I recently became fed up with not having switched outlets on my bench. Plugging in and unplugging unswitched soldering irons and such became rather tiresome, so I started brainstorming solutions to facilitate switching individual devices on and off.
I had a brainwave one day, after spending a lot of time failing to come up with answers. Here is my solution!
If you don’t recognize it, they were popular during the 90s. Set your monitor on it, and plug all of your computer and associated periphery in, and have fun switching everything on and off. Each of the five outlets on the back is individually switched, with a big master switch to control the lot. Perfect for what I needed it for.
One problem. Its ugly
So, I fixed it! Here it is, painted, and “installed” on my (messy) bench. Black is so much nicer than beige!
It’s still a little deep. I’m thinking I may cut it down and shorten it back to 6″ deep or so, it sticks out unnecessarily far into my bench. The unit is very well constructed, with excellent, sturdy, thick gauge solid core wiring. I’m happy with how it works too. Big heavy duty rocker switches with neon indicators in them. The lights have made it difficult for me to leave my irons on by mistake like I have in the past. Here are a few more shots, including the innards after disassembly for painting.
I’ve seen various versions of this for sale at office supply stores, but you can usually pick them up at thrift stores for less than $5.