I plug many of my tools into a six-outlet power strip in the center of my shop. At any given time, I have several tools plugged in with the cords invariably tangled. In the past, when I needed to unplug a tool to plug in something else, I would trace the cord through the tangle all the way back to the tool-a hassle, to say the least.

I eliminated this problem by buying a package of five different colors of electrical tape. For each tool, I wrapped a color, or combination of colors, near the plug and wrapped the same color where the cord enters the machine. Now, if I want to unplug a tool, I check its color code on the tool, and then unplug the matching cord at the power strip. It is much quicker and safer.

Drawings by Jim Richey

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November 4, 2008