The photos below are courtesy of Modeler Tim McKnight who has designed a very cool PVC rack that he uses to organize and manage his students’ whiteboards. Students can easily store their boards for reuse from one class period to the next.
Here are directions for making a 3-compartment rack:
Parts and tools:
2 – 10′ lengths of 3/4″ PVC pipe
12 – 3/4″ PVC elbows
8 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″ PVC Tees
Right angle / carpenter’s square
The parts are cut as follows:
6 – 16″ segments for cross pieces (2 lower and 4 upper)
8 – 12″ segments for the uprights (4 on each side)
6 – 2.5″ segments for spacers between the uprights – it is important that these be identical in length.)**
4 – 1.5″ segments to join the lower corners
Since the sockets of the Tees are 1″ deep, the length of the spacer becomes the width of space in which the boards will be held. I think that 3″ would also be ok if you need to store more boards per section. Too much over 3″ and I think strength may be compromised. The key thing is that all 6 of these spacers be identical in length. This specifications given above use 213″ of the 240″ of PVC.
The order of assembly was:
a) Assemble 2 rows of 4 tees each using the 2.5″ connector segments. Upside down as in the picture helped me to get them all properly aligned and “square”.
b) Assemble 6 cross pieces by attaching elbows to the 16″ lengths. Again, placing the open ends of the fittings against the table seemed to give the most reliably square fitting. You have only a few seconds to twist the joints into alignment before the glue / cement sets up.
c) Use 4 – 1.5″ spacers and 2 assembled crosspieces to join the 2 rows of assembled Tees. This makes the bottom of the frame.
Once again – keeping the open ends of the Tee connectors flat on the table helps to line them up – or you can use a drafting triangle or carpenter’s square.
d) glue the 8 – 12″ uprights into the Tees
e) finish by gluing the remaining 4 crosspieces to the 8 uprights.
For a simplified variation on this design click here.