Making a cheap electrical wire caddy

For many hobbyists, having a bit of wire around is a must.  But outside of the lab, I’ve always had trouble finding useful ways to store wire in my kits.  Finally, I got frustrated and lightly modded a line spool box, used for fishing, to do the trick.  Here’s what I ended up with:

My wire caddy

Materials:

  • 1Plano line spool box
  • 1 – 1.5″ thick piece of very-soft polyurethane foam (the soft skinless foam used for packaging)
  • 4 – 100′ spools of UL1213 26AWG stranded wire (but you can use anything that comes on 1.5″ wide spools)

Instructions:

  1. Cut a 6.25″ x 2″ piece of the foam.  This will be used to hold the spools in place.
  2. Open the line spool box and put your four spools on the bottom row.
  3. Take your foam piece and wedge it into the top half of the line spool box, as close to the hinge as possible.  It should fit snugly.
  4. Take the wire from each of the spools and thread it through the grommets on the top half of the box.  The result should look like the following: 
  5. Carefully close the box, and the foam should lightly push against your spools, holding them in place.  That’s it, you have a lightweight, neat little wire caddy to take with you.  My wire caddy

Tips:

  • You can play with the thickness of the foam to vary the tension
  • If one of your spools is really sticky, make sure it is seated correctly, and not riding on one of the ridges along the bottom of the box.
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