Pipe dreams

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I find PVC pipe useful in the shop for a lot of things, but there’s one thing it’s not good at: Being stored when you have leftovers.

You can do lots of things with PVC. I use PVC for dust collection ducting as do so many woodshops, but have put it to use in other ways. I made a great parts rack with small pieces of leftovers from my dust collection installation, and used some smaller-diameter pipe for holding – appropriately enough – pipe clamps. Make a round wooden plug to fit in the end, and you can turn short pieces of PVC into benchtop holders for pencils, tools or just about anything. Slice short pieces of small-diameter pipe lengthwise to use as stickers for lumber drying. The list goes on.

Short leftover pipes fit right into my scrap barrels, but longer pieces are problematic. I bought a new one when I redid my dust collection system a while back, but once I’d dismantled the old ducting discovered I could reuse every bit of it. I hung on to the new one in case I needed to tweak the ducting, but never did. Having lost the receipt I couldn’t take it back, so it’s wedged into a corner (my shop has a 10’ ceiling).

I also have a full length of some 2” pipe I bought but didn’t use, plus another piece I only cut a foot off one end. There are other pieces too long for the scrap barrel and they, too, are wedged into corner. Sure, they’d be easier to store if I cut them, but you just know that if I did that and then needed one later it would certainly be too short.

On the one hand, having a variety of diameters of PVC available for any task means I’ll probably never need it. On the other hand, if I get rid of it, it’ll guarantee a need will arise the day after it’s gone.

A.J.

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