system they where all the same. The over all dimensions of the trays are identical, which allows you to mix and match both models of trays on your stack.
As you can see in the images I have provided, one of the trays has a ledge to the rear of the tray as opposed to the other model which is simply slots the full width of the tray, the reason for this is the vast array of markers on the market at the minute.
For the most part, colored pencils are all the same length, give or take a bit, they only really differ in their barrel girth, but even this is very small and insignificant when it comes to placing the huge array of pencils in one of the Robax Colored Pencil Trays.
With markers however, the Copic Ciao's are much smaller than the new Chameleon Markers and so this is what the two trays will allow you to accommodate for. If you check out my YouTube video review of the Robax Marker Tray System you will get a better understanding of the size difference.
Not All Markers
Obviously I am not in a position to test every marker on the market in this excellent storage system from Robax, however with the large selcetion of markers I currently own, I actually have five different brand markers of which one did not work well at all in the system.
The five markers I used to test the system with were Copic Sketch and Ciao, Winsor and Newton Brush Markers, Stylefile, Spectrum Noir Illustrator, Graphic and Aqua and finally a cheap brand I fist started with called Tinge.
The Copic Ciao, Winsor & Newton Brushmarker and Stylefile markers all fit into the slots perfectly and in both trays. The Copic Sketch fits well and when trays are stacked on top of each other they slid in and out with ease, however, because of their oval shape it is difficult to decide the best way for them to lay, on their sides or flat.
With the Spectrum Noir Illustrator, Graphic and Aqua markers, these just didn't fit at all. Due to their hexagonal shape and overall size, no matter the combination of placing them in the trays, they did not fit into the slots correctly meaning that when a tray was stacked on top of another tray, the markers could not comfortably slide in and out without rubbing on the tray above it. It is worth mentioning that the older style Spectrum Noir markers which are round would more than likely fit into the trays like a glove. The Tinge was slightly better even though it is a square styled marker, however due to its rounded edges and slightly smaller dimension to that of the Spectrum Noir, they did fit into the system.
For me personally I found that round barrel markers fit perfectly into the trays and given that Robax have designed two different style tray to accommodate the wide variety of markers out there, I think it would be unnecessary for Robax to try and design a tray that was suited more toward square or hexagonal markers as in the case of the Spectrum Noir Illustrator, Graphic and Aqua.
Robax Marker Tray Pricing.
As with the Robax Stacking Colored Pencil Trays, the Stacking Marker Trays can only be purchased directly from Robax Engineering which I have directly linked you back to here in this section should you wish to explore more and purchase one for yourself. However the good news is that Robax deliver pretty much all over the world, which is the very reason two styles of base trays have been designed, making postage cheaper for those of us outside the US.
For an individual Marker Tray, either model, this will cost $8, which I am sure you will agree, considering a single tray holds 17 markers is an excellent price.
The trays can also come in packs of three and again for either model tray a pack of three trays will cost you $21. Again this $21 for a system holding 51 markers. Although both models of the trays are exactly the same price, you will need to make sure when you head over to the Robax site that you order the right size for your markers, which it is very clearly marked on the site.
If you are going to use the trays as they have been intended to be used, you will need to purchase a base. The reason I say if you are going to use them as they were intended to be used is because if you check out Pinterest, some very creative people have purchased loads of these awesome trays from Robax and either attached them to a wall by their desk or some other crazy style.
For the much lighter plastic base, allowing you to comfortably stack 6 trays, totalling 102 markers, this base will cost you $18. The heavier Birch Plywood base, allowing for a stacking of 10 trays, totalling 170 markers, this will cost you $96.
There is a system already made up on the Robax website which you can just order straight away. For the plastic base and 6 trays, which will hold 102 markers, will cost a total of $58, which I personally think is an excellent price.
I absolutely loved the Robax Stacking Colored Pencil Trays, I have them stack along my desk meaning I can just grab whatever pencil I want when I need it and not have to worry about putting it all away or anything like that. As I also love markers and have so many of them, I was so excited to hear that Robax had also designed trays for markers. I have to say that I was not disappointed at all when I set them up and started loading up all my markers.
With the exception of the Spectrum Noir markers, every other marker I tried fit well and as you can see from the images, look well placed in the trays, allowing the artist to keep all their markers in order of color or whatever method they please. I personally love the simply visual display of the pencils and markers, out on my desk, allowing me easy quick access to whatever pencil or marker I want to use.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review and in the video review on my YouTube Channel, there is a slight dust issue and I mean slight, but this happens with anything in your home that is static for any length of time. It is something very easily remedied, a slight dusting with a feather duster or blow of compressed air from a canister will keep the dust at bay. If however you suffer from allergies that are dust related or aggravated, this may not be the system for you. I am aware that some people are incredibly sensitive to issues such as dust and need a completely dust free environment, people in this category may not get on well with this system, but I must stress, the dust levels collected on pencils and markers in the Robax Trays, are really no more or less than any other storage system or furniture that sits static in your home.