Simple Solutions

Power Where You Need It

By: Joe Truini

More and more tools these days are cordless, but from time to time you still need to plug a tool in. That usually leads to an extension cord strung across the garage or workshop floor which in turn leads to someone inevitably tripping over it. To solve this problem, we’ve created a power station that swings down from the ceiling in the middle of the room – right where we need it. We mount a multi-outlet power strip to a 1×4 and attach it to the side of a ceiling joist with a wood screw. At the other end a small cleat that swings back and forth holds the strip up when not in use. The power strip is connected to an extension that safely runs overhead, and our shop is now in business.

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3 Comments on “Power Where You Need It”

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  • Tyler Says:
    June 11th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    OSHA may not govern the home but the IBC (international Building Code) does. under the same section as OSHA the IBC states that extension chords are not permitted for permanent use or to be run over exposed joists, rafters, or studs. not trying to toot my horns, but you may want to but a warning clause about possible fire hazards.

    Tyler
    Firefigher/Paramedic
    Southern California



  • Don Russell Says:
    October 28th, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    That’s all well and good if this DIY article was written for the workplace, but it wasn’t and OSHA does not govern what occurs at your place of residence. In OSHA’s own words in it’s mission statement: “OSHA’s mission is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.” Keyword here is “workplace” not “workshop”. What governs what you do in your workshop is common sense, and if you feel what the experts in this DIY article is unsafe, then it is your right not to follow the advice of the experts. I personally think the tip is a good one and should have been shared.

    Don Russell
    Fellow DIY Supporter
    Keller, Texas



  • SMSGT J. Allen McGaha Says:
    October 21st, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Below is the OSHA Rule 1910.305 of using drop cords. You can not use a drop cord over boards in this manner…Hopes this helps..

    ALL THE BEST!

    SMSGT J. ALLEN MCGAHA
    GROUND SAFETY MANAGER
    NORTH CAROLINA AIR NATIONAL GUARD

    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)
    Unless specifically permitted otherwise in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section, flexible cords and cables may not be used:
    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(A)
    As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure;
    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(B)
    Where run through holes in walls, ceilings, or floors;
    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(C)
    Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings;
    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(D)
    Where attached to building surfaces;
    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(E)
    Where concealed behind building walls, ceilings, or floors; or
    1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(F)
    Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this subpart.
    1910.305(g)(1)(v)
    Flexible cords used in show windows and showcases shall be Type S, SE, SEO, SEOO, SJ, SJE, SJEO, SJEOO, SJO, SJOO, SJT, SJTO, SJTOO, SO, SOO, ST, STO, or STOO, except for the wiring of chain-supported lighting fixtures and supply cords for portable lamps and other merchandise being


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