I seen a plan a few years ago in one of the magazines where they used a male
"quick" connector onto the end of the center axle. The idea was that you could
wind or unwind and then hook up your hose afterword without much of a hassle
and without that leaky connector.
Once upon a time i built one out of a freebie garden hose reel. The task
involved replacing the innerds with air fittings. The only trick was
mounting the female end to the side of the reel so the male end could rotate
when the reel was used. IIRC, this just involved getting a few fittings and
a piece of plexiglass to mount everyhting to. I don't recall it being very
difficult to do, and it lasted several years residing in the back of the
truck with 100' of hose. --dave
Nope, I have a commercial one. One piece of advice, I'd recommend a spring
loaded model so that it recoils on its own. The crank style are a pain in
the butt if you use the air hose a lot. By the time you bought the
materials and built your own it would probably be cheaper and better just to
buy one. Of course, you wouldn't have the pleasure of having made it
Thats a great idea. Those reels are expensive, even the ones that just
I think if I were to do it, I would use a 1" pipe for the "axle" and
just have a corresponding hole. I don't think it would have to have
any kind of bearing assembly.
What do you consider expensive?
I bought a brand-new, made in the USA, air hose reel for $76 including
shipping off Ebay last April or so. This is a Reeltek made by Reelcraft.
It is spring loaded and has a racheting lock.
I think the same seller is still selling them occasionally, but not
necessarily for $76.
You can get Chiwanese hose reels with springs for around $50 or so I
Shop Notes magazine, Issue #41. Has plans for a portable hose reel. I
built it exactly to the plans, it will hold about 175 feet of air hose.
I've been carting it around with my air compressor, a manifold and a couple
framing nailers to build a new house, and it works great. Only thing that
might be useful on it is a bleeder valve and maybe some way of easily
anchoring the base on a construction site. For shop use, I just hang it on
the wall on two pegboard hooks.
I'm not sure it would be worth it. I got a Grizzly hand-crank reel for
about $40 on sale. It holds 100' of hose and works very nicely. I
really doubt that I could buy the swivel fitting and rig something for
I saw a plan in ShopNotes. The reel can be easily removed from the
wall if needed. I use a dowel (I turned from some scrap cherry wood)
1.5" dia x 18" with a clothes line tied to the center and attached to
the ceiling. I quickly coil the hose around my hand and elbow, then
slip the dowel through the hose. I do the same with a garden hose--no
kinks, easy to use, and nearly free to build.
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