Portable, collapsible clothes hanger from off the shelf parts

4:52 PM 0 Comments A+ a-

I've been stressing about how to hang my clothes up to dry while at Baptiste Level One training in August. I opted for the bunkhouse lodging and as such, I won't have a closet or many options for hanging things. I've been thinking about an inexpensive, portable, collapsible solution to this problem for several months now.

Today I solved the problem with an idea to use a PVC pipe cap, threaded rods, acorn (cap) nuts, clear vinyl tubing and a bit of epoxy on a 1/4-20 nut (which exactly fits a camera tripod threading)

Parts list (minus the epoxy I already had)

  611942038565 PVC CAP               0.98
     1-1/2" PVC CAP SLIP
  887480001310 LOCK NUT 1/4          0.98
     1/4" STAINLESS STL NYLON LOCK NUT
  887480000313 MACH SCREW            
     MACH SCREW NUT SS #10-24
     4@0.98                          3.92
  887480020113 CAP NUT               
     CAP NUT ZINC #10-24
     2@0.98                          1.96
  098268038583 20' VINYL             4.93
     5/16ODX3/16IDX20' VINYL TUBE
  887480022070 THRDED ROD            
     ROD THREADED ZINC 36X10/24
     2@2.18                          4.36

                   SUBTOTAL         17.13
                   SALES TAX         1.20
                   TOTAL           $18.33





I cut the two 36" sections of 1/4 threaded rod into 9 inch sections, giving me a total of eight "arms" on the hanger. Putting the hacksaw in the vice and sawing the threaded rod against the hacksaw blade made the process much easier! After cutting, I smoothed the newly cut ends on a file and tested the threading with the cap nuts.



I marked visually equidistant marks on the PVC end cap to allow for eight rods to connect to the cap. Drilling with a 3/16 bit made the insertion of the threaded rods a piece of cake. Keeping one nut on the inside of the cap and one on the outside and tightening them towards one another makes for a stable fit. Using a cap nut on the end of the arm prevents anyone from getting injured on the metal threading.



With all the arms attached, I tightened down the cap nuts and marked on the rod how far down they thread when fully tightened. I removed one cap nut and slid the clear vinyl tubing over the rod and marked on the tubing where the line on the rod was visible. Sliding the tubing back off of the rod a bit allowed me to make the cut in the tubing, slide the tubing back on, screw the cap nut back on and move on to the next arm until each of them had a protective vinyl sleeve over the exposed threading. This vinyl sleeve will make it so that any wet clothing that is hung on it does not become damaged.

I placed the hanger back in the vise and marked the center of the cap where I'd glue down the tripod threaded nut. I chose the nylon locking nut because it was a deeper threading than the non-locking nut. This gives me some wiggle room for the epoxy to adhere to the nylon threading, but not damage the threading on the rest of the nut.


Applying a dab of epoxy, smearing it around in a circular fashion until there was a clearing at the center point I'd marked. This made sure that a big blob of epoxy wasn't going to seep up into the threading as I put the tripod nut in place.

The completed hanger is 20 inches across, but the whole thing disassembles and fits into a fraction of that space!


The telescoping aluminum tripod I have is a Bilora, but any lightweight telescoping tripod will work. You can find tripods like this on eBay, typically in the $20 price range. Some are more expensive but I can't see a reason to justify the higher asking prices.

Update! Shortly after using the clothes hanger at Menla, the weight of the clothes drying was no match for the epoxy/nut solution I utilized. I limped through the rest of the week, but upon returning home, I re-engineered the top portion of the structure which connects to the tripod thread. I purchased a two inch long bolt (threaded 1/4 20) and two of the long connector bolts. One is tightened to the bolt coming through the top of the hanger cap and the other will provide the connection to the tripod thread mount.