Electrify Your Workbench

Do you find yourself reaching for an extension cord every time you want to use a power tool at your workbench? And, when you’re done, coiling it back up again? Here’s one of many cool workbench ideas we’ve come up with at WoodWorkers Guild of America.

21 Comments

  1. Hahaha… actually scared me. Great idea!

  2. lololol

  3. Do you not need to unwind it fully before using any tools? I’ve always been
    taught that reels need to be unwound or else it creates a hot ‘coil’ of
    electricity and can start a fire.

  4. Why not add a small power strip to allow you to have more than one tool at
    the ready?

  5. +Olly Parry-Jones that’s why the AMP rating is important. If the cord and
    reel is rated for what you are using it for, there’s no chance of a fire
    from the coil.

  6. +general4str
    Thank you.

  7. well done

  8. It was great acting scared me

  9. +Olly Parry-Jones As long as you aren’t using a 16 gauge or thinner cord.
    For most power tools 14 or 12 gauge is appropriate. The wires are rated for
    a certain temperature, the thinner the wire, the sooner it reaches that
    temperature. A 14 gauge cord running a drill or small sander will never
    generate much heat, while running something like a circular saw on (a
    longer) 16 gauge wire will more than likely heat it up beyond it’s
    capabilities AND ruin your tool.

  10. I must confess I am using more and more battery operated tools. These days
    battery life is pretty good and getting better.

  11. I think mounting the real on the wall and just pulling power over is the
    way to go.

  12. GREAT IDEA!! I was actually just looking 2-days ago about doing this very
    upgrade. I ended up going a different route as it didn’t require any
    purchases, but I’ll keep an eye out for a a reel on sale for future
    applications!!

  13. +ken beattie Thats one reason I went different route. This way I can have
    all my sanding equipment plugged it all the time, knowing I only use one at
    a time anyways

  14. I just installed 2 outlets,just as you would in a wall.one on each side of
    my bench,works great ,no cords running across the floor.I put a plug on the
    power supply line and plugged into an existing outlet right next to my work
    bench.

  15. +Ttf Web I agree

  16. I mounted the reel to the cealing, as it make it so much easy to reach up
    when I need it. I placed it in the center of two work benches.

  17. WoodWorkers Guild Of America

    +Olly Parry-Jones Hi and thanks for your question. I am not an
    electrician, so for a fully qualified response you might want to consult
    someone who is, or perhaps a company that provides homeowners insurance
    might have some insight on this. Having said that, I am aware of the
    potential for this, but i do not have any firsthand knowledge of fires that
    it has caused. I’ve been using a partially coiled extension cord for years
    and have never had a problem. I think it is critical to use an extension
    cord of an appropriate gauge for whatever tool you are using. I only use
    12 gauge extension cords in my shop, which is a heavy wire that is not as
    prone to resistance and heat build-up. I would also discourage the use of
    any extension cord in any situation where something is operating without
    someone being present. In other words, don’t plug in a space heater or AC
    unit to an extension cord to keep your shop comfortable when you’re not
    there, or other appliances that might tend to run unattended.
    Here is an interesting article that I found which speaks to the risks of
    what you are asking about:
    https://fire9prevention.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/extension-cord-safety/In
    this article the author cites two personal encounters with fires that were
    caused by coiled extension cords. There are no specifics about the gauge
    of wire or what was running on the extension cord, however.

  18. WoodWorkers Guild Of America

    +ken beattie You can use devices that expand the number of access points on
    the line, but be sure to use only devices that support the amperage
    requirements for the tools that you use. Many power strips are designed
    for low amperage operations, so be sure to use one that fits your
    situation, as undersized wiring is a safety hazard in a woodworking shop.

  19. +WoodWorkers Guild Of America
    Thanks for your reply. 🙂

  20. I’m really shocked! Lol

  21. I like to mount a power strip to mine, near an outlet so I always have
    power, but I really like the idea!

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