Introduction: Folding Extension Cord Organizer!

I wanted an easy way to store my extension cords without needing to reel them up or leave them in a pile. With a little inspiration from Pintrest I decided to make my own folding extension cord organizer to save space and stop tangles.

Step 1: Prototyping the Hook

I tried three different variations of hook design. My first attempt worked, but was more "hook" than needed. I also found out that the face of the hook needed to be 1 1/2" for the device to fold flat against the wall. My second attempt didn't leave enough space to easily slide the cords in and out.

Step 2: Cut a Slot for the Hooks

I cut the 2x4 for my arm 32" long and drilled two 1.5" holes near each end. Then I used the circular saw and jig saw to connect the dots and cut the slot.

Step 3: A Hook I'm Happy With

My final shape ended up being 6 1/2 inches long with a 2-2 1/2" gap for the cord to slide through. I also rounded over all of the edges on the router table to give everything a smooth look.

Step 4: A Simple Hinge Pin

I used common door hinges to attach the hooks to the arm. I drilled the hooks with 1/4" holes and the arm with 7/32" holes for a friction fit.

Step 5: Make a Bracket

Depending on your application, your bracket will look different. I wanted mine to "hug" a 2x4 stud. Sorry these were the only pictures I had. I used a 3/8" steel rod as the pivot point.

Step 6: Attach the Arm to the Bracket

I hammered my 3/8" rod through the bracket and arm before screwing it to the wall. I was VERY happy with the results. It's crucial that the hooks "swing" naturally with gravity or they won't be able to open if there is no cord hanging from them.

Step 7: Locked in the "Up" Position

I drilled a 1/4" hole in the bracket through the arm to "lock" the arm in the up position when cleaning up at the end of the day.

Step 8: Finished Product!

Overall this prototype worked even better than expected. It even holds air hoses! The only problem I see is I should have used plywood for the hooks instead of 2x4s for more strength over time.

Comments

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jd.lutter made it! (author)2017-06-27

I really like this design and made 2 of them. Like the OP said, you have to get the hook spacing right or the hooks will bind when you lift and no drop down. One problem I ran into was that the hooks, when cut as shown, will easily break at the naroow part of the hook.

IMG_20161126_164638169.jpgIMG_20161126_164649135.jpg
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JörgenBörg made it! (author)2016-12-25

very nice build!

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PhyllisJ6 made it! (author)2016-06-22

What a wonderful idea!

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pmrii made it! (author)2016-06-15

Great idea and great presentation. It seems that there is some discussion on the pin to hold the arm up. An alternative that eliminates the pin follows:

1. remove the pivot pin and route a slot about 1 to 1-1/2" long in the arm where the pivot pin goes.

2. glue a board on top of the support brace

3. replace pivot pin with arm. The pin goes through the slot

4. raise arm and slid toward the back of the support brace so that the top of the arm goes under the board in step 2

5. lift and pull arm out to release

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Lee Wilkerson made it! (author)2016-06-10

This is AWESOME! I was about to suggest using plywood for the hooks, but I see you've already come to that conclusion on your own. Great job! Simple; elegant!

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ScottW24 made it! (author)2016-06-08

I used to have to deal with wrapping musician gear which inevitably became a tangle. I was always taught half-twist winding so cables lay in perfect loops and the internals never end up a twisted mess that doesn't lie flat. Most musicians wrap over their elbows and/or fold progressively in half than tie a big knot in the middle.
Initially I tried getting a tall box with a square footprint and running a post up the middle, then sliding separators with holes cut in the middle for the post between each cable to keep them organized. Then finally one day it hit me.
Pizza boxes! They come in different sizes. They stack well. Circular round cords fit great in them and there's room in the middle of extra stuff. You can even get little plastic whatchahickeys to keep the centers from collapsing if you set stuff on top of them.
If you go to just about any pizza place and offer them a couple of bucks, they'll give you a bunch of them. Remind them it's free advertising for them.

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Syncubus made it! (author)2016-06-07

Clever idea! If you have problems with the hooks snapping (they're weak with the short wood grain), you might try making them from a couple of sheets of plywood glued together (which has long 'grain' running in both directions). (For a prettier option, you could put splines along the bottom of the hooks or laminate your own from solid wood and alternate the grain direction.)

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Medic614 made it! (author)2016-06-07

Nice design. I think I would modify the base, so that it attaches between two of the 2x4 studs. That way when it folds down, it tucks in between the two studs. I like it!

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2hess made it! (author)2016-06-07

Magic! Maybe we'll try to use this design (in a bit smaller scale) for instrument and microphone cables in our music room. Thanks for the 'ible!

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TeresaM7 made it! (author)2016-06-07

Oh, I seriously need to build this. Thank you for the idea!

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MarkG194 made it! (author)2016-06-07

Y not turn hooks outward and not have to lift everytime u want a cord

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iratozer made it! (author)2016-06-07

Hey Dude, you made an excellent presentation and video. I wish everyone was as informative and thorough. Thanks.

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bones65 made it! (author)2016-06-07

Great idea. Thanks.

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mamin0252 made it! (author)2016-06-07

Do you have drawings and material list?

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acheide made it! (author)2015-08-01

Really nice. It sure helps to tidy the shop. Thanks.

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smitty500 made it! (author)2015-06-30

thats freaking Brilliant!

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buck2217 made it! (author)2015-06-30

terrific idea -- stealing it!!

