I am on the second year of a project to organize my garage once and for all. I was trying to figure out a way to store the pens, pencils and all the long skinny things that I have, and I came up with this idea for using some PVC to make a nice little storage unit that will hold pencils, brushes, q-tips, and the tongue depressors that I use for mixing epoxy.
It is an easy project if you have access to a miter saw, and will take only a few hours to complete (most of this time is waiting for glue/paint to dry).
I had some leftover 2" diameter PVC that I cut it into 5" lengths on my miter saw set to cut at a 25 degree angle. I arranged the cut pieces into a 4x3 honeycomb, and then glued them together with PVC cement. Some spray paint and a plywood back completes the project.
Step 1: Cut the PVC
All the usual cautions about using power tools apply here. The miter saw can be dangerous. Know where your fingers are before you pull the trigger.
Before doing anything, reverse the blade in the saw. The rake of the teeth in the saw blade makes the blade want to "grab" the round pipe and spin it. If you reverse the blade, it will cut using a grinding action and it does not have the same tendency to grab the pipe. (Use ear protection for this. It is loud)
Set the angle on the saw. I used 25 degrees, which seems like it is enough to keep things from falling out of the pipe.
Start by cutting the end of the pipe at an angle. Hold the pipe tight while cutting so it doesn't spin. Rubber-fingered gloves would be a definite help. Clamping it to the saw guide would probably be a good idea.
I cut the pieces into 5" lengths. It works for me, but might be a little too long for some things. When you have decided the length you want, clamp a block to the saw guide for uniform cuts.
If I were to re-do this project, I would use a marker to draw two lines down the length of the pipe, one line 180 degrees on the other side of the pipe. When cutting, align this line with a line on the end stop. This will help to insure that the cut ends of each piece are parallel to one another. The lines can also be used to match up the pieces while gluing.
Step 2: Glue It Up
Assemble all the pieces into the pattern that you want. I used a 4x3 pattern here, but you can arrange them in any way that works for you.
The glue is a bit messy, and the glue dries quickly, so you need to have everything together and be ready to go when you start this step.
This is where it would be nice to have the lines drawn along the pipe. It would help in the accurate gluing of the pieces.
I glued in groups of three, one row at a time, and then glued the four groups together. It took less than 10 minutes to do this.
After the glue dries, you can paint it. I sprayed mine with a white primer, and then I masked the front surface with paper, and sprayed the body in a metallic finish.
Cut a back for this. i used 1/2" scrap plywood. Spray paint the back (I used white primer, then a white gloss).
Attach the pipes to the back with epoxy. Mix the epoxy, and apply it to the end pipe surfaces, then flip it over and center it on the board. Add a little weight to hold it in place while it dries.
Mount the board on the wall and admire your handiwork.
Step 3: Enjoy Your Handiwork
Don't forget to put the saw blade back on the right way.