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How can I catalog disparate pieces from different sets that are mixed together?

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I found a bag full of Lego's including some boxes showing set numbers but the pieces are mixed together from the different sets How can I catalog all these pieces in a database?

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Welcome to Eurobricks :classic:

If your aim is to sort the unsorted then try Bricklink or Brickset where you can search for sets and see which pieces they contain or search for pieces and see which sets they were in. If you have unusual or printed pieces post them in This thread and people will know what they are. Youll need to use an image host for pictures.

I use Rebrickable to catalogue my sets as I don't have a lot of loose bricks. Depending on what you have this might be all the database you need.

 

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Another, slightly long hand method, would be to sort each part to unique type and then count that bulk. Say "1 x 5 litre box of 2x4 red bricks." Or " 500g of blue 1x6 plates" Less specific, you could go off type alone, not colour. I don't really go in for that sort of cataloguing with my parts, I just have certain types sorted into large boxes and go from there. (Aka, 20 litre box of technic bricks. 17 litre box of plates 2x2, 1x2 and angled 1x2). Though, I should work to sort some of the larger boxes into smaller categories.

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On 5/19/2024 at 10:45 AM, ukbajadave said:

Welcome to Eurobricks :classic:

If your aim is to sort the unsorted then try Bricklink or Brickset where you can search for sets and see which pieces they contain or search for pieces and see which sets they were in. If you have unusual or printed pieces post them in This thread and people will know what they are. Youll need to use an image host for pictures.

I use Rebrickable to catalogue my sets as I don't have a lot of loose bricks. Depending on what you have this might be all the database you need.

 

 

The first piece I pulled out was a little yellow boomerang type piece with no markings other than "Copyright Lego" How would I catalog that or find the set it came from?

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Or the piece is a banana, in that case it wouldn´t help you much. You need to find pieces that are rare to a set. Especially prints and stickers could also help. But if you have boxes with set numbers I would start there and check which pieces those Sets contain and separate them from the bulk. Once you have all Sets together where you have boxes from, you can check the leftover parts.

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This is the best place to identify a part you need an ID for. Members can link you the bricklink page for the item once they ID it and that then has a listing for every set it came in. As Black Falcon said, it would mostly take more unique parts, perhaps something with printing or a still built section, or a Minifigure that could narrow it down. 

 

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Whenever I get a job lot, I use a spreadsheet derived from my own master spreadsheet - which has a load of quality-of-life adjustments I've made over the years for my personal tastes, but fundamentally consists of four workbooks:

- A "master" list, which contains every piece I've got in every colour I've got, as well as their prices and weights

- A "within-this-joblot" list, which contains just the pieces from the joblot I'm sorting

- A list of possible/likely sets

- Inventories of the possible/likely sets (copied from Bricklink)

I work through the pieces systematically, taking a handful, putting them on my desk, then looking them all up on Bricklink, finding their part numbers, and putting them on my spreadsheet (and the more you do this, the more you start to remember part names or numbers intuitively). For instance, I might grab a handful that includes half a dozen of part 3004 (the bog-standard 1x2 brick), four in white and two in black. So I'll add 4 to the relevant row in my "within-this-joblot" list for white 3004, and 2 for black 3004. A lot of pieces are very common, but occasionally you'll find one or two that are only in a few sets.

Whenever I find a piece that came in less than five sets, I make a note of what those sets are. If I find a piece that only ever came in one set, I'll add it to the list of likely sets. And if I find more than one piece which is in less than five sets, and both pieces were in the same set, chances are I have that set. It's unusual for multiple rare parts to appear together in multiple sets. (I also discount any Dacta sets mentally; I'm sure there are joblots out there with Dacta stuff, but it's very unlikely unless there is Dacta-printed material in the lot somewhere). Keeping inventories of these sets allows me to see how many pieces from each likely set I've found - I have a series of lookups and sumifs working in tangent to accurately keep track of this (while only assigning each part to one set). It also allows me to see how many pieces are unassigned.

Sometimes it's possible to identify specific sets through the frequency of common bricks. For example, while all the parts are incredibly common individually, if you have exactly 71 yellow 1x1 bricks, 183 yellow 1x2 bricks and 62 yellow 1x3 bricks, chances are you've got yourself the classic Yellow Castle. And in my experience, you'll usually end up with a load of leftover bits - every time I've got a joblot, I have a load of sets I'm almost certain are in there but top out at about 60% complete, and a load of bricks I simply cannot definitively pin to any one set. If you have enough sets, though, you can start to get a feel for the era your bricks have come from. If there are only really the core six colours, it's probably very old. If you have a lot of recognisable superheroes and Star Wars characters, it's probably quite recent.

The downside to this method is that it takes a long time to set up (especially when you're starting from nothing, and have to add every piece to your database). But you get a very granular result, and if you get future loads of pieces, you'll already have the database ready to go. I'd estimate that at this point, I'll have to add about 5% of pieces from every joblot I get to my master list.

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