Yesterday I stopped in a Goodwill store and found a 100ft, 14 gauge extension cord... for $15! I looked it up online and the same exact cord sells new for $40-$80 depending on where you look! I love Goodwill :) My wife was a little irritated that I bought it since we already have several cords but none of them are this heavy duty so I couldn't pass it up. Then, last night, I was geeking out on here and I noticed the tools competition, so of course I had to make something I've been wanting to make for several years. I trash picked a wire spool a few years ago and ever since i've wanted to make an extension cord reel with built in electrical sockets like my dad made years ago. Only I had ideas on how I would improve the idea.
His has two sockets in a metal electrical box mounted on top of the reel, with the cord run inside and up to the box. I wanted my sockets to be inside the reel because the box always seemed like it was in the way when winding up the cord. I also wanted a knob for winding it up and a base so I can set it on the ground and just pull the cord to the outlet. I also wanted the base to be a hand hold for winding it back up.
This morning I stopped at my local home improvement store and started searching for parts. It took me a while but I eventually found all the parts I needed. I already had the cord and the spool and I had a wooden knob from a piece of furniture I fixed up. Oh, I also used a scrap of household electrical wire and a wire nut, both of which I already had.
I ended up buying:
(2) tamper resistant duplex outlets
(1) two gang electrical box
(1) metal outlet cover
(1) PVC toilet flange
(1) PVC toilet flange extension ring
(1) 4 inch PVC adapter
totaling $18.30 after tax. I ended up not using the flange extension ring so that takes off close to $4 after tax and puts the total spent right around $30, if you include the cord. I also used a few fasteners I already had on hand.
The tools I used were:
drill with bits
philips and flathead screwdrivers
regular and needle nose pliers
First thing I had to figure out was "how is this crap gona fit?" I used the jigsaw for this part.
It took a bit of finagling with the size of the hole to be able to fit the parts through without making the hole too big. In the end I had to make it bigger than I wanted so I used a scrap piece of hard board as a mounting plate. (I forgot to mention that before. I also had that on hand.) I forgot to take a picture of the mounting plate after it was done. I sanded the edges of it help it look better. In retrospect, I wish I had cut a bigger piece and made the mount plate round to completely cover the metal tabs on the top of the spool. I could have cut a larger hole which would have made things a little easier later on. I also cut a couple tabs off the electrical box.
I also cut a bigger hole on the other side to fit the flange. Be careful with this part, my blade went off track a little and the hole ended up not being as round as I wanted it.