Shoe organizing bench from hardware store parts


Every so often a project of mine gets picked up by websites like Hackaday.   This one is more likely to be collected on pinterest (that’s where the inspiration came from, my wife showed me a picture, and off I went).

Why I have an electric pickup truck: It’s hard to do things like this with a Leaf….why_a_pickup_and_not_a_Leaf

Cutting fourteen sections of 6″ diameter foam-core PVC pipe into the same length with a nice clean edge isn’t easy. I eventually make a jig out of wood for my tablesaw that would hold a pipe roughly in one place while we rotated it through the blade. Then I enlisted my wife to hold up the long end. We actually cut about twenty sections and picked the best 14 after deciding on the 5x4x5 layout. Even so, I still had a decent amount of sanding to do to finish off all the front ends (I put the roughest ends on the back of the pipes that are against the wall, and only bothered to sand the front). I did all the sanding AFTER gluing them together so the front faces would match up as closely as possible.

The only difficulty with gluing them together was finding enough clamps. You can never have too many clamps. Also, the purple PVC cleaning primer wants to run everywhere, and it’s hard to keep it only on the linear joints. I laid the pipes upright and let the solvent run down to the bottoms, which are the rough sides against the wall. I would actually place the set of pipes on their bottom faces (upright) when gluing and clamping them, to keep the bottoms “level” with each other, and then after clamping them together I’d shift them to the orientation you see in the photo below and put extra weight on the top to pressure the pipes into each other while the solvent melted / welded the plastic together.


Of course, after gluing it all together, I still had to coat it with white plastic spray paint to cover up the printing on the pipe, the foam core interior, and some purple primer stains.

I cut a bench/seat top out of 3/4″ birch cabinet grade plywood, stained it, and sealed it with polyurethane. I put a bead of gorilla glue along the top of each pipe, sat the board on top (measuring the sides to make sure I got it even) and then I just needed some more clamps to hold it in place.


After the glue dried, I was able to carry the whole thing around by holding just the bench top, so I’ll claim the bond is strong enough. Ta da……in_place

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