In the Q&A column in last April’s issue, I answered a question about the “correct” method for coiling extension cords and hoses for longevity and ease of use. I mentioned the “Zen” method, in which you reverse the direction of each coil as you gather up the cord. I said that I had been having trouble mastering the technique, and I got bunch of great comments to help me figure out the technique. The simplest and best description came from “ryszardx.” His suggestion basically was just to alternate the direction that your palm is facing as you gather each loop.

Just to prove that I’m not quite too old to learn new techniques, I gave it a whirl, but with only moderate success. Oddly enough, the technique seems to work better with my air hoses than with my extension cords. The hose coils and uncoils perfectly, but I usually end up with at least one overhand knot in the extension cord. I will continue to work on it until perfected.

Then I received an email from a gentleman by the name of Brent Benson, who is a physicist, a sailmaker, and a former electrician. He described a technique called “flaking” or “faking” the cords. At first I thought he was talking about the “Zen” method described above, but then he sent me a video on how it was done.

I admit that this is one that I haven’t tried yet, but the technique is simple and elegant. Let me know if anyone else uses this method, or if anyone else has a technique for coiling cords that they’d like to share.