January 24, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

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Tips and Techniques
Builders’ Tip: Fabricate a Portable Cordless-drill Charging Station So You’ve Always Got the Juice

 
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I sometimes forgot to bring the chargers for my battery-operated power tools to a job site. You only have to run out of juice once to know this can be a problem.

But rather than occasionally repeat the problem, I decided to solve it by building a portable charging station/tool tote that I can take to the site every day.

As shown in the accompanying drawing, I made it using a lidded plastic tote box, available for less than $10 at any big-box store.

This is how I made it:

  • I measured the bottom of the box and cut a piece of scrap 3/4-inch plywood slightly smaller than the bottom.

  • I then selected three of my most commonly used chargers and fit them on the board — mounting them through their mounting holes or using ties as needed.

  • I also mounted a multi-outlet strip to the board and drilled a hole through the tote box for the cord.

  • Then, based on the height of my tallest battery, I cut supports to accommodate a second level to store my drills and then glued and screwed the supports to the bottom scrap of plywood.

  • Then I measured and cut a piece of 1/2-inch plywood for the second level, drilled some finger holes, rounded over the edges and sanded it.

I now carry the whole box with me to the job site fully confident in knowing that when I bring my box of battery-operated drills, I have my chargers with me, too.

Also, when I’m not on a job site, I keep my portable charging station/tool tote in a handy place in my shop so I can use it daily.

— Tom O’Brien, New Milford, Conn.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2010 The Taunton Press

To contact Fine Homebuilding, e-mail Christina Glennon.



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