Utilitarian Projects #6: Scrap Projects - Tall-Thin-Mobile Storage...and Ten Minute Projects

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 08-15-2011 03:59 AM 3009 reads 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Multi-Function Bench.......the interminable project from hell, is finished. Part 6 of Utilitarian Projects series Part 7: My cutoffs breed and multiply at night..........what's an LJ to do? »

These are a few shop projects from scrap.

First a Tall-Thin Storage gizmo that is mobile.

For my dowel collection, aluminum extrusions, continuous hinge, etc…

Had a problem with these things falling all over the place, and had to get that space clear for more stuff.

Here is the gizmo sitting in its assigned space:

Took four swiveling ball casters, scavenged from throw aways….....two of one type, two of another, but they were exactly the same height. Bet they were gathering dust for 20 years. A few pieces, cut offs, of 3/4 inch ply…got a lot of that stuff left over from other projects…birch veneer…Chinese…poor quality. And some pine cut offs. And for weight, I took the old mailbox cover made of heavy iron…..really…..the outside cover for the mailbox that is actually in the garage, and attached it to the bottom diagonally, to make it stable.

OK…......the screws and the screw guards were new. I confess.

But then….....the ultimate scavenge….

cardboard tubes from a Rockler shipment of T-track protect some plastic tubes…that actually have the T-track in them. I have used the plastic tubes before…and later you will see it in use again. But this is the outer cardboard tube. Yup, cut up those suckers and enclosed them in a plywood frame, screwed to the base, not glued, so I could change things in the future.

So you see it, pulled out, so I can swivel it around and find what I need…...

....and a little detail…..Slim wanted some close up coverage…....

Now ain’t that sweet. Except for the screws and the finish…WATCO of course…all scrap…

But there’s more…..

Ten minute projects…really!

I don’t know about you, but…

.... the top of my glue bottle, that I refill from a jug, gets stuck no matter how well I clean it.

I kept a needle nose pliers in my glueup tray, because it worked well to lever the top up. But that was silly. Displaced a multipurpose tool into a specialized setup for an oddball use. So, I built this gizmo from a scrap of 3/16 inch ply…...... to the glue bottle that causes the problem…

....and in its place on the glueup tray…

Cut that out with my toy bandsaw in a flash….......

And then the next one in a row, a storage for my frequently used props for finishing things. You know those plastic yellow pyramids to support projects you are finishing with whatever…with the pointy tops. Yup, got a bunch of those. But this is about storing some things I made myself.

Most of the time I revert to this collection of…

... really strange objects I built a couple of years ago. They are quicker, things balance better, and they are perfect for WATCO, which I use a lot in the shop.

They are strips of MDF, with a shallow groove cut in the top with the radial arm saw. And in those grooves are some nails, with the heads and points cut off, glued into the grooves with CA glue. So the object you are finishing rides on the nails, which are lying flat. Not as good as a point, but for oil finish more than adequate and markedly more stable and quick.

Here they are in a piece of one of the plastic tubes that Rockler ships its T-track in…

Cut it to size with the bandsaw. For the bottom, a disc of 3/4 inch ply, and two screw to hold it in place. The disc finished with….what else…WATCO. This was quick…bandsaw work, a little sanding on my disc sander, finished quickly, and then a couple of screws.

...and a detail of the gizmos…heavily used, nearly every week for a couple of years…

Well, I got a few more items in the wings, probably will blog them next weekend…......

Thanks for viewing…..

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

20 comments so far

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3279 days

#1 posted 08-15-2011 04:33 AM

Good idea and good use of materials. I would rather build one of these than a dozen gizmos that I have abosolutely no need for. Is it pretty stable….not top heavy.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 08-15-2011 04:42 AM

Yes, the wheel base is wide, and the heavy iron fixed to the bottom helps. It is really easy to find things there now…it was a solution long overdue…........

There is no tendency to tip, and I move it around grabbing the high stuff.

Thanks for viewing….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lew's profile


12932 posts in 4359 days

#3 posted 08-15-2011 04:43 AM

Cool, Jim!!

