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Workshop operational tips. #6: Power Tools a_CORD_ing to LBD.

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Blog entry by LittleBlackDuck posted 06-17-2019 12:41 PM 939 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Safety in the Shop #1: Go - No Go indicator for the Band Saw Part 6 of Workshop operational tips. series Part 7: Easy(er) way to use double sided tape. »

Boys and Girls,

With the popularity of cordless tools that boast the one battery runs millions of different skins phylosophy, the days of the recalcitrant power cord is becoming a relic of the past.
As my collection of power tools are on the ever increasing decline (hmmm, as the missus would say “you oxymoron”) I thought I’d share this idea as I reckon that many Lumberjocks will refuse to sever their power umbilical.

Now there are many classifications of tools, but I put them into one of two classesfriendly or unfriendly. The friendly ones are the tools with the soft rubber cords that have the tendency to behave themselves… the Fe$tool cords,

and the Fein,

immediately come to mind. The unfriendly ones are those cheap Chinese tools with the hard plastic cords, that always manage to direct the tool in the opposite direction to the user’s intention.

In the past I was guilty of sacrificing quality for the holy shekel and finished up with curly cords that even a hair straightener could not rectify… like this Ryobi grinder,

they all refused to get cramped back in their molded plastic box without some sort of dexterous manipulation,

Now I’m sure that many of us were/are still guilty of this practice,

of tying the cord and extension together to prevent inadvertent separation. Unless your extension was made of that same “unfriendly” plastic, you finished up with a lopsided knot that would snag onto everything, in or outside the workshop.

My initial effort to tame this snake was to shorten it enough that it didn’t have to be rolled up to be put away

Even with this DeWalt biscuit joiner, I kept looking for a second box to accommodate the cord before its circumcision, and now after the snip,

Unfortunately this brought that knot far too close to the tool,

and still managed to retain the disuniformity of the knot.

This was solved when I discovered this little plug securing gizmo made out of plastic coated heavy duty spring steel,

that slip on and off with the same ease as a well lubricated rubber.

However, the operational end of the power was always a long way away at the other end of the cord.

My next gen. solution incorporated the inclusion of an in line switch at the business end of the extension.

I thought this inline switch was such a good idea and started to incorporate the concept in all my extensions,


phew.

As my collection of extensions expanded, while I will seldom cry poor, this fitting of inline switches was becoming a costly, if not to mention, a timely exercise.

Then I came up with the idea of a mini, inline switch extension which I could front end onto any length extension cord and still manage to control the power at the working end,

the downside was that I needed 2 plug securing gizmos.

Somewhere I also picked up this plug lock that I found lurking on a bench,

it was unused as it’s not as good quality as the others, though it lets you hang the cord.

While on the topic of mini cords, I created several of these “extensions”

to access those power points whose physical position may make them inaccessible due to the plug poking straight out,

as not all extension cords have the low profile plug and this saves replacing it (or buying an extension with the low profile plug. I could have put an inline switch on these, but even I realised that I’d have to flip two switches within 6” of each other to activate, if I adopted this design.

While this item was designed to address power tools it can just as easily be used on a 1 or 2m extension cord for machinery that hide the power point behind them… this is the use of most of my inline cords in the above examples.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD



24 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#1 posted 06-17-2019 03:08 PM

your cord crazy duckie,i can see the head line now, man found strangled to death in workshop full of power cords,obviously a cord horder-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View ddockstader's profile

ddockstader

165 posts in 3683 days


#2 posted 06-17-2019 03:13 PM

Where did you find the cord locks? I have looked for something like this for years and all I can find are big plastic covers that close over the two ends. Yours are simplicity and efficiency in one. I’d love to have about 6 of them.

View metolius's profile

metolius

107 posts in 1152 days


#3 posted 06-17-2019 04:18 PM

I certainly have molded plastic cases that find my curses as I try to get the tool’s cord fit well enough to shut.
Where’s the disconnect between case and product designers ?

-- derek / oregon

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

6223 posts in 2626 days


#4 posted 06-17-2019 11:29 PM

What a facinating and powerful post LBD.

I did much the same thing but found as you did they needed switches so I went this way.
This is for a situation where equipment is mobile, otherwise its not required.

For low current applications I used a smaller domestic cable (which I think was originally an extension cord, cut the outlet off and fitted a double outlet.

For medium current 2 x double outlets and understanding using only 1 appliance at a time this heavier run.

Then for the High current applications a single outlet.

They are normal surface mounted outlets fitted with fully enclosed boxes and industrial cable then glands/strain relief on the in/out entry.

More power to the Duck!
Incidently some trivia for you… here we go ….did you know the power comsumption during the day is refered to as a duck curve! how about that!!

Sorry about the microdot picture again!!

-- Regards Rob

View pottz's profile

pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#5 posted 06-17-2019 11:58 PM



What a facinating and powerful post LBD.

I did much the same thing but found as you did they needed switches so I went this way.
This is for a situation where equipment is mobile, otherwise its not required.

For low current applications I used a smaller domestic cable (which I think was originally an extension cord, cut the outlet off and fitted a double outlet.

For medium current 2 x double outlets and understanding using only 1 appliance at a time this heavier run.

Then for the High current applications a single outlet.

They are normal surface mounted outlets fitted with fully enclosed boxes and industrial cable then glands/strain relief on the in/out entry.

