Introduction: AIR HOSE REEL

About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 21 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 18 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 86 years young.

Reels for your air hoses in your shop are really nice to have and very handy. You can roll out only enough to use and no more. They get your hoses up off the floor so you don't trip over them or get them dirty. This is an easy project for a cold or rainy day in the shop. Let me show you how I made this one and four more just like it.

Step 1: ....BUT FIRST......

Before I made the one in the lead photo, I saw one a friend of mine made and made three like this one. IT'S A LOT OF WORK and you must hunt up 1/8" to 3/16" flat steel plate big enough to make the spools and get some bearings; two for each hose reel. I made three like this, but found a better, easier way shown in the steps that follow.


1 x HF air hose reel

1 x 12 foot of 3/8" mild steel rod

Cutting tool such as bolt cutters, hack saw, high speed grinder, or chop saw.

Welder such as MIG, TIG, stick welder, or oxy / acetylene

Something to bend the rod around, such as an old car wheel (without the tire, of course)


Harbor Freight has this hose reel for $17.99, but it has the 4 straps sticking out on the reel that catch on the hose every time you roll it up and unroll it. I added 2 hoops made of 3/8" round mild steel rod. To find length needed for one hoop, measure across the reel from one side to the other to get diameter. Multiply that by pi (3.1416). You will need 2 hoops.

I bent the rod around an old car wheel, forming 2 circles; cut it into 2 hoops and welded them to the ends of the HF reel's straps. This minor fix makes the HF reels into great reels.


Here is a photo of another I made. Although this one has the connections to hook up an airline, I use one on a stand to roll up a 100 foot heavy duty electric extension cord. I cannot hook up the cord permanently and pull the cord out, but I simply pull the male end about 1 foot out, then roll the cord onto the reel. When I pull the cord out to use it, I then plug the 1 foot male end into another 6 foot cord that's plugged into the wall receptacle.

When through using it, unplug it and roll it up. It works great and causes no twists or tangles.

Now go buy one of HF's reels or one like it and buy some 3/8" steel rod. Then you can make one or two during the next snow storm or rainy day.

Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016