I really like the glue bottle pry bar. I’ll have to borrow that-getting a little tired of the taste of glue and the Polident doesn’t hold all that well.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#4 posted 08-15-2011 04:45 AM

The needle nose pliers worked, but I had to keep it right there. This is a much better solution, and I bet you can make one in 5 minutes….......

Have a good one, mostly in the shop this weekend, still more stuff to blog on…......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10859 posts in 4656 days

#5 posted 08-15-2011 06:46 AM

Looks GOOD!

Very good use of plastic sewer pipe! LOL

Very good work!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#6 posted 08-15-2011 01:25 PM

Hi Jim, Thanks for these good tips. I was amused by the glue bottle pry bar. The Titebond glue bottlel cap is the worst designed, most impractical cap I’ve ever encountered. Mine has been glued so tight that I had to break it off because even pliers couldn’t get it loose. I think I will drop the folks at Titebond a message about this with a link to your post. Very frustrating considering the price of this very excellent glue.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3408 days

#7 posted 08-15-2011 03:06 PM

gr8 ways to recycle Jim, plus, a good place to store that sort of stock

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#8 posted 08-15-2011 04:07 PM

Actually that is not plastic, that is the heavy duty cardboard that the Rockler T-track ships in, cut to size, with a disc of MDF in the bottom of each tube, fixed with a pin nailer.

I have a small bench top storage item that uses cut pieces of various lengths of PVC black pipe to store cable ties. If the cardboard wears out, then I will replace it with plastic. The top wood retaining rectangle is made to be replace with a different size if necessary.

So I have used sewer pipe in a similar situation, and any repairs necessary will use it. In fact, I am going to make a larger version for other items that are a lot heavier, and I will use plastic pipe for that. The things in this one are not very heavy. The cardboard should last many years.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#9 posted 08-15-2011 04:11 PM

I think that is just a generic bottle they are using. Some craft stores carry empty bottles apparently, but I haven’t seen one. I pry the top totally off and clean up the inside periodically, but that lasts only a couple of days, then back to prying it off. This gizmo can be used to pull the top up for normal use, or can then be situated beneath the top, and pop the whole thing off.

There has got to be a better glue bottle out there…........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#10 posted 08-15-2011 04:12 PM

I think my brain started thinking this way when I saw your clamp cart, which of course is a much more robust sort of deal. I still plan to build one of those. Its on my list.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3945 days

#11 posted 08-15-2011 04:27 PM

well done jim

any shop help tricks are good

seems we waste more time
getting ready to work
than actually working
(finding things and getting them ready)

like the strip cart
will do one too


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10859 posts in 4656 days

#12 posted 08-15-2011 05:58 PM

Very good Jim!

Hey, I have some of those tubes!!

... I’d pickem on Sale & free shipping… nice stuff…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#13 posted 08-16-2011 12:25 AM

Thanks, hope you are now settled back at home.

This thing works very well. Note I put some weight under it in the form of a sheet of steel. I don’t know if that is essential or not. If the stuff you put in it isn’t too heavy, might not need it. Could also increase the wheel base for stability if necessary. Plastic pipe would be more durable, but this stuff is so light, that cardboard is probably sufficient.

I made a floor standing lamp many years ago, and to make it stable, I encased some patio blocks in wood for the base …........that did the trick…..(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3372 days

#14 posted 08-16-2011 07:04 AM

Great ideas Jim. I like that little cart, that’s a right clever idea. I’ve got my pieces of pipe, bars, and ready rod in a 5 Gallon bucket and they are always leaning over the side and getting in the way. I’ve got some of those tubes stuck somewhere, I’ll have to put them to use. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4272 posts in 3768 days

#15 posted 08-16-2011 05:28 PM

I haven’t had it in use for very long, just a few weeks, but it is being used regularly. It is working better than I could have hoped, and gets a fair amount of use. Items like this is another reason to strip the wheels off of anything you throw out. My small shop needs mobility for things, so I am slowly getting everything on wheels.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics