In the Shop
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
Duh--A New, Old Way To Store Extension Cords
Feb 13, 2014
Brandon, the new guy in the shop, taught me a nifty way to store extension cords today. I've come to accept that any time I grab a coiled extension cord, I'm going to spend a few minutes untangling all the knots those cords seem to self-tie. After watching me wrestle with a knotted and tangled 50-foot extension cord as if I was fighting a boa constrictor, Brandon shook his head and said, "Lemme see that."
He then taught me how to coil an extension cord so it will easily uncoil the next time you need it. Start with one end of the cord nearly touching the ground, then make the normal coils in your hand. Take care so the lower end of the coils are a foot or more ABOVE the end you have dangling to the floor. As you reach the end of the cord, make sure the final end of the cord is dangling as low below the coils as the end you started with.
In other words, when you're all done, you'll be holding the coils in one hand, with both ends dangling a foot or more below the coils of extension cord.
When you want to uncoil that cord, just grab and hold both dangling ends as you toss the coil across the floor to unwind it. According to our young genius, if you coil the ends of an extension cord up in the coil itself, one or both of the ends inevitably gets "inside" the coils, which is the cause of knotting. Keeping both ends long enough so they can't get inside the coils prevents knots and tangles. When you hold both of the dangling ends and then toss the coiled wire across the floor, it lays out like a dream.
I learn something every day. It's a good day if I learn something that makes life easier or saves time. It's an average day if I just learn once again how much I have to learn.