More power to the Duck!
Incidently some trivia for you… here we go ….did you know the power comsumption during the day is refered to as a duck curve! how about that!!

Sorry about the microdot picture again!!

- robscastle


with all those tools and power cords he’s the biggest consumer of electricity-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Pjonesy's profile

Pjonesy

307 posts in 1248 days


#6 posted 06-18-2019 01:13 AM

I couldn’t help noticing the axe next to the power outlet. Is that the way you shorten your recalcitrant leads?
I don’t quite understand the necessity of an inline switch. Once you turn the power on at the GPO you leave it on and use the on/off switch on the tool/machine. I turn the GPO off at the end of the day for safety.
I still enjoyed the story LBD

-- Don't tell me it can't be done.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1242 days


#7 posted 06-18-2019 05:20 AM



Where did you find the cord locks?....
- ddockstader

I bought them from Just Tools in South Melbourne (Aust)... Though it may be a tad more than a short bus trip from Il, do not feel dejected as I checked with the supplier just prior to posting this blog and was informed they haven’t sold/sourced them for over 10 years.
Initially when I first saw them, I purchase 20 of them (that’s all the had in stock) and I often used them as stocking fillers in Chrissie presents for close mates. I now have 4 left and I take an inventory and frisk everyone before they leave my workshop… be they stranger, friend or family.

I couldn t help noticing the axe next to the power outlet. Is that the way you shorten your recalcitrant leads?
- Pjonesy

Well observed Pj (rc eat your heart out), but NO. I use the axe to cut the power in case of emergencies.

..... Once you turn the power on at the GPO you leave it on and use the on/off switch on the tool/machine. I turn the GPO off at the end of the day for safety…...
- Pjonesy

A quick one or two word answer.

All the woodworking police advocate turning off the power before you manipulate (not operate) the tool, eg. change saw blade and/or router bit… the router bit is with the router not the saw.
Now I didn’t get this body beautiful by over exercising and with the on/off switch “next” to me, I’m more inclined to partake of that safety option. Though I seldom drag an extension from one side of the workshop to the other as I have a heap of powerpoints, outside of the workshop is a different story (even inside the house).
I also use some Yankee 110V tools and I only have I outlet in my workshop. I have an inline swithc on my 110V cord.
While you can disconnect the tools cord from the extension at the plug, I use those security couplers (or tie a know) which would prompt me NOT to separate.

i also have a lot of machinery squeezed u0p against powerpoints that make their access difficult.

PS. One of my major likes about Fe$tool is the detachable cord. I few times in the past I have activated a router while changing bits… there are not too many people that can make that statement without casualty… and it’s one survival feat that I’m not keen on repeating.

If one is well disciplined, then yes, no need, however, it’s a “safety” feature that in my laziness, I still manage to maintain/remember.

BTW Pj, long time no post… glad to hear you can still terorise us Aussies from across the ditch.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1242 days


#8 posted 06-18-2019 05:30 AM



I did much the same thing but found as you did they needed switches….
- robscastle

As always rc, I crap on and often disguise my true intention. While the inline switch concept is the solution to my need, I was trying to sell the idea of the mini extension cord with the inline switch that can convert any length extension cord to feature an inline switch.

..... For low current applications I used a smaller domestic cable….
- robscastle

I have never got that scientific… so on hindsight, I offer this suggestion with reservations….

Get a qualified electrician to fit the inline switch and plugs.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

6223 posts in 2626 days


#9 posted 06-18-2019 08:30 AM

Hey looking back for the axe I see a 4.5” cartridge case on the bench whats the go with that piece of ordnance?

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1242 days


#10 posted 06-18-2019 08:44 AM



Hey looking back for the axe I see a 4.5” cartridge case on the bench whats the go with that piece of ordnance?
- robscastle

Left over form shooting duck shooters.

Was a thank you present back in the early 70’s from some servicemen returning from ’nam.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

6223 posts in 2626 days


#11 posted 06-18-2019 11:59 AM

Wow did you hit any?
So I can expect one of those do hickies for Christmas then?

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1242 days


#12 posted 06-18-2019 01:20 PM


So I can expect one of those do hickies for Christmas then?
- robscastle

Sorry rc but I’ll leave the hickie making for you with Aurora.

As for the gizmo, to save on postage, I’ll send it to pottzy and get him to put it in the same package as your 5/8” sharpener.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View pottz's profile

pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#13 posted 06-18-2019 01:34 PM


So I can expect one of those do hickies for Christmas then?
- robscastle

Sorry rc but I ll leave the hickie making for you with Aurora.

As for the gizmo, to save on postage, I ll send it to pottzy and get him to put it in the same package as your 5/8” sharpener.

- LittleBlackDuck


no problem but that sharpener for rc is on back order so it could delay things,i wouldn’t want to hold you up!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1242 days


#14 posted 06-18-2019 10:53 PM


i wouldn t want to hold you up!
- pottz

No need to fret potzzy, I have a black belt (upgraded my braces) and a baseball bat, so I can protect myself against hold ups

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View pottz's profile

pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#15 posted 06-19-2019 01:46 PM


i wouldn t want to hold you up!
- pottz

No need to fret potzzy, I have a black belt (upgraded my braces) and a baseball bat, so I can protect myself against hold ups

- LittleBlackDuck


i prefer my friends,smith & wesson there always ready to help out-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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