Introduction: Portable Garden Hose Reel

About: General interest in crafts and woodworking as a hobby.

After looking and not finding any helpful guides I decided to build a portable water hose reel because I need to move the hose from the fron to the back of the house and store it.

This guide will help you build a simple, cheap and sturdy reel for you gardening hose.


  1. I finished the project before thinking of doing this guide so all the pictures are close-ups of the final project.
  2. This is my first "on my own" woodworking project so I took ideas on the web and created my own version.
  3. I know that the nails can be replaced for longer wood pieces but I did not think of that in the beginning.
    1. Alternatively of using nails to hold-in the hose. Use 11" planks for the green ones and 7" for the blue ones.

  4. Constructive criticism is welcome.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Here are the materials and tools needed:

  • Materials
    • 2" (in) nails. 18 needed
    • 2 planks measuring 2in * 1in * 8feet
    • 1 old wood broom stick. 7.5" needed from that
  • Tools
    • Hand saw or circular saw or jig saw.
    • Hammer.
    • Drill to create the squared hole for the turning axis.
    • 1"wood chisel preferably. Any size smaller than that is good too but the 1"will let you know if the broom stick fits.

Step 2: Cut the Planks

You will need to cut the planks to the following cuts lengths (see color in the diagram for the parts):

  • 2 * 1.5 feet (18 in) for the base (red)
  • 4 * 1 foot (yellow)
    • 2 placed vertical as axis where the broom sticks will be placed and the box will rotate.
    • 2 for the base.
  • 8 * 9.5 inches for the crosses as rotation axis.
    • 4 for 2 crosses with a hole in the middle (green)
    • 4 to connect the crosses and create the box where the hose will be reeled (blue)

I cut all of them with 90 degree angles. You can do 45 degrees but I found the nails sturdy enough for this project and I did not care about aesthetics.

Then cut the broom stick to the following lengths (orange):

  • 2 in for the internal axis
  • 4 in joined with a 3 in for the handle

Step 3: Create the Cross Connections

Pick 4 pieces to create the crosses (green parts).

Mark an area of 2x2 and 1/2 in deep just in the middle in order to chisel out that 2*2*1/2 of the pieces.

Connect them and if needed hit them with a hammer or a mallet if they are too tight. You can glue them together but it is not needed if you cut correctly and even then if you did not do it exactly to match they will be sturdy when you create the cage or box where the hose will be reeled.

Step 4: Make a Hole for Rotation

You need to cut two 1*1in hole for one cross, and one standing 1 foot plank.

Make a hole in the middle of the crosses where you joined them in the previous step. The hole will be with 1/2 in padded/margin in the sides, right were you removed some wood in order to create the cross.

For the one in the plank standing use 1/2in to the sides and 1.5 in (1 1/2 in) from the top as pictured. It should be the center-point for the squared hole and this same measures should be the same for the nail + 2in broomstick parallel to this one.

To create the holes:

Drill inside the square until you have removed most of the material.
Drill contiguous one hole after the other. Use a wood chisel and/or sandpaper to remove the remaining material. The 1" chisel should fit at all sides and at the middle, perpendicular to the side. You can also corroborate with the broom stick. As long as the stick turns inside without too much effort it will be good.

You can make a circle but I found easier to do it square.

Step 5: Create the Base

To join the base is simple. Use two 1"x2"x12" and two 1"x2"x18" for the base.This will be the yellow and red planks as seen from the top view of the diagram.

Use other two 1"x2"x12" as mounts for the box. They will be vertical.

For the base, the 1" side should be touching the floor. The two shortest one go inside. They will make a rectangle of 14"x12". Use two nails for each connection, being a total of 8 nails.

As for the two other planks place them vertical to the ground to look like a sole uneven bar in the Olympics being the broomstick + the box the connecting rod. Just in the middle of the 18" base sides mark the 8" and 10" in the inside, being 9" the middle point for the plank to be put. Nail with two 2" nail each plank to each side.

Remember, all the shortest planks go inside for the bars and for the base.

Step 6: Create the Box for the Reel With the Crosses and the 1 Foot Planks

For this step you need to join the crosses with 4 other planks. See the box in the diagram with the green and blue planks.

The crosses go inside while the planks go outside. Join them with a 2in nail and put another 2in nail as a limit for the hose so it does not run out of the box (see the picture). You could also use a 3 or 4 in nail instead of the two or as an alternative make the crosses 2 inch longer so they pop out 1 inch in each side.

If you have trouble creating the box first join all planks to one cross, so they would look like a spider or a hand trying to pick something. Then join the 4 plans + cross to the other cross. It does not matter what cross first.

Step 7: Put the Broom Stick As Rotation Rods

For the vertical plank, at the same center point as the one with the hole, hammer a 2" nail with 2" broomstick piece. It should be in the inside so the cross with the hole rotates.

Now, place the box inside the planks then you can hammer the other piece of broomstick for the other vertical plank with the hole. Put the 3" piece of broomstick to the cross without the hole and hammer it with the 2" nail from the inside of the box. This will let you have a rotation point and you can later add a 90 degree broomstick as handle.

Step 8: Optional But Recommended: Add Two Nails for the Hose Connection

In order to prevent the hose from unwinding you can add two nails only 1" deep in the depth side of one of the planks of the box. The connection end will not let the hose to get lose. The space between the nails depends on your hose but around 1-1.5" is good enough.

Step 9: Optional: Create a Handle

You can create a handle by cutting the outer broomstick at a 45 degree angle and joint another 3in piece cut at a 45 angle. Glue them together.

I did not do this step in the pictures, only in the diagram.