CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Tools, Equipment & Safety > Tools, Equipment and New Products

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-23-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
Moderator
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY State
Posts: 8,980
Default Tips & Tricks

How about this. Let's start a Tips & Tricks thread.
I'll make it a sticky and we'll see how it goes.
I'll start with a copy of a post I made in a lighting thread (pretty off-topic over there).

** DISCLAIMER: Use any tips here at your own risk. Use common sense and trust your instincts if you are not comfortable with any procedure. These tips are to help us, NOT get us hurt.
I trust anyone posting tips will keep them within the bounds of good judgment. Thanks.**





When drilling 1/2 & 3/4 conduit hole saws (7/8" & 1 1/8"), put a big 1/4" fender washer between the saw and the material. This way when the pilot bit goes through if you can hold it back the teeth do not "grab" the material and break the pilot bit. The washer just spins.


Also:
Use Lenox cutting oil when using a hole saw in metal. This stuff is AMAZING!!!
It comes in small squirt bottles and is usually right near the holes saws on the rack.


Last edited by Speedy Petey; 09-23-2007 at 10:18 AM.
Speedy Petey is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Speedy Petey For This Useful Post:
dailanelectric (11-27-2011), toolaholic (03-24-2013)
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Old 09-23-2007, 10:09 AM   #2
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cornpatch USA
Posts: 35,052
Default Hole Saws in drywall

Ever have an occasion to use a hole saw to drill drywall? Drywall can really kill the teeth of a hole saw.

But run your drill in reverse. It may take a couple more seconds to drill the hole, but the cutting edge of your saws' teeth aren't getting ruined by the abrasiveness of the drywall.





Speedy: I like this idea... but let's add a disclaimer about safety. That's something there should be no short-cuts on.

Anything that can save us time, aggravation and blood can't be all that bad!

__________________
Ark: ..............Arch: ................. Arc:
480sparky is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
Semi-Ret Electrician (06-08-2013)
Old 09-23-2007, 10:14 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY State
Posts: 8,980
Default

Good idea 480. On both counts.
Speedy Petey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
sparkysteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Byron Center, MI
Posts: 104
Default

When fishing walls, use some jack chain rather than string. It walks right through insulation, block, etc. because it's heavier. You can pull on it nice and hard without breaking it too.

Another favorite: Space contuits on unistrut with a roll of electrical tape between them. No measuring.
sparkysteve is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sparkysteve For This Useful Post:
pnjrob (03-30-2010), toolaholic (03-24-2013)
Old 09-23-2007, 06:37 PM   #5
Wire Ninja
 
MDShunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Beautiful Cumberland Valley, in PA
Posts: 17,304
Default

on 1/4-20 thread, screw it on tight then unscrew. The threads will now be like new. Use a blue wirenut on 3/8-16 thread.

Amps. By Multiplication: Dividing shortcut, Hey if your like me, when you’re trying to figure out how many amps. a piece of Equipment draws, long division is a hassle and I usually get it wrong, but multiplying is a lot easier. Well with this shortcut you can use multiplication instead of division to divide watts by volts.
Example: usual way to figure how many amps. in 5000 watts with a voltage of 120 volts is to
divide 5000/120=41.66 amps.
Shortcut : You multiply the watts 5000 by the reciprocal of 120 which will give you the same answer as dividing.
The reciprocals for these voltages are 120=.008333
208=.004807
230=.004347
277=.003610
480=.002083
Shortcut Example:
watts x reciprocal=amps
5000 x .008333=41.66
5000 x .004807=24.03
5000 x .004347=21.73
5000 x .003610=18.05
5000 x .002083=10.41
By the way to get the reciprocal of a number divide 1 by the number you want the reciprocal of the result is the reciprocal

Anti-itch Remedy For Insulation: How often do you have to work in an attic or lay in ceiling that has insulation? Well, there is a remedy that will keep the itch a way. Take a bottle of baby powder or corn starch and apply it to your hands, arms, neck and a face (be carefull not to get in your eyes). The powder protects your skin from the insulation and prevents the irritation and
itching

Locating Locations In Attic With Ease: After your customer decides where they want the new devices installed in existing drywalls, you can drill (or nail) a 1/8 hole at these locations into the attic (or floor), push a bare #14 CU about 3 feet long into the 1/8 hole then go into the attic or crawl space and locate where you want to drill the hole. The shinny copper wire is really visible with flashlight in dark attics or crawlspaces.

