Are electronic gadgets taking up your work space, and hogging your power outlets?
This wall-mounted charging station takes care of cord clutter, while keeping your countertop free of smartphones, e-readers, cameras, etc. It can be made in an afternoon from a single 6' length of 1x6 board.
The keyhole-shaped grooves help hold your various charging connectors in place, and Velcro straps keep the cables tidy.
Step 1: Gather Parts and Materials
- 6' length of 1/2" x 6" lumber. Note: 1/2 x 6 is the "nominal" size; the actual measurements of the board will be 7/16" x 5-1/2". Select a straight piece with no cups or bends, and no large knots. I chose hemlock. Pine, fir, or cedar would be fine alternatives.
- wall-mounted power strip. I like the Tripp Lite PS2408, which has eight outlets and a long (15') cord. It comes with two mounting clips that make it a snap to attach to any wall.
- 5 or 6 hook-and-loop ties. I used Velcro reusable self-gripping cable ties, 0.5 inches x 8 inches.
- other stuff: carpenter glue, 1-1/4" finishing nails, 2 wall-mounting screws with sheetrock anchors, 4 small panhead woodscrews for cable ties.
Step 2: Cut Top, Back, and Brackets
Using the diagram as a reference, cut the various pieces:
a. Rip the board to desired width. In my case, I had a nicely-edged piece of hemlock so I just left it as it was at 5-7/16".
b. Cross-cut the board to a length of 30". This will be the top of the charging station.
c. In the remainder of the board, saw a 45-degree cut, then a cross-cut, to make the brackets.
d. Rip the remaining part of the board to 4-1/2".
e. Cross-cut to a length of 20". This will be the back of the charging station.
Step 3: Sand All Surfaces
Use coarse (100-grit) sandpaper to smooth all surfaces, then repeat with fine (220-grit).
Now test-assemble the charging station, and note which edges will be the "outside edges." Slightly round or chamfer those edges using a sanding block.
Tip: Don't round the edges that will be joined; leave them "sharp." Likewise with the edges that will be against the wall. This makes for tighter-looking joinery.
Step 4: Cut Cable Channels Into the Top
The key-hole grooves in the top help keep your charging connectors in place after they're threaded up from the power strip below.
To shape the key-holes, drill a series of holes with a 1-1/2" spade bit. (Place a piece of backing wood on the underside to avoid tear-out.)
Then cut the slots leading up to the holes, using a tablesaw or circular saw.
See diagram for spacing of holes.
Step 5: Drill Mounting Holes
Use a countersink bit to drill two holes for wall-mounting screws in the back piece.
No countersink bit? Use a combination of a small spade bit and a screw-thread-sized drill bit. The through-holes should be large enough for you to snugly push the mounting screws through. The countersink should be large enough for the screw panheads, or a small washer if you go that route.
Step 6: Assemble
Glue the brackets to the back, and secure with 1-1/4" finishing nails.
Glue and nail the top to the back and brackets.
You don't need many nails; just enough to hold the wood together until the glue sets.
Sink all nails with a nail set.
Step 7: Fill and Stain
Apply wood filler to nail holes.
Tip: lightly wipe the surface with a damp paper towel after smoothing the wood filler. You want to remove as much excess wood filler as possible, otherwise it affects the stain.
Then wipe on a stain. I used a MinWax Jacobean stain. Let dry.
Tip: to apply stain, put on a latex glove, then wrap a cloth around your hand. Tape the cloth with masking tape. Then just dip into the stain and rub it into the wood. Makes for quick and easy clean-up.
Step 8: Attach Cable Ties
Attach a series of Velcro cable ties to the back of the charging station, using small panhead wood screws.
Step 9: Mount to Wall
Hold the charging station level, and tap in the mounting screws just enough to mark the wall. Attach your sheetrock anchors accordingly, and screw the charging station to the wall.
Install your power strip using the included mounting clips.
Step 10: Charge Away!
You may want to vary the dimensions of this Instructable for whatever size power strip you prefer.
As you can see in the photo, I added a second power strip below the first one, because, you know, outlets.
I've found the charging station is convenient for keeping electronic gadgets and wires out of the way. And it helps you reclaim your counter as usable work space!