I had been thinking of different designs for a rack to store long straight stuff. Most of the ones I have seen are either beams sloping toward a wall, or triangular frames on wheels with similar beams.
My workshop is a tall factory (5 or 6m), so a vertical rack is more efficient – takes up less space.
Finding a few PVC pipes on a throw out gave me a simple design that I hope you will find useful !
Step 1: Medium Stormwater Pipe
These are the pipes I found. About 1m long, 150mm diameter. They had some holes in the side, which I was going to use to bolt them together, and to a piece of plywood for a base, but they didn't line up and I decided any bolt heads would make the tubes harder to slide material in and out, so I looked for a different way to use them.
Step 2: Milk Crate
I got a (slightly broken) milk crate from the side of the road, which seems a good fit for these three pipes.
Milk crates are owned by the distributors – in Australia, Parmalat, Norco, Dairy Farmers co op, et c. Please do not steal them from corner stores, supermarkets, cafes. They are not cheap throwaway items:
and stealing them just hurts farmers.
Step 3: "Solid" Base
Milk crates have holes in the bottom, and mine also had a few broken slats, neither of which are helpful for storing things :-)
I cut a square of 6mm MDF to go in the bottom of the crate. 305mm square.
Step 4: Plastic Pipe Tree?
Put the pipes in and you have a free-standing vertical rack. They wobble around a little, so need some clamping. Tying some strong wire around the pipes – coat hangers or fencing wire – would have worked, but I had some steel straps, so...
Step 5: Strap Yourself In
I think this strap is called hoop iron. It usually goes between roofing trusses or wall frames to position them during a build. It has regular holes in it.
I wrapped it around to guess the length, and cut it between the holes, to make it easier.
Step 6: Tension and Bolt Together.
Not shown is the clamps around the back to try and stretch/tension the strap – hey, I only got 2 hands!
The holes didn't line up perfectly for bolting together, so I bought an extra PVC pipe to try and fill the gaps and change the length of the strapping. Sadly, that didn't help, so had to drill a new hole or two in the strap.
Step 7: Tall Pipes Up the Back, Please
In my case, the second-hand pipes were different lengths, so it was easy to arrange the pipes for best access.
I also found a few more smaller pipes in a skip bin, to help make it more stable.
My longest pipe is about 1.3m, which is OK for Aluminium extrusions up to about 3m long, but steel (e.g. "booker" threaded rod) makes it too heavy. Can only use the shorter pipes to store steel.
I guess if you wanted a more stable one, replace the MDF with steel plate, or maybe a concrete paver?