Introduction: CD Closet Dividers

About: I'm cheap and like to use what I have on hand and I really enjoy taking things apart to salvage parts. Rather than be a precise engineering type of person, I'm more of an enthusiastic tinkerer. Making things i…

My wife wanted some way to organize her closet so she could more easily find her clothes in a pre-caffeinated state. She wanted something similar to the plastic disks that separate different sizes that you see on clothes racks in stores. My solution to the problem was to modify some old CDs into labeled dividers that would fit around the rod in her closet.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Here's the materials I used:

* Old CDs
* CD labels
* Packing tape

I used the following tools:

* Calipers (or other measuring device)
* Dremel (with high speed cutter, cutting wheel and grinding drum)
* De-burring tool
* Dust Collection System (Optional)

Step 2: Measure

Measure the diameter of the rod. I used a pair of digital calipers, but other measuring tools should be just as effective.

I then measured the diameter of the center hole in the CD.

The difference in size is the amount of material you'll need to remove from the CD. In my case it was 47/100ths of an inch. I rounded up to half an inch.

Now an error crept in, in my measuring. I measured a half an inch from the edge of the hole in the center of the CD. I should have measured a quarter inch so I would end up with a total of a half inch of material to be removed. The consequence is I have a much bigger hole than I needed. (Unfortunately I didn't notice anything was amiss until I was putting it on the rod).

This  measuring error happened to coincide with the transition from the clear plastic to the data area of the CD so I didn't bother to mark the outline. It was already done for me. When I make more of these (assuming Mrs. RadBear wants more) I'll need to mark the plastic so I'll know how much to remove.

Step 3: Cutting

Once you have your measurements and you've marked the CD it is time to cut away the excess material. I used a high speed cutter in my Dremel to remove the bulk of the material. I cut in a straight line from the center hole until I reached the appropriate (I thought) distance from the center. I then cut a rough circle around the CD to remove the excess material.

I then used a sanding drum and a deburring tool to smooth down the edges of the new hole.

With hole smoothed I used a cutting disc to cut from the edge of the new hole to the edge of the CD. This cut allows the CD to be placed over the closet rod by flexing the edges of the cut in opposite directions. I then cleaned up the cut with a file.

Step 4: Labels

At first I just planned to write on the CDs, but then I realized that this would probably be hard to read. So I decided that printable CD labels were the way to go. This would allow me to make identical labels for each side that were easy to read. Plus once I know whether or not she likes the idea, we'll be able to customize the labels to look cooler than the bland version on the prototype. Labels also have the added benefit of covering all the collateral damage that was done to CD when it was being modified.

So follow the instructions that come with your labels to create the kick-ass closet divider label you've always wanted and print out two copies of it. (I'd be more specific but with so many different kinds of labels, programs and printers out there, you're on your own for this.)

Put the labels on either side of the CD doing your best to cover the surface completely. Use a utility knife to trim the excess label material from the center hole.

Then cover both sides of the CD with packing tape. (This will keep the ink from transferring to the clothes and keep the labels from getting worn away.) Use your utility knife to cut the excess tape away from the outer edge of the CD and the center hole. With that done use the knife to cut through the tape and label that covers the slit in the CD.

Flex the edges of the slit in opposite directions and slide it over the closet rod.

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