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DIY Wire Management System

Materials Used -

2 x 10' 3" I.D. PVC Pipe - Black
4 x 3"x3"x3" Tee Connectors
Satin Black Spray Paint

Stuff you will need or wish you had -

Hacksaw
Dremel Tool with cutting wheel
Smooth Mill file
220 grit sandpaper
Duct Tape
Dawn dishwashing detergent

As with the Flexy Rack, measure twice (or thrice) before cutting. Stretching a length of PVC pipe that has been cut too short is very difficult.

The Tee connectors are used at any point where a vertical "chimney" will be placed. I used 4 chimneys in all, so I needed 4 Tee connectors. The pipe provides a very nice friction fit to the Tee connectors, so glue/cement is an option that is not needed (an added benefit of not gluing this together is the ability to break it down or change out sections should the need arise in the future).

I pulled the flexy rack away from the wall and used it as a guide to determine the needed lengths of pipe. I laid out the Tee connectors and measured from interior shoulder to interior shoulder to determine the needed lengths of horizontal pipe. Then measuring from the upper internal shoulder of the Tee connector, I measured the needed height of the chimney pieces.

I then used a standard hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe. A hacksaw makes short work of a 3" pipe. It leaves a very clean cut with no splintering, checking, cracking or any other issues to deal with. All the sections of pipe and couplers are then assembled next to the rack to make sure the lengths are correct. At this time, marks are made on the chimney sections to note where the cuts will need to be made for the AC,  interconnects and speaker cables. Each pipe is also marked internally as to its position (left, center left, etc.) using a Sharpie.

Using a Dremel tool and a 1.5" cutoff wheel, access ports are easily cut into the chimney sections. Using a strip of duct tape running the full length of the pipe as a guide, you can keep all the ports nicely aligned. Once you have your ports cut, dress up the ends of the pipe and the ports you have cut with a smooth mill file and some fine grit sandpaper such as 220. While you are doing this procedure, you can go ahead and use the 220 grit sandpaper to roughen the entire exterior surface of the pipe, as this will help the paint to adhere when you get to that step.

 

 

When you have finished cutting the ports and dressing the cuts and the ends of the pipe, reassemble everything for a final test fit. Make sure the ports are where you want them.

When you are satisfied that everything is where it needs to be, take it all apart. All the lengths of pipe should be sanded with 220 grit sandpaper if you have not done so already. Once the sanding is complete, take a bucket and add a liberal amount of Dawn dishwashing detergent and add water (Dawn is an excellent grease cutter, and this will also help you get a better adherence of paint). One at a time, place a length of pipe in the bucket and take a rag and wash the pipe thoroughly. This will remove any and all PVC dust and remove any oils from the pipe. Do this to each section of pipe and the Tee connectors.

Let the pipe and the Tees dry, then use a spray paint designed to be sprayed onto plastics (Krylon and Rustoleum both make such products in a variety of colors, I would recommend you consider using Satin Black, as the satin finish is more forgiving during application and usage) to paint everything. Spray painting technique is important. Better a few light coats than one heavy coat that wants to run and doesn't want to dry.

After all the parts are dry, you are ready for final assembly. If the paint is overly thick, a small rubber mallet can be used to encourage the pipe to seat correctly into the Tee couplers. Run your AC lines through the AC chimneys and run the interconnects and speaker cables through their chimneys. Make sure all your equipment is functioning properly, then move it all back against the wall and you're done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, map out where all the various connections are on your equipment

 

 

I want to build a PVC array such that a "chimney" comes up behind each of the four verticle support points of my flexy rack

 

 

Each chimney will have slots cut into the pipe for signal connectors, AC cords, etc.

 

 

 

Tee Couplers are used to connect all the pipe sections. Measurements for pipe lengths must be made from the internal shoulder

 

 

A closeup of the internal shoulder

 

 

After assembly, the wire clutter is vastly reduced (click on this image to embiggen)

The signal cable coming out from under the center of the rack is a connection to my ThinkPad, which functions as a FLAC server.

The ThinkPad tends to wander around the room quite a bit, so this cable was left "loose" to support being able move freely.

 

 

The DIY Flexy Rack

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