Cheap and Easy Cardboard Cable Organizer Attachment

In this instructable (which is my first one) , I will show you a very simple, cheap, but very handy and useful cable organizer attachment for a digital multimeter, using only a few pieces of scrap cardboard and simple tools.

Once you follow the steps and get the idea, I hope you will be able to make similar organizers for your other "devices".

Let's get started now. (It won't take too long to finish either)

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Ruler
  • Utility knife (preferably a fine-tipped one)
  • Pen or pencil

Materials

  • Corrugated cardboard (scrap from a delivery box or shoe box)
  • Glue (any kind of glue for paper/cardboard)
  • Double-sided tape

Step 2: Sizing and Cutting the Cardboard

First, measure the width and the height of the device, for which you are making the cable organizer.

In my case, it was a multimeter and its width came out to be 7 cm and its height 12.5 cm. Since I didn't want the backing of the organizer to extend the height of the multimeter, I decided to use a cardboard piece of 11 cm height. Similarly the width of the backing will be 6 cm (1 cm less than the width of the multimeter) .

Note that, this height shouldn't be too small, because in this case the number of cable windings and hence the total thickness of the resulting windings will increase, and the cable won't fit into the organizer).

So, a corrugated cardboard piece of 11 cm by 24 cm (6 + 3.5 +3.5 +11 ) will be sufficient for our organizer, as you can see in the layout.

First cut the backplane part (11 cm x 9.5 cm). The dotted line is NOT a cutting line; it just indicates where one side of the multimeter will be placed). Then cut the other 11 cm x 3.5 cm pieces (4 identical pieces)

Step 3: Glueing the Pieces Together

When you are done cutting all the pieces, glue the 11 x 3.5 pieces on top of each other, to obtain a thicker and stronger cardboard made of 4-layers.

As you can see in the layout, 3 of the 4 identically sized pieces are laid out horizontally in contrast to the first. This is to create alternating "grains" (direction of corrugation here) of corrugated board and enhance the strength of the spool. You can see this arrangement in the third picture of this step.

Finally, glue the 4-layer piece to the backplane, where I denoted with a dashed line in the layout.

Put some weight on the top and wait until the glue sets and bonds the pieces together.

Step 4: Shaping the Organizer

Approximately 1 cm from the long (11 cm) outer side, draw and cut out 1 to 1.5 cm deep notches on the shorter (3.5 cm) top and bottom sides of the 5-layer part to accommodate the cables.

Step 5: Attaching the Organizer to the Device

Cut two pieces of double-sided tape and stick each one to the top and bottom parts on the back of the multimeter. Then peel the protective sheets from the tapes and carefully place the multimeter (front side facing you) on the backplane. The one side of the multimeter should be touching the thick part (spool).

It's up to you, whether you place the spool on the left or the right side of the multimeter. Because of the symmetric design, you can do it either way.

Step 6: Using Your Organizer and More

You are now ready to use your organizer.

Take both cables (attached to the multimeter) and wind around the spool. Everything is nice and tidy now.

You can even use your multimeter without unwinding the cables fully. Just unwind as necessary and use it. No more dangling cables around.

We have done it for a multimeter today, but you can apply the same idea to many other devices, such as extension cords, soldering irons and earphones, to name a few.

Making makes me happy. Happy making to you too.

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    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    7 months ago

    Nice way to keep the cables under control. I always thought that multimeter wires were too long.

    1 reply