Hand Tool Woodworking – Desk Cable Tidy


Is this a familiar scene? Crawling under your desk to retrieve charger and USB cables that have fallen down the back of your desk? The solution, a cable tidy! You can certainly buy cable tidy’s in many forms commercially but  I deiced that a very simple wooden cable tidy would be a great beginners hand tool project.








If you have been watching my videos for any length of time you will know I have never professed to be particularly skilled with hand tools, in fact quite the opposite. I certainly use hand tools on a regular basis and they are very useful but I am impatient by nature so in most cases would choose to use power tools instead. However, for people on a limited budget hand tools are a great way to start woodworking. Therefore by request, for this project I use almost solely hand tools, with the exception of a cordless drill and a palm sander and you certainly don’t need to use a power sander!


Making the cable tidy…

1.fwI started with a small block of Ash ~90mm square, 25mm thick. Using a handsaw I made the cuts for the  outer edges of the cut-out on the underside of the block, This will allow a space for the cables to run underneath.










To remove the material from the underside I  used a chisel; the cut-out finished ~5mm deep, suitable for charger and USB cables. Large enough for the cable itself to pass but not deep enough for the head of the cables to slip through.








To add mass to the cable block, to prevent the block from slipping around, I chiseled out a space on the underside for a small steel plate.  To add further mass I drilled out a number of holes to set in some large nuts.


Gluing in the nuts with general purpose adhesive.





Sanding the block smooth and rounding the corners.





The block is finished with a couple of coats of lacquer.





Finally to finish off this cable tidy the steel plate is glued into the cutout on the underside, again with general purpose adhesive.

Also to prevent the block from slipping around too much on the desk some textured “grippy” card is glued to the feet.









Watch the YouTube video bellow which covers the steps above. If you enjoy the video be sure to visit my YouTube channel and Subscribe to my channel to hear about future videos.