Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Little Battery Box

This was a spontaneous project - created to address one of my silly habits.

We use a lot of rechargeable batteries in our house. Whenever I recharge batteries, I take the freshly charged ones and sit them on the desk by the computer - where they instantly start mixing with the uncharged batteries that also sit on the desk by the computer. Hmm. Not too bright.

Last weekend, after yet another round of trying endless combinations of batteries in the camera in an attempt to come up with a charged pair, it occurred to me that maybe what I needed was a little organizational help.

So, a quick visit to the shop yielded "The Little Battery Box." Just a small, rabbeted box, made from a resawn chunk of 1x scrap. The bottom is beveled to fit into the grooved sides. The divider is housed in dados cut with saw and chisel. It has one side for charged batteries, and one side for depleted batteries.

It looked a bit too plain after it was finished, so I gave it a hint of Tramp Art with a knife. Beeswax and oil finsish (none on inside bottom - no oil on battery terminals) completed the job.

A short, useful, and fun project. Perfect.


  1. Better add some kind of label to keep track of which side is which so you can avoid having to test just like with the jumbled pile on the desk.

  2. I'm guessing it's "charged on the left, discharged on the right." You'll just want to make sure the box doesn't get spun around...

  3. Anon and Philip - Yep, it's charged on the left and discharged on the right - but, the two sides are not the same, so no label required. The center divider has more notches on the charged side and less on the discharged side - not that I planned it that way, but once I noticed it, I discarded any other plans for marking it.

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. It was probably 5 years ago now that during a summer thunderstorm that knocked out our power, my wife started complaining about not being able to find any batteries. I volunteered to build a box but said that I would have to wait until the power came back on. "What are all the those hand tools for that you keep buying?" she said. And with that the gauntlet was thrown down and it was the first all galoot project I built. I have never looked back since.

  5. Shannon - I've done that too! And I remember thinking, "Well, that's all for today...wait!" It's kind of fun working by headlamp.

  6. We use a lot of rechargeable batteries, too. I have two plastic tubs (from Chinese take-out), one for "new" and one for "used" -- although I've never labeled them, and thus keep forgetting which is which.

    On that note: You need one of these -- http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QP2253

    (It's an Australian store -- but presumably Radio Shack has something similar. If there's no local Radio Shack in AK, Jaycar **does** do mail-order...) ;)


  7. Gye - Good idea - and I suppose a multi-meter would also work. Except I can't find mine...

    We do have Radio Shack here, but I'd trade it for a WoodCraft.

  8. Nice work and one of those "why didn't I think of that"? ideas. Mind you I don't use rechargeable batteries half so much since the kids left home.


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