Use a Ballon to Plug Unused Conduits: An inexpensive way to plug unused conduits is to use a balloon and spray foam. First the balloons were blown up to fit the conduit snugly and then the balloon was pushed about 6 inches back into the conduit and then filled with foam. The conduits can be opened easily for future use.
__________________
One reason not to give DIY advice:
Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him.
Teach a man to fish and you’ve ruined a good business opportunity.

Last edited by MDShunk; 09-23-2007 at 06:39 PM. Reason: not my tips.... copied from a book
MDShunk is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to MDShunk For This Useful Post:
Grogan14 (04-23-2013), jwjrw (04-08-2010), mikdew1 (01-27-2014), Mike in Canada (08-06-2010), Teena12304 (09-27-2011), toolaholic (03-24-2013)
Old 09-23-2007, 07:19 PM   #6
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cornpatch USA
Posts: 35,052
Default

Ever need to run a machine nut a long way up or down a piece of all-thread?

Take your HandyMans' Secret Weapon (ordinary duct tape) and wrap 3 or 4 layers sticky-side out around the chuck of your cordless. Lightly press the tape against the nut, and, with the drill set for the proper direction (CW/CCW) just pull the trigger and try to keep up!

I mean, this is really fast! A foot every one or two seconds once you get the hang of it.
__________________
Ark: ..............Arch: ................. Arc:
480sparky is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
BurtiElectric (01-16-2011), headhunter (10-04-2010), toolaholic (03-24-2013)
Old 09-23-2007, 08:45 PM   #7
Ambassador of Amps
 
TOOL_5150's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: sf bay area, CA
Posts: 9,300
Default

Using stranded wire on screw terminals:

1) Use your strippers to strip about 1-1/4" of insulation off - but DONT totally remove it, just make about 1/2 to 3/4 of wire show.

2) Twist the strands CCW [anti-clockwise ]

3) bend the wire around the screw.

4) tighten screw and take your dikes and cut the remaining little piece of wire off.

It works, and if you do it right - it works WELL!

~Matt
TOOL_5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TOOL_5150 For This Useful Post:
mikeykcl (06-02-2012)
Old 09-23-2007, 08:46 PM   #8
Moderator
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY State
Posts: 8,980
Default

On the same theme as Marc's 1/8" hole and #14.
Take an ordinary wire coat hanger. Every place has them around.
Cut out the whole long horizontal part with your dykes; square on one end and at a 45 deg angle on the other. This makes a perfect drill bit for placing holes to drill up through a plate into a wall. This can be a tedious chore finding the center of a wall from below.
Drill the "bit" through the floor right against the drywall or base moulding. If the floor is hardwood try to find a small defect, crack or knot to drill into. A bit of floor dust can later hide the hole easily.
Go down below and find the hanger, measure in the direction of the wall and drill up with a regular bit. Perfect placement every time.
Speedy Petey is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Speedy Petey For This Useful Post:
The_Modifier (05-19-2014)
Old 09-23-2007, 09:00 PM   #9
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cornpatch USA
Posts: 35,052
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Take an ordinary wire coat hanger. Every place has them around.
I do the same thing. They go through about anything except masonry. The only trick is not to put too much pressure on it or it will just fold on you. Take your time and let the drill do the work.
__________________
Ark: ..............Arch: ................. Arc:
480sparky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 09:13 PM   #10
Wire Ninja
 
MDShunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Beautiful Cumberland Valley, in PA
Posts: 17,304
Default

