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In response to my tool tips posts a few days ago, Chris Steiner sent in these pics and info on the organizing bins and tool holders he built from copper pipe and some mounting hardware.

I can’t stop thinking about ways to use the vast amount of copper pipe scrap that I have lying around. I could take it to the scrap yard — it’s worth $1.50/lb in Minneapolis these days. But why do that when it’s more valuable to me as an organizational medium?

Based on your own creative designs, build a jig to hold the sections of copper to your specifications. Sand all contact areas well and flux generously. Solder a section or two at a time and be extremely careful. This can be a dangerous project Get a plumber to help if you’re not comfortable soldering things not connected to a PCB.

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • ap1.myopenid.com

    It’s a lot easier to assemble piping like this if you use five minute epoxy instead of solder. Not quite as badass, mind you, but quicker, cleaner, and requires fewer hands/jigs and tools.

  • ap1.myopenid.com

    On first glance I was all excited that this was going to be about someone who built a pipe organ into his workbench. That would be awesome. This is cool too, though.

  • craig

    Wow, that’s a LOT of work to organize what a simple 1X4 pine shelf, 2 brackets, and a bunch of holes from a wood bore bit could do. I guess if you happen to have lots of short copper scraps, as well as solder & flux to spare!

  • Anonymous

    The great joy of making this would be watching previously soldered joints soften as you worked through the piece, dropping solder everywhere. You could curse, fume (literally) and drink beer with great abandon, which is the final result of any good shop.

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