Introduction: PVC Hookup Wire Storage
If you're like me, you've probably accumulated a number of wire spools from various projects over the years. My initial attempt at "organization" was to keep them all together in a plastic storage bin. This worked fine for a while, but as I accumulated more different sizes and colors, it became quite a chore to dig through the box to find the exact gauge, color and type of core I needed. I was surprised to find that online searches for a solution provided very few ideas. I tossed around a couple of different concepts and this is the result. It's inexpensive, simple to construct and can be easily scaled to a larger or smaller size to fit your particular needs.
Step 1: Materials
The needed materials should be obtainable from any hardware store of home center.
Here's what you will need to build one just like mine:
- 1 - 10' x 1/2" CPVC pipe
- 10 - 1/2" CPVC Tee
- 4 - 1/2" CPVC Elbow
- PVC Solvent
- Hardware for hanging (I used two 2 1/2" eye-bolts)
- Tools for cutting the pipe and installing the hardware
(A shear-type PVC cutter works great and produces no waste and no sawdust)
Step 2: Assembly Method
1) Cut the pipe to length.
The dimensions I used will use up all but a few inches of the 10 foot section. If you decide to make it larger, you may need to purchase more pipe. Cut 12 pieces 2" long and 7 pieces to 13" in length. This will give you 12" of rack width and space the horizontal rows approximately 2 3/4" apart.
2) Glue the short pieces into the tees and elbows.
I initially assembled my rack with no glue and it seemed to hold together fine with just friction. I think that with added weight, especially on the lower levels, it might tend to loosen up over time. At a minimum you will want to secure the short vertical pieces into the tees and elbows. If you think you may want to expand the rack in the future, you could secure the bottom elbows with a small screw instead of glue. I decided to just glue all the vertical components together into two sub-assemblies as seen in the photo.
When gluing all the tees and short pieces together, care should be taken to keep all the holes for the horizontal cross-members oriented in the same plane. Otherwise, your rack could end up warped and it will not hang properly when completed. An easy way to ensure this is to dry-fit one of the long pipes with another fitting into the tee being glued and press the assembly together on a flat surface while gluing.
Note: If you're obsessive like me, you can also pay attention the which side of the fittings is the "pretty side", and assemble all the pipe sections so the printing falls on the back :-)
Step 3: Choose Your Hanging Method
I have a section of cabinets right behind my e-bench that provided an excellent place for the rack. I hung it with a couple of cup hooks secured into the overhang of the counter top. It could just as easily be hung from the ceiling or attached to the back of a cabinet or entry door.
If you build one, please post a photo of your version!