Introduction: Wall-Mounted Charging Station

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!

Comments

author
NewY1 made it!(author)2015-03-31

That is just cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Functionality and style; fabulously done. [tipping my hat]

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

I appreciate your kind comment. Thank you!

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CazzPhoenix made it!(author)2015-03-28

Very nice. I might have to do this myself for 2 devices. One addition I would make would be adding a nub of some sort on both sides of the cable channels to assist in holding the devices vertical and preventing them from sliding off.

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-28

Yes, that may be a desirable added touch. Perhaps some kind of a small wooden ridge, or even a stick-on ribbon of textured tape would help the devices grip to the top surface.

author
seamster made it!(author)2015-03-27

I like this charging station a lot! We've needed one at my house for a long time, and this is a style I may actually duplicate. Thank you!

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-27

Thanks!! Good luck with it and do let me know if any of the steps aren't clear.

author
holmengraa made it!(author)2015-07-28

Thanks for the idea. I made mine with the power source underneath the shelf itself

temp_1214516584.jpg
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hchute made it!(author)2015-07-31

Looks good! Thanks for posting the pic!

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naseermughal made it!(author)2015-04-01

Good work :)

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hchute made it!(author)2015-04-01

Thanks!

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donald.gillies made it!(author)2015-03-31

We have found that multi-port chargers work the best, in fact this 5-port multi charger http://tinyurl.com/nvcub74 develops 2.4A per port and is the most popular charging device in our household. It works great with multi-color 8" micro USB cables from China / EBay (I tend to buy all 10 colors as they are only 90c/ea and they get lost / wear out - http://tinyurl.com/o9sf82w) We also use a number of Chinese 2-port apple-style white wall-cube power blocks - 2.1A + 1A. I use a black magic marker to mark the topside of each USB cable so I never have orientation problems - FAR cheaper and simpler than Steve Jobs's idiotic lightning adapter idea!

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

Looks like a good unit, and the price is right at 12 bucks!

As far as marking the topside of USB cables... GENIUS. Why didn't I think of that?! Thanks!

author
puyanera made it!(author)2015-03-31

I like it. I'm always looking for good cable management solutions. I've done something similar in the past.

You might also want to consider these guys below for your cable holes. Helps to keep the cable in place when you've threaded it through.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000087K65/ref=oh...

And the releveant drill bit:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X2ILXS/ref=oh...

author
cjf made it!(author)2015-03-31

that looks like it could be made with salvage sheet plastic, thicker than milk carton-maybe detergent. the edges could be hidden by placement underneath counter sung or overlaid by almost anything decorative (parachord? leather?)

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

Good idea, puyanera. That would probably look cleaner than the "keyhole" cuts I made -- and certainly be simpler. Thanks..!

author
j1shalack made it!(author)2015-03-31

Very nice. Could the holes be smaller, just large enough for the connector to pass through...? Maybe, even half-round and at the very back, eliminating the slots?

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

Yes -- you could adjust the size of those holes based on the device connectors you happen to have. (I have some older model iPhones that have a fairly wide connector, but most of my newer stuff has really small cable connectors.

As you suggest, you could just spade-bit holes to leave half-round holes near the back... although you might find the cables slip back down through the holes. The idea of the keyhole shape was to try to make the cables thread through easily, but be less likely to slide back down. But, I think the half-round suggestion you make would work perfectly well and be a simpler build.

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billbillt made it!(author)2015-03-31

great idea....

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hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

Thanks!

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The+Arbiter made it!(author)2015-03-31

Very nice indeed!

For those of us in rentals apartments and so forth where we have no work shop, an alternative is an unfinished wooden plate shelf from Michael's or AC Moore craft stores. The plate shelves have a grove along the back to keep the plates in place. This would work for devices as well I would think.

Something like this:

http://www.michaels.com/artminds-23-inch-wood-shel...

They come in different lengths and there are even half round and corner shaped shelves for those needing space for only one or two devices.

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

Great idea, Arbiter. And at $10, that costs no more than the supplies for the home-made charging station... so it's a good option. You could take that Michaels shelf and drill holes with a spade bit to snake the cords through, too.

author
BeachsideHank made it!(author)2015-03-27

Very logical layout, the elegance is in the simplicity, nicely done.

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-27

Thank you! I do find it tempting to over-complicate things. In an earlier design of this thing, I had the power strips mounted on the charging station itself. And a more involved cord-management approach.

I have to remind myself that it usually works out best (for me, anyway) to pull back to the simplest possible approach. :)

author
mrandle made it!(author)2015-03-30

I do like that Idea though. Having the 2 strips is overkill, it would be cool if you mounted a usb hub or a multiport charger to remove some clutter.

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hchute made it!(author)2015-03-30

Good idea on incorporating USB hubs -- thanks mrandle!

I use the lower power strip for my workspace projects, so those outlets get quickly used up by my soldering gun, a worklite or two, and misc tools. Can't seem to have enough power outlets. :)

author
jumpfroggy made it!(author)2015-03-31

I use a 5 port usb charger (anker 40w). You can charge 5 ipads at full speed (2.1a each?), one plug. Very nice, and cheap. There's other brands as well with identical chargers. Works with android too.

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-31

Nice! Thanks, jumpfroggy. I have a Belkin 6-outlet, 2-USB power outlet that plugs into a standard wall-outlet -- really convenient to have the USB chargers in addition to the 3-prong outlets.

author
RustyN4il made it!(author)2015-03-27

good work ;)

author
hchute made it!(author)2015-03-27

Thank you!

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