An Electronics Caddy Organizes Your Technology

Cell phones, I-pod, MP3 players, GPS’s all things that need to be plugged in, and where Oh where do you store all these things and make sure that they are being kept charged for your techno gear family? In a caddy you build yourself!

Well, instead of having all your personal electronics cluttering up a counter top, step into the shop with me and construct this handy electronics caddy.  This handy miniature cabinet is large enough to corral all your personal electronic toys, while hiding all of their unsightly power cords.  It also has a neat little draw to stash your wallet, keys and opera tickets or in my house, Cavalier tickets!

Materials List:

  • 1in. x 8 in. x 4 ft. select pine board
  • ½ in. x 6 in. x 4 ft. select pine board
  • ¼ in. x 6 in. x 2 foot select pine board
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Router with ¾ inch Roman ogee bit with bearing guide
  • Drill press or power drill
  • 1 inch forstner bit
  • Compressor and nail gun with 1 inch brads or
    Hammer and 1 inch finish nails
  • Wood glue
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Pencil
  • Speed square

Instructions:

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1. The first step is to construct the base.  The base for the electronics caddy measures 12 ½ inches from front to back and 12 inches across.  To construct this, glue two pieces of 1 in. x 8 in. x 13 in. together then cut to size using a miter saw.

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2. After cutting the base to size, add a routed edge using a router and a Roman Ogee bit with a bearing guide.

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Do several passes to create a nice decorative edge.  Set the base aside for later.

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3.  The caddy has two sides that measure 11 ½ in. long, by 5 ½ in. high.  Cut two pieces to length using the ½ in. x 6” x 4’ material.

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4.  To add a nice detail to the end of each board, use a tape measure and place marks 4 inches along the length of the piece and 1 ½ inches on the edge of the height.

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Draw a connection line and cut using the miter saw.

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5.  The next step is to construct the center divider; this piece is where the cords will pass through from the back. You will need to drill 4 holes for the cords to pass through.  First cut the piece to length using the miter saw. It should measure 10 in. in length using the ½ in. stock

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6.  The pass through holes will be drilled every two inches across the board, 1 in. below the top edge. To locate the holes, use a tape measure and measure across the top edge placing a pencil mark every 2 inches.

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At those marks measure down 1 inch and place a mark, then using a square draw guide lines.

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7.  Using a drill press, if you have one, attach a 1 in. forstner bit to the press and drill the four holes. Use a scrap piece of wood secured to the press to protect the drill press from the bit pass through.

Tip:
If you don’t have a drill press, a corded power drill will work as well, just make sure to keep the drill perfectly perpendicular to the board and drill straight down.  I recommend using a power drill instead of a cordless drill just for the sheer power factor.

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8.  Attach the center divider to the two side pieces, placing it 5 ¼ inches from the front detailed end of the side pieces. Secure using a bead of wood glue and the nail gun and wire brads. Or, a hammer and finish nails will work great.

Tip:
Make sure to wipe any excess glue off immediately, especially if you plan to stain the piece after construction.  The glue will cause the stain to be blotchy if not removed before drying.

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9.  The next step is to cut the back support piece.  This piece measures 10 inches in length and only 2 ¼ in. wide.  This piece is attached to the back of the two sides and is only 2 ¼ inches in width to allow room for the power cords to run out through the back to the power outlets in the wall.

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Secure this back piece to the side pieces using a bead of wood glue and secure with the nail gun and wire brads.

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10.  The next step is a little tricky, the top storage tray.  This piece will need to be cut to size by measuring the area between the sides and between the center divider and back piece.  It will measure 10 in. by 5 ½ in.  Cut this piece to length using the miter saw.

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11. To secure the storage tray, I attached two small cleats made out of scrap to the two side pieces, I glued and nailed them into position so that the storage area piece that was previously cut to size would rest slightly below the edge of the side pieces approximately 1/8 inch.

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This in effect will create a lip in the storage area to keep all the gadgets from sliding off the edge.

Once the cleats are attached, place the storage tray into position and secure using wire brads or nails attached from the sides.

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12.  The next tray to construct is the tray that will be above the drawer between the two sides and in front of the 4 power cord holes. This measures 5 inches x 10 inches; for this piece I used the ¼ inch x 5 ½ inch stock.  I cut the piece to length using a miter saw then ripped it to width using the table saw.

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13.  Secure the lower tray to the sides so that it rests 1 inch below the cord holes.  To keep the piece lined up and square, set a speed square or carpenters square into position and secure with a row of nails.

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Tip:
This is a good time to fill all nail holes with wood filler.  This will give the filler time to cure while you are working on constructing the small drawer.

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14. The drawer consists of a front which measures 9 7/8 in. x 2 ½ in. (for the front I measured the opening between the two sides and the lower tray and removed 1/8 inch to allow the drawer opening width) Use the ½ inch stock to cut this to size.  Cut a drawer back as well, which is the same measurement, but use the ¼ inch lumber for this piece. Use the ¼ inch lumber for the two sides which measure 4 ¼ in. x 2 ½ in. and the bottom, which measures 9 ¼ in. x 4 in.  For these cuts, use the table saw to rip the pieces to width and the miter saw to cut to length.  Secure all the pieces together using wood glue and wire brads to create the small drawer.

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Now it is time to return to the bottom base.  If you look at the photo, you will see a plate, or board, attached to the front edge of the base.  This is the resting plate for the drawer.

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The plate also holds the top storage unit in place if you decide not to attach the top to the base for easy cord maintence.

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15.  The plate measures 5 in. x 9 7/8 in.  Cut it to size and find its position by setting the storage unit on the base so that it rests evenly on the sides and is set in from the front edge 1/8 inches.  Secure the plate using wood glue and wire brads.

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16.  Fill all the remaining holes with wood filler and sand the storage unit, the drawer and the base smooth using 220 grit sandpaper.

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17.  Paint or stain the finished piece with the color of your choice.

This is a great project, and it may look daunting with all the steps, but it really wasn’t that difficult.  If you have done woodworking projects before you will be able to knock this out in a snap and probably enhance the design as well.

One more thing, I did plug all of my gadgets into a power strip.  This way I can turn off any charger that isn’t working.  This eliminates any ghost power being used unnecessarily.   When I need to charge, hit the switch, charge the units and then kill the power when charged.  It is also better for your electronics not to stay plugged in after being fully charged, it will damage the battery.

Call me to let me know how the project went for you if you have a chance. I might be listening to my MP3 player and loading an address into my GPS while I’m texting Shari, but give it a shot!

Matt

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