Happy Halloween Folks!
Stupid Manuals

The Outlet Solution

So remember my piss and moan session over not finding an outlet cover that would fit our particular surge strip?  Well, here is my solution to the problem… rig up something myself.  My requirements?  Hinged lid, locking mechanism, easy materials to convert, fairly good looking. 

Wait, before I tell my story I'll show you what I started with (sans the shoe box): Dsc00748_1

I found a nifty box at Big Lots, our local remainder item store.  I originally was going to use a cigar box but I couldn’t find any big enough except for the display boxes, and the corner tobacco shop wouldn’t give those up.  (Actually, one guy said he would save one for me and then when I went back an old biddy (who had been standing right there when he promised me one) swooped in and said she didn’t have any. Well, fine, you old bat.)  But then I found this box and it was just about perfect (and it was cheap, $12).

So I pulled out my handy dandy woodworking tools, only to discover that the coping saw was missing (WTF?) and there were no files (I could swear files came with this set).  I’ll really have to remember to pick up a set of files.  See, I have lots of tools because I do jewelry work; I have file sets, drills and bits, solder equipment, various cutting mechanisms, etc.  The only problem is that those tools are a bit small for work on larger projects.  Without a coping saw I was left with either a jewelry saw or a hacksaw (the electric jigsaw was much too rough).  I went for the hacksaw. 

Nothing gets out tension like hacking through wood.  I’m telling ya.  (Though the maneuverability with a hacksaw is just not the same as a jewelry saw.)

Dsc00750_5So long story short, I cut some slots in the sides of the box for the cables and drilled ventilation holes in the back.  My big concern was how hot the box would get… I’m still monitoring the situation but so far so good.  And of course, I’m a perfectionist so I had to smooth out all the edges and whatnot.

Then I also wrapped up all the loose phone cables and electric cords along the wall with… get this… a phone cord!!  They sell something similar online specifically made for wrapping cables but they were about $10 a pop, plus waiting for them to ship… basically I took one look at what they offered and thought of a regular phone cord.  For $3.50 at the hardware store I got the same thing and I didn’t have to wait.  The kid is crawling everywhere so I kinda wanted to get this done.


So there you go, $15.50 in materials and some  time on my part.  I’m thinking it looks pretty nifty.  Huge improvement over the shoe box.  AND I get to feel productive for the day!  A definite plus when you’re home all day and start to feel your brain melt from too much children’s programming. 

OK, enough patting myself on the back.  Just wanted to share.            

                     – the weirdgirl



wow, there is so much to say about this I don't know where to begin. I nearly choked when you started freaking out about where your coping saw was.

Wood is going to be so pissed that you told me that there is a big lots in the bay area.


And of course it goes with your decor, ya sick gadget girl!

It looks like your box is big enough that it shouldn't get too hot with what you have, but if it does, maybe you could get a fan in there. If you don't have a little one you can put in there, I might be able to sample a computer fan if you can figure how to wire it. Another challenge...


I love you, you're crafty and resourceful like me. And Tend skin works on Zits? (found on MIM's blog) I bought it to prevent ingrown hairs in the nether regions but I'll be trying it as a zit remover soon! Suweet!


ooooooh. that's crafty. :)


weirdgirl, weirdgirl, weirdgirl.

You should have just asked me.


the weirdgirl

Thanks all. Just a follow up note... the heat factor is almost nonexistent! This solution is definitely working.


ohhh...ahhhhhh....very nice.


Kim C

That's so cool! What a great idea. And I love that box.


You are my new hero. Thank goodness for Big Lots.

The comments to this entry are closed.