Introduction: Make a Handy Custom Power Bar Dock for Your Workbench

Picture of Make a Handy Custom Power Bar Dock for Your Workbench
What if you could safely place a power bar (extension lead/multiplug) perfectly in any place you work in? No more messy cables in the floor or loosely placed over the table. Dock and undock any power bar where and when you need it.

3d printing it is not just a novelty, it really can provide wonderful stuff that you will never will able to find in a store. A really custom improvement for your life. This step/step tutorial will teach you how to make a perfect fit for your extension lead/multiplug. 3d Printer required.

Step 1: Measuring the Power Bar

Picture of Measuring the Power Bar

With a piece of paper, draw the shape of the power bar you want to use as template. In this case both sides are identical, but one has the cable.

The dock will have 3 pieces, 2 corners and 1 clip. The 2 corners can have the same measures if your power extension is nearly identical in both sides. Height for the corners should be lower than the clip.

Step 2: Drawing the Basic Shape in Your 3d Drawing App

Picture of Drawing the Basic Shape in Your 3d Drawing App

I will use Sketchup in this step. First draw the bottoms of the pieces. I will draw only one part for the corners. The arc is by hand, no precise measures, just looking at the device and comparing.

Now make the pieces thicker with the "Push/Pull" tool. (3 mm is enough for the base)

Step 3: Finishing the 3d Pieces

Picture of Finishing the 3d Pieces

With the offset tool, create a border (4 mm is strong). Pull the border to the measured heights in the step 1. Finally clean the pieces a bit, for the center one remove the 2 center sections (draw a line and push the middle area), and for the 'corner' piece I left the 15 mm for the cable.

Step 4: Final Touches

Picture of Final Touches

With "RoundCorner" plugin for Sketchup you can smooth the corners. The central clip can be done with any shape, but I suggest a triangle rectangle with a 3 mm base (or higher is your power bar top is too rounded).

For the screw holes, just draw 2 concentric circles and push them.

Finally! duplicate the corner piece and place them to prepare for 3d printing!

Step 5: Install It and Enjoy!

Picture of Install It and Enjoy!
Print your pieces! Some double sided sticky tape will make the installation very easy to do! Screw it in place and done. Demo:

Also you can download the file ready to print if your power bar has a 42x25 mm side size (any length):


Eeroz (author)2012-10-12

I'm too lazy to do so much work for such a simple problem, i just use zip-ties :)

georion (author)Eeroz2012-10-22

and i ask my girl friend to hold it.

KROKKENOSTER (author)2012-10-17

Good idea but here in South Africa we use 16 amp three pin plugs an I had to use Rawl Bolts to secure the strips onto the wall. The little "ears" that are fitted broke off the moment that my Lady started to use it. For light work excellent but we say over here that the board that approved those silly small round unpolarised plugs should be put in jail and the keys thrown away!! For Hi Fi even on A.C. the neutral and the live do make a difference even if it has a transformer as in one way HUMMMM and the other way perfect.

AJMansfield (author)2012-10-08

Just one question i'v always had regarding European power outlets:
Exactly how do your polarity-sensitive appliances tell which wire is hot and which is neutral without triggering a GFCI?

eried (author)AJMansfield2012-10-08

I have never seen/used/required any polarity-sensitive appliance in my life. I guess nobody here knows how to take appart the hot and neutral for that reason.

AJMansfield (author)eried2012-10-09

Ok, thanks. I was just wondering, cuz of the way your power outlets are all symetrical.

diy_dude (author)AJMansfield2012-10-11

they are symmetrical, since it is alternating current (AC) power it doesn't matter how you plug it in, the power alternates direction 50 times a second (50 Hertz in Europe), in the country where I live, we do have round pluggs, those are grounded for heavy machinery butt the oriëntation doesn't matter anyways

AJMansfield (author)diy_dude2012-10-14

It actually does matter when you are arranging the components of a device. For safety reasons, hot MUST go through the switch before it reaches the load in order to satisfy electrical codes, at least in most parts of the US (although DIY projects don't have to satisfy that, you really should anyway). And what if you are only using a single-throw switch for the device? It matters because hot still has +/- 110 volts relative to ground , even when your device is off (at least in the US), so in the case of a fault, it is much safer to have hot cut off at the switch, rather than running all the way through the device (or your wall) before the switch.

eried (author)AJMansfield2012-10-14

I am really sure all the devices in Chile have this accounted to make the 'polarity' does not matter.

Ziggythewiz (author)eried2012-10-11

Do they not have screw mount holes on the back of power strips there?

eried (author)Ziggythewiz2012-10-11

Probably yes, but the ones I had no: only external mounting holes for screws. I wanted to "firmly" dock the power strip in the left (soldering/heat gun) or on the right of the table (dremel/hand tools).

wa7jos (author)eried2012-10-11

Look closer.
The plug on your two prong appliances has one blade that is wider than the other.
It will only go into the receptacle one way.

OCPik4chu (author)wa7jos2012-10-11

That is just an American thing I think. And thats not very common anymore since its easy to make electronics that do not require specific polarity.

eried (author)wa7jos2012-10-11

Not in my country

friedie (author)2012-10-11

Wow! Thats what I´m always fighting with. In the beginning i have tried it with self adhesive tape -> the power bar will fall down.
Have tried out several other solutions. But definetly your´s the very best! Thanks for this great idea!

nwlaurie (author)2012-10-11

Or you could just stick the power strip to the wall with a couple of blobs of Sugru!

eried (author)nwlaurie2012-10-11

Sure, but in that case, it is just better to buy those power bars with screw holes. My necesity was to "firmly" dock the power strip in the left (soldering/heat gun) or on the right of the table (dremel/hand tools)


nwlaurie (author)eried2012-10-11

True, Eried. Really I was only teasing - really I do think it's a fine ensign and well made. I'm also a brand new convert to Sugru and can't help wanting to tell everybody about it! (I was the same when they invented 10-minute Araldite!).

eried (author)nwlaurie2012-10-11

haha but :/ it is too expensive!

thunderwaldo (author)2012-10-11

Impressive. I used Velcro with an adhesive back, with pieces mouted on the power strip and wall. I have to make sure not to pull the power strip off the wall when unplugging things, but other than that, it words great.

eried (author)thunderwaldo2012-10-11

Yeah, it works but if you plug heavy adapters at the end they will fall, or for example if you use it for a tool, like a Dremel or Soldering iron (due the cable being part of the moving tool).

I just wanted a very strong solution, but removable (so I can place the adapter in the 2 sides of the table)

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More by eried:How to make simple 3d printable cases for your projects in SketchupMake a handy custom power bar dock for your workbench
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