Instructables

Vintage Minnow Bucket Charging Station

Picture of Vintage Minnow Bucket Charging Station
It took Husband and I only an hour to turn the vintage minnow bucket I inherited from my father into a unique charging station.
 
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Step 1: Go Shopping!

Picture of Go Shopping!
Necessaries List: Two 3/8" rubber grommets, one 34" rubber grommet, one power squid, one replacement plug (to replace the one you'll cut off the power squid), power drill, metal cutting drill bit and mandrel, WD40, Band-Aids (just in case). Vintage minnow buckets are available on EBay, for about $15. (Have you seen the new soul-less plastic ones? I guess they're useful...)

Step 2: Preparing Squid (Power Squid that is!)

Snip the plug off the power squid. Set the squid aside, and toss the plug.

Step 3: My Minnow Bucket has two parts

Picture of My Minnow Bucket has two parts
The outer bucket (with the charming minnow graphics) has no lid. The inner bucket is perforated, and has the lid, which we needed, so we used both parts.

Step 4: Drill Two Holes for the Power Squid Cord

Picture of Drill Two Holes for the Power Squid Cord
hole drilled in minnow bucket liner.jpg
In each of the two bucket parts, drill a small hole about an inch from bottom of what you've determined to be the "back." This is for the cord. Our first hole didn't turn out very well because we didn't clamp the bucket down well enough, but our second hole turned out very cleanly, and didn't warp the bucket at all. Pop a 3/8" rubber grommet into each hole to protect the electrical cord from those freshly sharp metal edges. I guess that's pretty obviously necessary, right?

Step 5: Make a Larger Hole...

Picture of Make a Larger Hole...
nice neat hole in top of minnow bucket.jpg
Drill a hole in the center of the hinged lid of your bucket. We found it helped to have an extra pair of hands keeping the mandrel flush against the surface of the lid. Place a 3/4" rubber grommet.

Step 6: There's a Squid in My Minnow Bucket!

Picture of There's a Squid in My Minnow Bucket!
power squid inside bucket.jpg
Thread the power cord through the bucket liner's rubber grommet, then through therubber grommet in the back of the exterior bucket. A little WD40 will be helpful, as the fit will be snug. Carefully pull the cord through both holes, so that the inner bucket will fit neatly into the outer bucket with no extra cord to get in the way. Nestle the power squid into the bottom of the bucket. Our five-plug squid fits snuggly; you may want to take your minnow bucket to the store to check for fit.
octochan4 years ago
aha! I knew I salvaged that minnow bucket from my neighbour's bin for a reason! Although I think I'll be looking for something a little cheaper than a powersquid to cut up, I think there are power bars that will fit in a minnow bucket.
girrr geek (author)  octochan4 years ago
We looked for a power bar that would fit, and didn't find anything, which is why we settled on the power squid. You don't really cut it up, only remove the plug that goes into the wall, so it will fit through the hole you make in the bucket, and then replaced it with a replacement plug.

There's one thing that I wish I'd done differently. I wish I'd left the flip up lid in tact. The small hole I made in the flip up lid proved difficult to get some charger jacks through. If I could do over, I'd just drop the jacks into the bucket, and then fish (pun not intended) the one I needed for each device. Hindsight and all that.

Good luck! 
blaahhaa5 years ago
cool idea.
isacco5 years ago
Congratulations!
This Instructable is very well illustrated and the idea of using a bin/bucket shape is design oriented. In fact, Rotaliana, an Italian firm specialized in lighting design, produces a very similar object since 2005. It is called Multipot and costs 150 €!
http://www.multipot.it (the company web site, sometimes out of service)
http://www.globoweb.net/prodotti/lampade/lampade_dettaglio_multipot.php (a furniture vendor)
http://www.tecnocino.it/articolo/multipot-il-vaso-trasformista/89/ (an user's review)
This object has recently won "Compasso d'oro", an italian award for industrial design. You are on the good way!
girrr geek (author)  isacco5 years ago
Thank you. Actually, I think I was inspired by the Multipot. I saw it at Design Within Reach some years ago, but was stunned by the price tag. I'd had my eye out for a likely "multipotalternative" ever since. I only wish my "minnowpot" would illuminate like it's illustrious "forepot"! :-D
cdunne6 years ago
Very nice. As to space if you made some simple baskets out of some heavy gauge wire you could hang several devices around the edge.
gmjhowe6 years ago
nice job, good idea, and good use of recycling, only thing is. an entire bucket, that only charge 3 gadgets? great if u have lots of space!!! (i dont) +1
girrr geek (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
Well, there's only the two of us, we don't have that many gadgets, and they're not all charging at once. But the squid is a five-plugger, so there's room for two more. We're wired at this house, but not to an extreme. ;-)
Well, it would seem it fits your needs perfectly! that gets you extra points!