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gusinshop made it! (author)2015-05-19

use a suitably large nail to cut cost the tip can be eliminated for safety. otherwise------GREAT BRAIN WORK!!!

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nuelma made it! (author)2015-05-18

look so nice

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capjbadger made it! (author)2015-05-12

Not a big fan of the pin to hold it. Seems like the place on the wall mount where the pin goes in will crack or break in short order. That's a lot of force there due to the level you made. I'd reinforce that area ASAP.

Great project overall. Going to build my own version out of some leftover steel I have around here. :)

Do you have a page for the tool shelves shown in the beginning of the video?

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omikeo made it! (author)omikeo2015-05-12

I'll go with him on that pin - what about a swing down leg that you can brace against the wall stud and then lift and release on the take down

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capjbadger made it! (author)capjbadger2015-05-13

Yeah... Just put in ta small block nailed to the stud to place the leg. :)

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cyberdove made it! (author)2015-05-13

Cute, but simple hooks on the wall are easier

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omikeo made it! (author)2015-05-12

oh one more thing - can you apply this idea to bicycles ?

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mikeandlauren made it! (author)mikeandlauren2015-05-13

Hmm. That's a good question. I would think if you made the hooks "double pronged" it would be possible. I'm not sure if the wheels and handlebars would get in the way of each other, though.

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jeffcole made it! (author)2015-05-13

Good space saver and organizer. Thanks for sharing.

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Bverysharp made it! (author)2015-05-13

Great idea, nice execution. Well done!

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Gastonone made it! (author)2015-05-12

Looks nice, but I have a but.. Would it not look more tidy if the bracket is in between the verticals of the wall, making the cables not stick out? Apart from that, I love the simplicity and effectiveness!

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omikeo made it! (author)omikeo2015-05-12

yeah cords in the wall cavity makes sense

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martincoetzee made it! (author)2015-05-12

Thanks for the instructable, this is a really cool idea.

I was surprised though that the hinge was at the top. Why not put it at the bottom where it could lock automatically in a horizontal position? Then you could lock it in the "up" position with a think band or a bungee cord or something. Just an idea but it's a cool instructable nonetheless.

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capjbadger made it! (author)capjbadger2015-05-12

To have the bar high enough when horizontal would make the top latch too high to reach. :)

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martincoetzee made it! (author)martincoetzee2015-05-12

Another thought - what happens if you lose the pin? Then you can't lock it in place. If you put the hinge at the bottom you don't need the pin. You design it so that when it is horizontal it locks by the shape of the design, so it is self-locking.

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omikeo made it! (author)omikeo2015-05-12

the pin could be hooked to a string on the wall

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martincoetzee made it! (author)martincoetzee2015-05-12

That's why you would install it lower....

You could have the bottom "hinge" at waist height or knee height. Then when lifting it you can reach the top to secure it.

:-)

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capjbadger made it! (author)capjbadger2015-05-12

Hmm... I guess if the arm is only around 3ft that could work. :)

Just make very sure your lock can't fail. Otherwise it's going to fall open and break or hurt someone.

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omikeo made it! (author)2015-05-12

yes I was gonna mention as you did in the end, the grain in the wood hook seems like a weak spot, nice job, thanks

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martincoetzee made it! (author)2015-05-12

What I like about this is that it could also be installed inside a cupboard to keep it out of view if you want.

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jeanniel1 made it! (author)2015-05-12

Elegant, simple, and yes, plywood would add strength to the hooks as the grain may break on the grain ends. Can probably sub out the wooden hooks for actual hooks, too. Great design - bravo!

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lovethebackwoods made it! (author)2015-05-12

Excellent design, M&L, and beautiful work to boot. I'd kill (well, almost...) for my garage and woodshop to look this neat! Great photos, clean instructions, easy-to-understand - a definite winner. And to think that I had been using old car car rags and diapers (cloth!) wrapped and cord-tied around heavy duty pegboard hooks! Oh, why?... Definite project coming up here. Thanks for sharing your beautiful, innovative work!

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Old cooper made it! (author)2015-05-12

Great idea. Just what I need. You do beautiful work. Thanks for the post.

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PeteD31bgn made it! (author)2015-05-12

This is wonderful, Do you have any plans for this?, I need something like this and I know that I cant make it as nice as yours on the fly. cause I will have more scrap than good wood.

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loony1 made it! (author)2015-05-12

I see this as a nice way to effectively use up a corner that would otherwise home items just standing up. Super idea and nice description.

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ahechler made it! (author)2015-05-12

Very nice. Thanks for sharing this. I think I might make something similar this weekend.

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David Catriel made it! (author)2015-05-12

excellent idea. thx for sharing!

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UrJac made it! (author)2015-05-11

Clever! I may give this a try. Thanks!

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joshcube made it! (author)2015-05-11

Beautiful. I love to see stuff made with common 2x4's. You're probably right on the hooks being better out of plywood because of the grain but they look great and I'm sure they will be fine for hoses and cords.

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cbdave made it! (author)2015-05-10

Nice, I like to make things out my head too

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SukM made it! (author)2015-05-10

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NathanSellers made it! (author)2015-05-09

This is brilliant. It looks fantastic too. Thanks for a great instructable.

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JohnNyveld made it! (author)2015-05-09

excellent instructable, clear, concise, and a picture tells a thousand words support and the idea is fantastic to boot

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Bio: We are Mike and Lauren. We make videos on YouTube about money, travel, homesteading, and DIY.
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