Cut The Cord

I'd like to think that now my work shop is a fairly safe place to work. That wasn't always the case though. Early on I had one problem that seemed to get worse instead of better. What I'm talking about is the trip hazards created by extension cords stretched here and there.

I never paid too much attention to it until one day I got tangled up in them and decided SOMETHING needed to be done about this situation.

It must be a law of nature - no matter how many outlets you have, you always seem to be one short. I decided to plan this out in full detail. My plan called for a double set of outlets every four feet along each wall with each set on it's own breaker. I even marked them on the walls and went thru the steps of seeing how they would work by placing my power tools about and stretching the cords to the marked locations.

I quickly came to realize that this approach was overkill and what I really needed was a single pair every six feet or so, but with those long heavy duty power strips stretched between them. These strips have their own circuit breakers as well so that safety aspect was a bonus that saved me having to put each outlet on it's own circuit.

I then ran a series of outlets across the ceiling and got some of those retractable cords and installed them above spots in the center of the room where I had work stations positioned.

The result, NO MORE cords stretched across the floor and my trip hazards were eliminated.

After using this setup for some time, I came to realize just how handy it's become. In addition to all the power tools I have in my shop, I have quite a few cordless tools. Those recharging packs take up quite a few outlets. The power strips handle that situation beautifully. And second, the retractable cords in the center of the room ended up being my major power sources. I found it so handy to pull down a cord and adjust it to the right length so that the cords never even touch the floor. Why didn't I think of this sooner...

This is what I used:

image of wiremold power distribution strip model UL401BC Wiremold Industrial Power Distribution Strip - 10 Outlets

image of Grizzly cord reel model H5695 Grizzly Cord Reel 12awg (15 amp) x 40'