Gallery, Projects and General > Oooops!

Socket to me

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It's a long drive to town where there's a hardware store. You pretty much kill an hour there and back even if you are just going for one small item and you know where it is.

This evening at 4:15, 45 minutes before the store closes I decided I just had to get a 20 amp socket (120V) for my extension cord so I could use my flux core welder up at my tiny shop. Which, I needed by tomorrow, the only slightly warm weather predicted for a week, for melting furnace repair. I'd bought the heavy duty cord new for 30 bucks, but it just had a 15 amp US standard 120 v socket on it.

I had  bought a 20 amp socket for it a year ago to make the conversion, but I had also spent time today, from 2:00 until now hunting for it everywhere, to no avail.

So I found a covid mask, jumped in my car, headed down the mountain, fought school traffic on the flats half way to the hardware store. I found the last parking spot in its ten car parking lot, donned the mask and ran inside before closing. There was just one 20 amp shielded cord socket left. It was 8 bucks, not exactly cheap. But at least they had one.

Paid for, I stuck it in my pocket, hopped back outside over to my bucket, jumped in (it was 20F out) souped the kidneys out of it with the heater on high and headed south for the old homestead!  :thumbup:

At home by the wood stove glowing. Ah, so nice to work with new stuff. New high quality armored socket, new bright yellow heavy duty extension cord.   :med:  I cut the end off, stripped the wires exactly as shown on the gauge printed inside the socket. Remembered to first thread the strain relief end onto the cord before screwing home the wires. Lessee, white wire to the silver terminal, black wire to the gold terminal, green wire to the green terminal. Very nice screw-in clamp terminals they were, too.  :dremel:

Then just screw on the back and tighten the strain relief screws. Done!   :ddb: The day wasn't a total waste after all -- at least I now had my welder extension. It was getting dark, but I just wanted to try it out. Just make some sparks with the welder to make sure that's okay after storage. So out into the cold and into the tiny shop. Pull out the welder. Untangle the cables. Plug the welder into the new cable. Great it fits perfectly. The 20 amp plugs have a horizontal prong and a vertical prong, which differs from the 15 amp plugs, which have two verticals.

I clamped the ground cable onto a piece of scrap steel sheet. Then uncoiled the extension cable and squeezed my way past a couple of piles of stuff I'd taken off my workbench so I could paint it. Ready to plug it in but...........


Uh............... I guess I cut off the wrong end of that new extension cord, because I now seemed to have a cord with a socket at either end.

No plug. 


Oh dear!
    Seems one of those measure twice cut once stories, OR perhaps a quick last minute job.
This little guy seems apt, even though you would have to really, realy try to achieve his result. :zap:

I guess the fact that you say you cut off the end it was a molded end so not really re usable.
Another trip?

John B

 :doh: Been there, done that (well, not quite that, but similar....)

Time for a Redneck Repair: 2x pieces of flat bar, about the same thickness and width as a plug prong but double the length. Tap one end into the new socket on the extension cord and tada! Instant socket-to-plug conversion!

Obviously, I never said that, and I would absolutely never* do anything like that.....  :zap:

* Apart from the time when I had no spare plug for a video recorder.... so, bare the wires about 1 inch, carefully hold wires over an extension cord socket, and bang the TV plug in over the top of said wires..... Worked perfectly :D No-one dared unplug either the TV or VCR either!  :lol:

Adev, now that's using the old noodle. Of course if when you unplug it, the strips stay in the wall socket, you've got a nice little mousetrap -- which I need in my tiny shop!

Well, maybe I know my own foibles too well, because I had actually left a 6" length of cable on the plug end that I had cut off, "just in case if comes in handy some day".......... for you know, some kind of quick and dirty repair.

Well, it sure did. I had a few different colors of shrink tube in the right sizes in my tool box, for some reason, and with a soldering gun, and much irritation, I managed to reconnect the wires I'd cut. It's no longer pretty, though. But it did run the welder.

SwarfnStuff, remember the old sign you could hang up on the wall:  THIMK!

Good to read that you had enough to bodge up a repair. I too have been thankful for heat-shrink tubing when in my tiny playpen I managed to let the cord from my CNC laptop get too close to the grinder belt. OOPS!

 Had enough cable either side to do as you have and being only a two core lead I also had some tube to shrink over the rejoined cable joint. Yay, all good and one day I will find an undamaged lead in the chuck it in here cable box?

Actually Steamy I have not come across THIMK,  :Doh:  does it have a special meaning apart from, "think it through ya dummy"?

Spellcheck doesn't like it but not new to me as it doesn't like Australian English spelling either.
I Like your posts, always worth a read.
John B


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