Now more than ever, battery operated power tools have taken over. With everything from drills and screwdrivers all the way to specialty saws and even impact drivers available, nearly your entire workbench is pack powered these days. But with so many tools available, things can quickly turn into a mess of charging cords. Before long you may not even realize that you’re using the wrong plug for a tool, which could ultimately damage the battery.
The Basic Bench
Think of your charging station as a small workbench. You’ll want to build a wood or metal table with shelves underneath it to stow away tool cases and an upright pegboard back to hang your tools proudly on display. Because you’re going to be keeping a lot of heavy items on it, you may want to consider using heavier 4 x 4 wood or even a metal storage shelf as your base for the bench. The finished table will have at least a worktop and a few shelves underneath.
Leaving enough room at the front of the table top to work on, build a small angled shelf with a lip to hold standalone chargers. The shelf should be elevated off of the tabletop a few inches and attach to the backboard with a hinge so you can lift it up for easy access and have space underneath to run cords neatly underneath.
Drill a single hole in the top center of the shelf where you can feed the charger wires down through, and if you want to tighten things up further, apply some self-stick Velcro straps underneath to hold the wires up under the back of the shelf and out of the way.
Your backboard is going to be a matter of preference. How you want to mount hangers to hold your tools is up to you. For a clean look one option is to use a solid piece of wood and drill holes in the appropriate places or keep things flexible using pegboard material. The point of this board is to hang up the tools that you use the most while their batteries are charging so you don’t have to constantly dig through storage cases underneath the bench.
Now that you have your basic bench constructed, finish off the charger shelf and bench top with some non-slip material like the foam mesh used for tool case drawers or even a yoga mat. Not only will these materials help keep things from moving around on you, they’ll protect the bench from scratches, too. Finally, drill a hole in the backboard underneath your charging shelf where you can feed wires out to plug them in. If you want to get technical, you can mount a power strip to the back of the bench so you only have one plug running to the wall.
Building a charging station can be a fun project, and with some creativity you can build one that fits your needs perfectly. Consider building it entirely out of wood or re-purposed metal shelving. Either way, the finished product will hold all of your tools and their chargers and keep everything you need right where you can find it.
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Photo courtesy of Flickr
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.