Instructables
Picture of PVC
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Organize your garage or closet with these cheap and easy custom clips.  The "mouse-ear" design is adjustable and can hold multiple tools at the same time.  Stagger the clips to maximize your storage potential.
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools aka "What You Need"

Picture of Materials and Tools aka
Materials Needed:
  • 3" schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • wood screws

 

Tools Needed:
  • Gloves
  • Saw
  • Heat Gun
  • Scissors
  • Drill
  • Drill Bit
  • Counter Sink

Step 2: Cut 3" PVC into 5/8" Slices

Cut rings which are approximately 5/8" wide.  Using a six inch piece of pipe should yield about eight rings.  Remember the saw kerf will probably eat up about 1/8" of material.  The pipe illustrated is 6" long.  Also as shown in the illustration, this pipe has an approximate thickness of 1/4".   After you cutting several, it will look like a pile of shower rings.

A compound miter saw is really good for cutting consistent rings.  Other saws including hand saws could also be used.

Approximate Dimensions for a NOMINAL 3" PVC pipe:
  • outside diameter of 3.50  inches
  • internal diameter of 3.25 inches
  • thickness of 1/4"

 

Step 3: Heat Cut and Shape the PVC rings

Picture of Heat Cut and Shape the PVC rings
WORK WITH GOOD VENTILATION - fumes can be toxic!
WEAR GLOVES!  It can be done, but I do not recommend going sans-gloves.

Work with one ring at a time.  Heat up the ring with a heat gun until ring is easily bendable - almost limp.  But be careful not to burn the plastic.  Also avoid "toasting" the plastic.  Once warmed up, use scissors to snip open the ring. 

Periodically re-warm as working if needed.  Platic will cool and harden fairly quickly More like seconds vs minutes. 

While the ring is warm, lay on flat surface and re-shape the plastic into a "C" with curls on each end.  See photos and illustrations.   You can hold a bend it will stiffen as it cools.  If the shape is not quite right, re-warm and bend again. 

See video in next step for sample footage of "working" the PVC.
AlexLPD1 year ago
Very nice idea, thanks for sharing =)
Great and creative
racenrose1 year ago
Thank you for this. I have been looking at doing something and this will fit the ticket. Great job and very clear instructable to follow.
pfred21 year ago
Great job! Normal PVC hot boxes use what appear to be electric stove elements. Not that you should go baking PVC in your kitchen stove mind you, but if something similar could be tossed together for shop use it would probably work well.

I would also worry about using those clips in extremely cold weather too. PVC gets pretty brittle when it is cold so maybe not a good idea to hang a snow shovel from them in season?
Beware of heating PVC as it can easily give off chlorine gas which can kill! I like the idea of this 'ible though. It is possible to form around a suitable jig plastic facia or window cill material which will work just as well and in the UK can often be obtained from scrap bins at replacement window companies.
We used to douse PVC pipe in PVC glue and set it on fire so we could bend it in ditches. We didn't always have a hot box with us, or the electricity to run it either. That probably gave off some fumes too what do you think?
Btw draft folder is my nemesis, if only this were my job!
Great job, way to set the bar !
flavrt1 year ago
Brilliant concept + innovative use of tools and materials + thoughtful description and clear illustrations + testing = epic Instructable.

Well done and congratulations.
bobzjr (author)  flavrt1 year ago
Thanks for the kind comments - you are motivating me to move along with the 16 projects I have in the "Draft" folder.
flavrt bobzjr1 year ago
"you are motivating me to move along … "

Of course my comments are always self-serving in that way.

I never realized that PVC could be thermo reshaped. Creating parts with flats turns these tubes a whole new raw material for me. Once solid again, parts could be deglazed, sanded, and decorated. Obviously nobody should use it structurally. But from your experience, does it seem sturdy enough to craft wall-mounted hooks for things like pot lids and towels?
bobzjr (author)  flavrt1 year ago
Keep in mind that PVC pipe is not your only source of moldable plastic. Another easy PVC source is plastic guttering. Switch gears and look at 2 liter plastic soda bottles. You'll soon feel an urge to dumpster dive. The recycling bin may become your new raw material pile. :)
bobzjr (author)  flavrt1 year ago
Oh yes - good answer here... I believe PVC strength will continue to be quite good in scenarios you describe. LOTS of great possibilities!

Also of note - you should check out Shapelock or Instamorph.
I believe those are about the same product. I have used Shapelock and have been very pleased with it. Those products are REALLY useful. Check this stuff out.

Also Sugru is touted widely here on instructables. It is not the same but can als be really useful. I have not yet used Sugru (but plan to soon).
luridhue1 year ago
Hello Shazni, what country do you live in? I would, with your permission, like to see about sending you a heat gun (if I can afford the postage). Michael
shazni1 year ago
Thanks for this! I will surely try to use it to hang all the brooms and mops! :-)...only as i don't have a heat gun...perhaps i can use the stove??...and no...heat guns are not freely available and they are not cheap....must try a hair blow-dryer and see
Hey all,
A great way to heat PVC without noxious fumes or a chance or toasting it is to submerse it in really hot water. Not boiling, but maybe 150-200 degrees F. Insert the pieces one at a time, only takes a few (10-45) seconds, pull them out with tongs. Find the temp and time that works best for the size you're working with. Don't forget gloves!
bobzjr (author)  Sooner Aviator1 year ago
Thanks - that sounds really interesting. I never thought of the hot water method.
Thanks loads! :-)
bobzjr (author)  shazni1 year ago
Unfortunately, a traditional hair dryer will probably not work. They do not get hot enough. The stove might work - but be very careful! Also, I have seen people use a gas torch. Again, be very careful about fumes and fire. Good luck.
oldmicah1 year ago
Looks great. I don't have one yet, but I'm going to get a heat gun. Thanks for laying out the steps and the sketchup part worked well. Many thanks!
bobzjr (author)  oldmicah1 year ago
Thanks for the comments. Of note, you can get heat guns at very low price at a popular tool discounter Harb*** Fre****. If you do get one at that store, be sure to save your receipt as some of their guns are notorious for breaking down. However, they are very good about exchanging for another etc if you have your receipt. I speak from experience.
This is a good idea. Thanks for sharing
I love the idea - while the broom holder may be ideal to hold tools up, I suppose this one will work better for tools that can rest on the ground. Thanks for sharing!
mikaleda1 year ago
Very cool, this will help get the garage organized. Thanks for sharing.