Introduction: How to Make a Wire Rack

If you're an electrical guru, or even a self-taught tinkerer, you probably have a stack of wire spools lying around that looks like the one in the picture above.

If you're anything like me, you get frustrated when you need to cut a piece of wire and the spools are all tangled around each other or unraveled.

If this sounds like you, then I suggest making a simple rack to hold your wire spools.  You can probably buy one of these, but in true TechShop spirit, I decided to make my own.

All you need is some scrap metal (or acrylic), and a piece of 5/8" tubing of some sort.  I used a piece of copper tubing and a piece of scrap steel I found at TechShop.  TechShop is a membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make.  You can check out their website if you're interested.

Step 1: Cut Brackets

So these brackets could certainly be fabricated by hand, but it's way more fun to use a CNC plasma cutter!  Alternatively, if you wanted to use some acrylic and a laser cutter that would work as well, just make sure your material is thick enough to hold up.

I used Autodesk's AutoCAD Mechanical 2012 to create the file and I cut the brakcets out from some 1/8" scrap steel on the CNC plasma cutter at TechShop.  I then bent the mounting flanges using the press brake at TechShop.  If you don't have a press brake, a torch and a hammer should work.  If you went the plastic route a strip heater will work to make the bends.

Once you have the brackets cut and bent you can paint them if they're bare steel, or just leave them if they're plastic.  I chose to powdercoat mine because we have a powdercoating setup at TechShop.

Step 2: Cut Pipe to Size

Now you need to cut your pipe to length.   You can make the pieces whatever length you want as long as they're all the same.  I used a simply pipe cutter since I had the copper pipe.  If you're using steel or plastic (ABS, PVC), you can use a hacksaw or chopsaw, something like that.

Step 3: Assemble

Now that you've got your brackets ready to go and the pipe cut to length, just mount the brackets, making sure they're lined up and level, etc., and you're done!  Just load up your spools and drop them in.