PVC Hookup Wire Storage




If you're like me, you've probably accumulated a number of wire spools from various projects over the years. My initial attempt at "organization" was to keep them all together in a plastic storage bin. This worked fine for a while, but as I accumulated more different sizes and colors, it became quite a chore to dig through the box to find the exact gauge, color and type of core I needed. I was surprised to find that online searches for a solution provided very few ideas. I tossed around a couple of different concepts and this is the result. It's inexpensive, simple to construct and can be easily scaled to a larger or smaller size to fit your particular needs.

Step 1: Materials

The needed materials should be obtainable from any hardware store of home center.

Here's what you will need to build one just like mine:

  • 1 - 10' x 1/2" CPVC pipe
  • 10 - 1/2" CPVC Tee
  • 4 - 1/2" CPVC Elbow
  • PVC Solvent
  • Hardware for hanging (I used two 2 1/2" eye-bolts)
  • Tools for cutting the pipe and installing the hardware

(A shear-type PVC cutter works great and produces no waste and no sawdust)

Step 2: Assembly Method

1) Cut the pipe to length.

The dimensions I used will use up all but a few inches of the 10 foot section. If you decide to make it larger, you may need to purchase more pipe. Cut 12 pieces 2" long and 7 pieces to 13" in length. This will give you 12" of rack width and space the horizontal rows approximately 2 3/4" apart.

2) Glue the short pieces into the tees and elbows.

I initially assembled my rack with no glue and it seemed to hold together fine with just friction. I think that with added weight, especially on the lower levels, it might tend to loosen up over time. At a minimum you will want to secure the short vertical pieces into the tees and elbows. If you think you may want to expand the rack in the future, you could secure the bottom elbows with a small screw instead of glue. I decided to just glue all the vertical components together into two sub-assemblies as seen in the photo.

When gluing all the tees and short pieces together, care should be taken to keep all the holes for the horizontal cross-members oriented in the same plane. Otherwise, your rack could end up warped and it will not hang properly when completed. An easy way to ensure this is to dry-fit one of the long pipes with another fitting into the tee being glued and press the assembly together on a flat surface while gluing.

Note: If you're obsessive like me, you can also pay attention the which side of the fittings is the "pretty side", and assemble all the pipe sections so the printing falls on the back :-)

Step 3: Choose Your Hanging Method

I have a section of cabinets right behind my e-bench that provided an excellent place for the rack. I hung it with a couple of cup hooks secured into the overhang of the counter top. It could just as easily be hung from the ceiling or attached to the back of a cabinet or entry door.

If you build one, please post a photo of your version!



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    6 Discussions


    7 months ago

    I like this a lot. I'd love to see one (and I might make one for myself) with half of the tee cut out, so you could lift the horizontal row out to change the spool if one runs out, without having to take apart the entire side frame. The other thing I might do when I make something like this, is use steel flange bases (for weight) instead of hanging it. Great project!!!


    2 years ago

    Me acabas de salvar la vida!!


    2 years ago

    That looks awesome! Just FYI for other potential builders, regular PVC will work just as well and is a little cheaper that CPVC. Nice work.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, you could actually adapt to ANY size or type of pipe depending on your needs. A polished copper version might be kind of cool!

    I chose the CPVC partly because it seemed a bit stiffer than standard PVC and primarily because the outside diameter was a better fit for the spools I had. Total price for the plastic parts at my local Lowe's was $6.88.


    2 years ago

    I like the initial concept. But you should have built it to fit back into the plastic storage container like in the original picture. That way there would be no dust or shop saw dust accumulate on the spools over time. And you still could use the PCV built with it standing off the bottom so the rolls could be easily seen and unrolled as needed too. JMHO


    2 years ago

    Good idea any material will make it