In the losing battle of trying to keep stuff organized and accessible, I’ve been doing what I can to knock down the clutter around my shop and make it easier to access the supplies and tools I have. In one particular cabinet, I store paint, glue, other liquids, and the requisite tools for these supplies. It’s always a mess; I’ll go through it every few years, throw out all the old expired stuff, and try to organize it, but it gets disorganized pretty fast.
A few weeks ago I had an idea, I was working with PVC pipe for another project and I happened to notice that a standard sized caulk tube fit almost perfectly inside some 2″ PVC scrap pipe. It got me thinking that I might be able to make the tubes of caulk and adhesive more accessible all while using some previously unusable space in the cabinet.
The next time I was at the hardware store, I looked for a 10 foot section of PVC pipe. While looking for the pipe, I noticed they sold “foam core” PVC along side the “solid core” PVC. I’d never seen foam core PVC pipe, but figuring that I didn’t need the burst strength of solid core for this project and that the foam core was significantly cheaper and quite a bit lighter, I picked up the foam core PVC pipe.
Since the shelves in the cabinet are folded sheet metal with about a 3/4″ lip for strength, I needed a base to lower the PVC pipe sections so I could get the caulk tubes in and out. I decided to use a 1×6 which got the pipe sections below the edge of the lip and gave me something other than the cabinet to fasten them to.
The 1×6 also worked out well because I didn’t want the PVC pipe to fully cover the caulk tubes. I thought that by leaving the first few inches of the caulk tube exposed, it would let me identify it without having to remove the tube. Cutting the PVC to 5-1/2″ lengths gave the caulk tubes enough support while exposing enough of the label to read.
I set up a stop block on the miter saw and proceeded to cut as many PVC pipe sections as I could get to fit onto the 1×6, which I had trimmed to a length that would allow me to get it into the cabinet without much finagling. All in all I was able to fit 13 sections of pipe onto the board.
Then I ran a bead of hot glue down each pipe section and attached them to the 1×6. Once I had all the pipes attached, I ran another bead of hot glue between each pipe to stiffen the whole rack.
To fasten the rack to the bottom of the shelf, I drilled through the top of the shelf and drove screws down into the rack. I previously made sure the screws would land in the spaces between the sections of pipe. Even though the screw heads stick out above the shelf a bit, they really don’t interfere with loading and unloading the shelf.
That’s it. Now I am utilizing previously unused space in my cabinet to organize my tubes of caulk and glue. To be honest, I probably don’t need all 11 of those tubes, I should go through and figure out which ones have expired or hardened.
As a bonus, look below to see how I organized most of the tools that I keep in the cabinet.
Here’s the quick explanation: I cut 1/4″ grooves in some 2x4s and fastened them to the top and bottom of the shelf, similar to the way I did it for the caulk rack. Then I just cut pegboard to fit the opening.
It really makes a difference when I need to find a tool – I don’t need to go digging around, I know exactly where to look.