Introduction: Down and Dirty Power Chord Reel
When it came time to fix a bad breaker button on my power chord reel I decided I would prefer a larger reel. Functionality was important. Looks was not. I managed to build a monster sized power reel that can hold hundreds of feet of chord with wheels from stuff I had around the shop. It ain't purdee but it works!
The first thing I made was the frame for the reel. I used a couple of pieces of 2x6 put together with lag bolts. For the reel axle I found some 3/4" pipe. I cut a long piece, around two feet, and another about six inches. I connected them with an elbow and mounted them on the frame with lag bolts. The vertical piece gives strength to the axle. The wheels I found were quite handy. I mounted them on the bottom of the frame and then screwed a cross piece for stability. Finally I mounted a handle using a couple of lag bolts. The handle came from an old generator.
To make the reel I made a hub out of some plywood and a couple of squares of 2x6. I cut holes in the centers of the 2x6 squares and screwed pieces of plywood to them. I left an inset on the front of the hub for electrical chord access. I cut two larger pieces of plywood about 20" square for the sides. I simply cut a hole in the center of one and mounted it over the hole in the back of the hub. I cut a square section out of the other side to work over the inset of the hub. I screwed the sides down, staggering the corners so they would hold the chord on the reel.
To mount the reel on the frame I simply put a couple of rubber washers I had on hand on the axle, slipped the reel on and put two more rubber washers. I hole through the end of the axle holds a nail that serves as a pin. I also drilled a hole through the bottom of the pipe elbow and inserted a pin so it would not sway back and forth.
Rather than going to the trouble of wiring in a plug I decided just to install a power strip. I drilled a hole through the hub for the plug and mounted the strip on the side of the reel. I made a turn handle from part of an old paint roller, an eye bolt and a couple of nuts. The last thing I did was screw down a hook on the base to route chord to the reel.
With our not so pretty but very usable chord dolly finished we rounded up our hundred foot chords and spooled them on there. Should come in handy very soon!