I wanted to make a portable luggage stand with 3 design goals in mind. I wanted it to fold and fit easily into a suitcase. I wanted it to be at at a comfortable height (30" for me) for packing/unpacking and for those times you have to live out of your suitcase. Finally, I wanted it to be light and compact to maximize suitcase capacity but strong enough to support a heavy load.
Using a luggage stand is important because you should not put luggage on beds, the floor, or on upolstered furniture due to the chance that bed bugs will catch a ride home and infestate your house. Happened to us. $1300 later, it's just a bad memory and a lesson learned.
Some hotels have racks but many don't. If they do, they usually have just one and they are about 20-24" tall and somewhat uncomfortable to use in this manner. With this you will always have one with you and at a comfortable height.
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Step 1: Design/Material List
I settled on a folded size of approximately 15" x 12" so it would fit in a carry-on or larger suitcase. You could go a little bigger (maybe 18"X15") if you have the room and it would be a little more stable. I chose to use 1/2" copper pipe because it is relatively light weight, stiff, and is easy to source from home improvement stores. Plus copper looks cool. Initially I made a prototype from 1/2" PVC but it would be too bulky to use.
I bought 2 10' pieces of 1/2 " pipe, 8 elbows, 8 couplings, 2 caps, threaded rod, brass washers, 1/2" wooden dowel pieces, pop rivets, and 2 brass nuts. I had the paracord, strapping, and shock cord laying around.
I cut the pipe into 12 pieces of 11" long, 2 pieces 15" long, 2 pieces 14" long, and one piece about 13 1/2" long. The 15" and 14" pieces form the top and bottom cross bars. The 11" pieces form the legs. The 13 1/2" piece goes across the middle and has the threaded rod inside and caps on the ends. Tools used were a tape measure, pipe cutter, drill, adjustable wrench, hot glue gun, and pop rivet tool.
Step 2: Assembly
Clear plumber's Goop was used to glue the pipe pieces together. I also cut shock cord into 4 pieces about 12" long and put them through the "X"s and into the end of the "U" shaped assemblies and secured them by threading the shock cord through a hole in 1/2" wooden dowel pieces, pushing them into the ends of the pipe and then using hot glue to keep them inplace.
Initially I just used paracord across the bars but then added the strapping on one end for better support. The strapping was attached with pop rivets and hot glue but you could also use sheet metal screws. The length of the cord/strapping determines the height, so it is easy to adjust after construction. The paracord across the bottom helps reduce flexing of the lower assemblies.
Step 3: Use and Breakdown
A suitcase will lay securely on top in either direction. Pictured is a 15" x21" carry-on bag. For breakdown, all you do is fold it together, lay it flat, pull it apart, and fold it up. The shock cord keeps the pieces together like tent poles. I can take more detailed pictures or provide more information if requested.
It cost me about $30 and weighs 3 pounds. Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking.