Instructables
Picture of Classy Charging Station
I have seen many different charging stations here, but none of them really seemed like a 1 stop charging station for any and all gadgets. Plus, a plastic box is really useful, just not too pretty. I was looking for a charge station that looked nice AND charged everything I could throw at it. This one went together for about $30, but less receptacles and cheaper outlet plates could knock that down $5-$10 bucks.
 
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Step 1: The Box, Supplies and Tools...

Picture of The Box, Supplies and Tools...
The main thing that I haven't seen addressed in all these charging stations is the "wall chargers" i.e. the quick chargers for camera batteries and rechargeable AAs that have no cord. They just plus directly into the outlet. I may be charging any number of camera batteries, so I need some accessible outlets, in addition to the hideaway chargers.

So, first step was the box. I bought this one on sale from a craft store for $10. It's faux leather wrapped "3/8 particle board. Everything else came from the hardware store. I included 2 exterior outlets, but 1 would suffice for most people. So, if you only need 1, buy 1 of each thing instead of 2.

Materials List:

Box (size and material up to you) $10
Power Strip, 6 outlet $4
18 ga. lamp wire, 4' $1.20
2 Low profile gang boxes (used for securing the receptacles into) $3
2 110V wall receptacles, white $4
2 replacement lamp plugs $2
2 cover plates (I used brass ones for $2.50 ea, cheap white ones are $.50 ea) $5
1/4" peg board (I had a piece, but it is only a couple bucks) $0
Blue fabric (I had some, but it is very cheap) $0

Total Materials: $29 as shown, with white covers $25, single receptacle $19.40

Tools:

Drill & Bits
Jigsaw or dremel
Straight edge
1/2" wood screws
Utility knife
Flat screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver
Needle nose pliers / wire cutters
RCMadMatt3 years ago
I like this! Very clean and organized, unlike my rats nest of chargers, wires, and adapters! lol! Great job! ~Matt
jimofoz4 years ago
 Nice job, but I'd like to add a couple of comments. The item that a lot of outlet strips have is a circuit breaker, not a GFCI - they are different. Also, it would help if you added three conductor wiring to include a ground since most of the outlets you're using have a grounding plug.
Very Nice! I just got a very similar box and was wondering what to do with it. Its a little big for my taste for a charging dock. I would want something that is a little more travel friendly but this is very nice. I'm thinking of building a small computer in the box instead. That would be pretty cool. Great Instructable!
justme225 years ago
With all due respect, this is a very nice instructable. And I'm sure you took great care in your work. However, this looks like a terrible fire hazard to me. Is the circuit being overloaded? Even if all the wiring is done just right, can the decorative materials handle the heat generated? I'm just concerned about the overall safety.
ejpierle (author)  justme225 years ago
Well, The powerstrip has 6 plugs. It can handle 6 110v draws, no max amp draw is listed on the strip, but all strips have built in GFCI that trip is the load becomes too great. Battery/small electronics chargers are all very low draw machines. Most of the devices are fractions of an amp. Most household breakers are 20 amp or more. This box, at max, should pull 6-7 amps if everything is charging full blast at the same time. There is ventilation underneath the board and all electronics are cool to the touch. If this box were running 6 washing machines, then I would agree with you. Electricity, while deserving of your respect, is also predictable. Every device draws amps. As long as the amps drawn don't exceed your wiring you are pretty safe to do whatever. 18ga. lamp cord will handle 3-5 amps, and it will never see that kind of draw in this setup. So, in conclusion, I respect your concern, but as long as you have made good connections in your wiring the fire hazard is no more here than if the strip was under a desk or anywhere else. That said, I am not responsible for your actions, so be careful and use at your own risk.