Introduction: Charging Station Breadbox

This is a powerstation to get rid of the multiple cords and chargers on my countertop.

Step 1: The Problem and the Solution

Well, my counter top is a mess, with two cell phones, a digital camera and a digital camcorder charger, plus a pencil sharpener and a candle warmer. Takes up too much space and looks icky. I wanted to clean it up and make it look presentable yet still functional.
I have seen the things for sale, and for a hundred bucks, they will sell you essentially a closed box with a power strip in it. I can do that for less than $40. Want to watch?

Step 2: The Initial Materials

So, I go to Bed Bath and Beyond and pick up a wood bread box for $29.99 minus a 20% off coupon I had. Now I go to Lowes and purchase a power strip, two desk cord grommets (one with just a hole in the cap, and one with a swivel), some shrink tubing, and a three three hole power tap. Because of some of my big bricks, I will need the power tap.

Step 3: Cutting the Holes for the Cords

The first problem is that I have a 1.5 inch grommet but only a one inch hole saw. What to do? Get out the dremmel to finish the hole!

On the second hole, I have a 2 inch hole saw and a 2 inch grommet. Guess what, though. The two inch hole saw is internal diameter, not external. The kerf of the blade makes the hole too big. A little silicone glue and it is fine.

If you notice, I cut down the grommet for the 1.5 inch hole, but not the 2 inch. The 2 inch grommet has a spring inside to flip the little plate it contains over. I didn't want to mess that up.

Step 4: Electrical

Now I will cut down the cord for the power strip to a more reasonable 8 inches. This will allow me to hide the cord very efficiently.

I also ended up cutting a little deep on the green, white and black interior wires, so I shrink tube those prior to using a crimped butt connector to attach the wires. Never can be too careful when dealing with electricity, and although the cuts were minor, why risk it.

I then shrink tubed the connections again, and then (not pictured) wrapped the three wires in electrical tape to ensure no snags could occur. Now I plug it in and give it a test! Two yellow lights means all is good in the electrical world.

Step 5: The Finished Product.

I epoxied the powerstrip to the floor of the bread box, leaving enough room for the big brick for the pencil sharpener on one end. Everything fits nicely and it looks just like a bread box. The only 'tell' is the black circle with the cords coming out of it on one end.

I did make sure I purchased a power strip with a low clearance plug. That way it would sit flush against the wall.

I have read where some people are concerned with heat build up. After charging a camera and a cell phone simultaneously, there was not sufficient heat to raise the temperature inside more than 10 degrees over the exterior air temp. Not enough for me to worry about, definitely NOT a fire hazard.

I hope you enjoyed this and build your own!

Comments

author
papadorf (author)2013-02-10

The project did the same for me as everyone else.

author
cms1981 (author)2008-03-07

sweet dude - thanks for the good advice !

author
Quantumduck (author)cms19812008-03-08

You are very welcome. I hope it helps you come up with your own great design!

author
hassi (author)2008-01-13

Clean and simple...Just the way it oughta be...

author
Quantumduck (author)2007-03-12

Long time 'listener' first time poster. Let me know what you think of my first instructable.

author
jeffreyf (author)Quantumduck2007-03-13

Very nice. One question though; what's shrink tube? I assume some sort of heat shrinking rubber or plastic?

author
Quantumduck (author)jeffreyf2007-03-13

It is found in the electrical section of Lowes, and it is a heat shrink electrical insulation. It is really clean looking and makes a nice tight fit over those exposed wires and accidentally cut insulation.

author
westfw (author)2007-03-13

Pretty nice. Now do something portable! I've long since notice that the number of chargers that I have to take on a family vacation has reached ridiculous. Maybe the current trend to charge many things via USB plugs will help. (ha!) (phone, wife phone, three different cameras. An AA charger for randomness. iPod. One or more palmtops. One or more laptops. Sigh.)

author
HamO (author)2007-03-12

Very well done, my kinda project. Great pics. Thanks for sharing!

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