This is probably one of the most useful life-hacks that I have ever done. It only took me about 5 minutes, and uses materials that everyone has access to. You can also do your own variations of it, as it is a very simple concept.
This is my first Instructable, so please don't hate! Any feedback would be appreciated, just please don't be overly negative or offensive. Thanks!
The photos from this can be viewed on my website at https://noodleburger69.wixsite.com/nbinstructables. It is a legitimate website, and I haven't put any viruses or malware or anything on it.
As with all of my [future] Instructables, I am not liable for any injury or damage caused in the making or use of the things in this Instructable [not that I think it is actually possible for someone to get hurt while doing this unless they are EXTREMELY careless].
Step 1: The Design/concept
This is pretty simple. The concept is just to put some tube [or pipe] under a desk, bench or anything else.
A good idea with this is to not use a really sentimental or important or valuable [you probably get the point] piece of furniture to "mount" this to, because depending on how you do this, you could damage it badly. It probably won't get damaged if you this it the way I did it [staples], but it could if you go for a more heavy-duty solution, like suggested in the section titled "Other ways of doing it".
Step 2: Recommended Method
Actually doing it! Great. Just follow these instructions, and be safe. Sorry, but the pictures are on the next step, The editor wouldn't let me put them on this page. Sorry for the inconvenience.
- One desk, bench or other piece of furniture with a top thick enough to put a regular staple in without it going through the other side.
- One or more 15cm [6 inch] or more length of cardboard tube, like found on wrapping paper or paper towel [don't use toilet paper tubes because they are most likely not sterile].
- A stapler that can fold out [look below].
- Staples for the stapler.
- [OPTIONAL] Tape
- [OPTIONAL] Small flat-blade screwdriver
- Cut the tube to the desired length. A longer length has means that you can guide the cable more, but that it will be harder to take in and out. A shorter length gives the opposite. I just wouldn't recommend making it shorter than 15cm, which is how long my two are.
- Go under the desk and figure out where you want the cables to go. Typically, the cable will go on a diagonal from the floor [or wherever it comes from] to the tube. Also consider it for accessibility for reaching and putting cables in and out of it. I would recommend having the tube start 15cm from the front edge of your desk.
- [OPTIONAL] Tape the tubes onto where you want them to go. It doesn't have to be tight, and don't use strong tape because it will damage the tube. It is just to hold the tubes in place while you staple them on.
- Once you have decided where the tubes are going, get your stapler. On some staplers [like mine], you can unfold the stapler from the main pivot point so the the top bit is all together and the bottom bit is out of the way. Put the top bit, facing the surface that you want to staple, through the tube. Try to have the part where the staples come out a centimeter or two from each end. If your tube is long, you may need more than two staples. I didn't.
- Push the tube [and thus the stapler] up towards the surface. Keep pushing until you can not push any more to make sure that the staple has gone all of the way in. It took me a few tries to get this right, and the only way to tell is by feeling it and deciding whether it is in well enough for you. If your staple doesn't go fully and tightly in, try prying it out with a small flat-blade screwdriver.
- Repeat this process as many times as you like.
If you have followed the instructions and are now down here, you are done. Congrats! Now go to the section titled "Usage" to learn more about how to use it.
Step 3: Photos for Recommended Method
Sorry that they are on a new step, but the editor wouldn't let them all be on the previous one.
All the pictures can also be found at my [currently still being developed] website at https://noodleburger69.wixsite.com/nbinstructables
Step 4: Other Ways of Doing It
These are other ways of doing it that I have though about, but haven't actually tried. Feel free to use these ideas, and I will still try to be relatively instructive when giving the ideas. There are different materials, as well as different mounting options. It's a bit like a mix-and-match tube designer.
Some alternate materials:
- Copper or brass tube, for a steampunk-inspired look.
- Steel or aluminium tube, for an industrial look.
- PVC or other plastic pipe, if you want to.
- Wood "hanger", with glue and other things [a bit more complicated].
- Tic-Tac, Mini M&M or mint tin. If using these, cut off the top and bottom [lid end and the one parallel to it].
Any other thing that you can think of. Metal tubes are good.
Now some ways of mounting:
- The screw - For pretty much anything. This is only a small deviation from my original method, but is longer lasting, stronger and more "damaging" than it. What you need to do is drill two holes through both sides of the tube [or container], making the holes on one side [not end] bigger than the head of the screws that you are using, while making the other hole smaller. Alternatively, have screws that you can put into the hole by just putting in the tube. Then screw the screws into the underside of the top of the bench/desk. You're done!
- The tape - For pretty much anything. This is pretty self explanatory, just tape the tubes on, including putting tape through the tubes themselves. This is extremely weak and flimsy, but you can if you want.
- Magnets - For pretty much anything. Just mount [screw] some magnets to the underside of the bench/desk, and put some magnets at corresponding positions inside the tube. This is good for metal bench/desk tops, as well as if you want to be able to remove the tube or container, or if the tube or container is magnetic. Just make sure to use strong magnets, otherwise it may fall off.
Wood hanger - Make a 3 sided rectangular prism out of wood [with a hollow middle], and glue it to where you want it to go. If you do this, use clamps.
Step 5: Usage
So, you may be wondering why this is helpful, or about some other ways of using it. Just look at some of these suggested methods of use and be amazed.
- Just put the cords through it [once]! They may hang down, but it sure beats having them on the floor.
- Wrap around the tube - If you have a longer cable or just don't want it to hang down, try wrapping the cable around and through the tube a few times. It does work.
- The other wrap - My personal choice for longer cables. Make loops with the cables while they are through the tube once. When the looping is completed, put them into the tube. When you come to use the cords, just pull one of the loops and the whole thing comes out neatly [if you looped it and put it in neatly].
Try whatever you want, and be imaginative! These are just the ones that I use.
Thank you for looking at my Instructable! I hope you liked it, and please feel free to leave a [not overly-negative] comment or suggestion.