Life as an Amateur Woodworker #10: Remove those loose cables from the floor.

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Blog entry by PhilBello posted 11-25-2013 07:47 PM 1419 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: No Spindle Sander?... Part 10 of Life as an Amateur Woodworker series Part 11: Picture Frames »

I’m not sure why it is, that those simple things that make life easier always seem to take a back seat, I am in the enviable position that because I only have my micro-workshop, I can spend my time making some of the things I would probably never get around to otherwise.

One of the things that surprised me here in Colombia, is the apparent inability to be able to buy a reel cable, they only seem to sell extension cables ‘loose’, you can buy a reel separately (a small version of those sold for hosepipes), but they are not sold as a combined item, and that bugs me.

I don’t like cables lying around the floor, and if you just hang them on a nail, or a hook, they end up splitting, so it was time to do something about it.

A cable tidy, can be made with any bits of scrap wood, so I used a mixture of pine and ply, as can be seen here:

Its only takes five pieces of wood, 12” of rope, a few screws, two washers, and glue, and tools I used, the Band-saw, Jig-saw, pillar drill, cordless drill, and orbital sander.

Firstly, I cut out the pieces using the Band-saw, then cut the corners using the Jig-saw, and sanded them.Then drilled the Back-board, two holes for the rope to hang it up with, and notched the sides, to take the cable ends when not in use.

Next I glued the cable supports to the Back-board, clamped them and left them to dry, these I then drilled and screwed from the back. The rotating cable retainers were screwed to the supports, using one screw and a washer. Finally the rope was attached to hang the Cable Tidy from the bench.

It probably only took a total of an hour, with a break to allow the glue to dry.

Now at least my cable won’t get tangled around my feet, or around the timber in the wood bin.

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

2 comments so far

View stefang's profile


16715 posts in 3813 days

#1 posted 11-25-2013 08:43 PM

Good work, looks tidy. Just a a reminder that cables wound up on a reel can get hot and burn Phil. Not necessarily a problem in your case but good to be aware of a potential problem. I’m not an electrician, but have been warned by one about this.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PhilBello's profile


411 posts in 2446 days

#2 posted 11-25-2013 09:39 PM

Hi Mike, I agree and if I was using the cable for an extended period or with heavy machinery, I would drop it off the ‘Tidy’, or unroll my reel if I had one! but as you say, for the few minutes here and there, that I use it at the moment, it won’t make much difference. Cheers!

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

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