Instructables

How to Coil Extension Cords with the "Shepherd's Knot"

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video How to Coil Extension Cords with the "Shepherd's Knot"
This Instructable explains a handy way to store an extension cord. Instead of a tangled mess, or trying to wrap the entire cord around your arm only to have it fall apart, try the Shepherd's Knot, it's quick and easy to do and even quicker to undo.

This instructable video was created for the Burning Questions contest, so it's only 15 seconds long, but I'm including a step by step image here as well...the Shepherd's Knot, try it, you'll like it!
  1. Untangle your extension cord and fold it into 2 even lengths, grab the cord at the center
  2. Create a simple loop
  3. Pull the the cord through itself to make a basic knot.
  4. Reach through and grab up more of the cord and pull it through the loop to create a second loop
  5. Repeat again and again until you reach the end of the cord
  6. Now we have a chain of loops ...kind of like a paracord bracelet...which can easily be un-raveled when needed
Pro tip: You'll find it works well to plug the front of the cord to the end

step by step
ronchambliss7 months ago

My dad taught me this as a young boy, and now I know what it is called.

mazzmn (author)  ronchambliss7 months ago

thanks for your comment, dad's tend to be handy like that most of the time :-)

Silvrgoat10 months ago
Oh finally.. I will try this with my 100' cord - winding it around my arm just doesn't get it!! I'll try doubling it twice too - thanks for the guide!!
mazzmn (author)  liquanhhh10 months ago
Hi, thanks!
kweinkauf10 months ago
I have used this for years. I teach it to all the workgroups that come to serve at our community development center. There are a few things to beware of, though. First, if you make your links too small, you have a longer cord to store. Second, if you have a really long cord, you can fold the cord in half twice before you begin the chain. Third, you can start the first loop by simply holding the middle of the cord in your hand, take the top of the loop and bend it down toward you. Now you have a loop on either side. Take the far ends of those loops and bring them together away from you. Now you have a loop that you can use to start your chain. Last, if you leave your cord in this state for very long, or it is cold outside, the plastic will retain the memory of the loops; making for a very twisty wire. Take that into consideration when using this technique.
mazzmn (author)  kweinkauf10 months ago
Thanks for the comments, I'm gonna try that start technique out next time
etkoehn11 months ago
use this at work all the time, works great no tangles
joelhunn11 months ago
I had been taught this method years ago when I was a "plumbers helper". When I tried it recently, I was thinking "Why is it so LONGGGG!", it wasn't much better than just an entire cord. After reading your instructable, I realized that I forgot to fold the cord into two even lengths...doh!!! Thanks for straightening me out!
mazzmn (author)  joelhunn11 months ago
Ha! straightening me out ;-)
Thanks, and actually I've heard that with really long cords, instead of just folding the cord in half, you can fold it in half again, so instead of loops that are two cords thick, they are four cords thick ... I've never really tried that though