Cable Tie Holder / Organizer

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A while back, I was cleaning up the mess in my small workshop and I kept finding cable ties all over the place.  I had some loose one, some were in half torn plastic bags, some in tool boxes...  I could not decide where to store them conveniently.  So I stacked them on the bench as I was finding them during my clean up to give my brain some time to figure out the answer.   At some point I was holding a piece of scrap PVC piping in my hand and a light went on in my head: The Cable Tie Holder  was conceived...  since I've made this holder, my cable ties have always been very organized and I can easily pick the right size for my application.  I can also visually  monitor stock levels.

Ok, it's a simple thing to make, you can figure it out from the intro picture probably. It should take you less than 10 minutes to make it.  I did experiment a bit on the best way to assemble the tubes however...

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Step 1: What You Need

Very simple, you need:
- some scrap pieces of PVC pipe
- a PVC pipe cutter or a hand saw or anything else that will do the job...
- some Duck tape
- a pair of scissors
- an assortment of cable ties to put in your new creation

PS: if you wonder Duct or Duck tape check http://www.octanecreative.com/ducttape/duckvsduct.html

Step 2: Cut the Tubes

You need to cut tubes that match the different lengths/types/colors of cable ties you have.  If you use a saw to make the cut, I would recommend you use a knife blade to clean the edges.

You may have some/all tubes of the same length to match your needs.  Of course, cut as many tubes as you need.  In my example I have 4 only.

Step 3: Plan the Assembly

At this stage you should consider how the tubes will come together in the final product.  You could assemble in several different ways:
- in a rectangular foot print like I have in my intro picture, 2 or 3 rows deep.
- in a single row like an Andean flute
- in a circle like a Lucky Bamboo, in a way that can stay on a table top.
- other patterns you can think of...

You must plan ahead to make sure the tubes are positioned in an accesible way based on their size.

Step 4: Assembly

I found it was impractical to try and assemble all the tubes in one shot.  It kept coming apart during assembly.  Instead, it was easier to assemble them two by two first and then assemble them into bigger bunches.

Once the tubes are all assembled, you need to plug the bottom part.  I have done this with Duck tape too.  Maybe you can think of other alternatives.  Make sure all the gaps are covered and that you overlap well on the side with the Duck tape.  The overlap is to make sure that the final layer of Duck tape you apply on the side of the tubes will clamp the tape that plugs the bottom.  In my first version, I did not have this final touch and after some weeks, the duck tape detached with the heat and the cable ties all ended up on the floor...

If you have some longer tubes in your assembly, it's a good idea to tape them in two spots (at the bottom and towards the top).

Step 5: Put the Cable Ties In

Depending on your design and requirements, you may decide to leave the cable tie holder as a stand-alone unit or you will want to attach it to a wall or a post.  In my case, I attached mine to the post of an Ikea shelf that had pre-drilled holes and to do so, I use a... cable tie!

I hope you found this Instructable useful.  I have been wanting to write an Instructable for a long time now and I have finally taken the time to do it!

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4 Discussions

A couple of improvements to your idea.
1. I assume the tape between the 2 tubes closest to the 2x4 in that pic has a small gap between them (the difference between 2 circles & an oval or rectangle shape). If you, instead of ziptying the holder to the 2x4, mounted a hook with a long "tooth" on it to the board, you could hang the holder from the tooth securely...while still being able to take the entire holder off (for instance, when you need to ziptie a bunch of stuff in your car).
2. A handle. Attach a short piece of rope/string/strap/etc on either side to carry it by...a small weight at the bottom of the holder would ensure it swings right way up when you carry it.

Hi Aeray!

I really like your idea of using PVC pipes to organize tools. I was thinking too small with the cable ties ;-). I'll be setting up a new larger workshop in a few months, I will definetely use your instructable. Tx