by Robby Wright
This article shows how to build a simple rack for hanging up short cables. The article is meant to be a starting point and you can vary measurements to suit your needs. The original of this rack is made from ½ inch Baltic Birch plywood, a plywood with many layers that is very strong and provides a good surface for gluing the pieces together. You can see the plywood edge in the picture below. Any good grade of hardwood plywood can be used as long as the plies are solid and without voids. By the way - solid wood won’t work. You will end up with cross grain constructions and the fingers will break off.
A word about safety: This rack is simple to make and can be easily made in multiples by ganging the parts together in a sandwich while cutting the slots. Because the blade on the saw must be exposed as far as possible to make the slots, it is important that you pay attention to basic tablesaw safety rules to avoid injury. If you don’t know what you are doing with a tablesaw, don’t build this project - Figure out how to use a router or some other method to cut the slots. Neither I nor my church are responsible for your safety - you are!
How I Made My Cable Storage RackMaterials
- 1 piece hardwood plywood for bottom
1 piece of hardwood plywood for back
Titebond III or similar woodworking glue.
1. Cut a piece of ½” thick plywood 14 ½” long by 4 ½” wide for the bottom of the rack. You can make multiples at once if you chose.
2. Cut another piece of ½” thick plywood 14 ½” long by 3” wide for the back of the rack.
3. Cut a backer pieces to sandwich the piece for the bottom of the rack while cutting on the tablesaw. This wood will be scrap when you finish. Don’t try to make the cuts without the backer wood - the back of the plywood will blow-out and be ruined.
4. On the piece for the bottom of the rack, layout the slots. I made the slots for my rack 5/16” wide and the maximum depth of the cut of the blade on my tablesaw - 3 ½”. You will find that you need to layout half of the slots on one side of the board and the other on the other side of the board. You will be flipping the board when cutting the slots. You will be cutting on the right side of the board on most tablesaws.
5. Sandwich the bottom board with a backer board so that the bottom board is towards the saw blade. I suggest clamping the boards together, or even tack them with hot glue. Just be sure they are tight. You can sandwich more than one bottom board to make multiple racks if you want. I have done up to a dozen at one time.
6. Run the blade for your tablesaw up as far as it will go.
7. Place the sandwich up against the face of the miter gauge for your tablesaw. If the face of the miter gauge doesn’t support the sandwich properly, fasten a temporary face on the miter gauge to make it taller. You can clamp the sandwich to the miter gauge if you want.
8. Carefully cut the first seven slots in the bottom board. It will take three cuts for each slot. Watch your fingers! Don’t force the cut - let the saw do its work. This is a very deep cut and will take a little time. Do the outside cuts first and then clean out the middle of the slot.
9. Unsandwich the two boards and flip the bottom so that the other side is ready to cut. Sandwich it back up with the backer board and cut the other seven slots.
10. Sand the parts and round the edges. Leave the edges that will be glued together straight.
11. Apply glue to the back board edge that will be glued to the bottom board. Use enough glue to thoroughly wet the edge.
12. Put the two boards together and nail the joint. (I used a nail gun). The nails are just to hold things there while the glue dries. Properly done, the joint is more than strong enough for this work. (Here is where the good grade of hardwood plywood comes in). Screws will make the plywood layers separate.
13. Clean up the excess glue and set the rack aside to dry overnight so the glue fully sets.
14. Drill a couple of mounting holes in the back.
15. Give it a coat of finish if you want.
16. Mount it on the wall and you are finished!