Tangle-free, easy access to your iPod charger, headphones, and other cables: made from a single sheet of acrylic.
I first saw this in an engineering lab, where there was a sheet-metal rack with slits in it to hold all the alligator clips and BNC cables. As it turns out, you can buy such a rack for about $20 on Amazon. But why buy one, when you can make one? This previous instructable shows how to make one out of wood. I made one out of a $4 sheet of acrylic from Home Depot.
Here how, in 4 easy steps.
Step 1: Cut Holes and Slits in an Acrylic Sheet
Cut a 1/8"-thick acrylic sheet into a 6x8" rectangle.
Cut 15 slits (2-1/2" x 1/8", spaced 1/2" apart).
Drill 1/8" holes for screws.
I did this with a laser cutter using my Techshop membership. I've attached the file you need if you want to do the same. You can also cut acrylic with a band saw and a drill. Just be careful about generating too much heat; it's easy to start burning the edges of the acrylic.
(I made it at TechShop: techshop.ws)
Step 2: Bend a Lip
- Use a heat strip bender. This is a machine that applies even heat along a straight line. You place your acrylic above the heating element along the line you want to bend, wait a little while, and then bend the acrylic along that line.
- Use a heat gun, hair dryer, or stove. Apply heat evenly to the line that you want to bend. This takes some finesse, and is not nearly as precise as a heat strip bender, but you can do it at home.
- Make your own heat strip bender. I used this method on my first prototype of the design. I heated up a 13x9 glass pan in the oven at 500 F. Then I laid my acrylic sheet on the table and pressed the glass pan against the line I wanted to bend. After several seconds, I was able to bend the acrylic along that line.
Step 3: Bend a Right Angle in the Middle of the Sheet
Bend a right angle in the middle of the sheet. Bend in the OPPOSITE direction as the first bend.
If you used the laser-cut file, there are score marks to show you where to bend the acrylic.
Step 4: Attach to the Wall and Start Organizing!
Use a few screws to attach the pieces to the wall. Slide cords into the slots and let them hang down. This will keep them from getting tangled and leave them easily accessible. Let your inner neat-freak rejoice!