The heavier ceiling grid support wire that they use on commercial jobs is good for that too. I try to keep a long piece of that on the truck, because it works good to fish in styrofoam insulated walls too. I think it's about #12 steel wire; basicly like coat hanger wire.
__________________
One reason not to give DIY advice:
Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him.
Teach a man to fish and you’ve ruined a good business opportunity.
MDShunk is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MDShunk For This Useful Post:
The_Modifier (05-19-2014)
Old 09-23-2007, 09:33 PM   #11
Wire Ninja
 
MDShunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Beautiful Cumberland Valley, in PA
Posts: 17,304
Default

90° Bends Simplified: When bending a 90° bend on a sidewall or a chicago bender and you do not do the deduction for that size pipe. Try this... Let's say you need a 36 90° on a piece of 2 inch conduit. Put a mark at 36 inches and then deduct the size pipe., which is 2 inches and put a mark there. Now put the pipe into the bender and take a level and line up the back of the shoe, on the lip (not in the shoe) with your mark and bend. You will now have a 36 90° without having to know the deduction. This trick works with all sizes. Just make sure you put your level on the lip of the shoe not inside the shoe.

Use Bender To Bend PVC: You can bend PVC pipe with a bender also! I have found that if you bend it to 90 degrees you will get a 45. It seems to work out pretty close to half of the degrees you bend it at. You will have to make 2 bends to get a 90 but it is MUCH FASTER than heating the pipe! I haven't tried it on any pipe larger than 1 inch but I would guess that as the pipe gets bigger, the maximum degrees that you would be able to use this method would decrease. Another handy way is to find something that resembles the degrees you want and lay the pipe on it and let the sun COOK it if you have time before it needs to be installed. Anything to make life easier since we are such HARD WORKERS!

How to repair bent/kinked fish tape: Every wireman and contractor has struggled with a bent or kinked fishtape. Often, the damaged tape is discarded, and a new one purchased. The next time you are faced with this problem, try the following:
Drive 8 or 10 16- or 20-penny nail in a straight line into a block of wood, at least 12 long, a post or anything that can be secured. The nail should be about 3/4 to 1 apart. Next, unwind the fish tape completely and weave it through the nails at the reel end. Now, pull the length of the fish tape through the nails. It may be necessary to repeat the steps two to three times until it is bent/kink free.

Drywall Biscuits For Old Work: When we need to notch a stud or fireblock to run flex/Romex in a wall, we use the hole saws to cut down on the mess and to make the repair easier later. Find the center of the stud. Drill through the drywall with a 3 hole saw, and save the round biscuit for patching later. Don't drill out the stud yet. Switch to a 1 1/2 (EMT size) hole saw and plunge drill the stud far enough to get your flex/Romex in. Knock out the round wooden plug with a chisel. The 3 biscuit opening should give you enough room reach in and fish your wire from stud cavity to stud cavity. Once you get your wire in, nail a Dottie plate over the notch you have made and glue the drywall biscuit back in.

How To Keep Blueprints Wrinkle-Free: Cut a scrap piece of 2 or 2 1/2 pVC conduit a few inches longer than your blueprint, make and fasten a wooden plug in one end using three screws, and smooth the other end with sandpaper. Now you can keep your blueprints behind the seat or in the gangbox without their getting wrinkled or torn.
__________________
One reason not to give DIY advice:
Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him.
Teach a man to fish and you’ve ruined a good business opportunity.

Last edited by MDShunk; 09-23-2007 at 09:34 PM. Reason: not my tips. copied text
MDShunk is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MDShunk For This Useful Post:
boss (02-17-2012), dielectricunion (04-18-2014), headhunter (10-04-2010)
Old 09-23-2007, 10:31 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
Default

An addendum to Speedy's washer on a hole saw is, when using a cordless drill with a hole saw on smaller holes and the drill has a clutch adjustment:

Turn the the clutch down to the lowest number just to get the pilot bit through. When the hole saw teeth hit, the clutch will slip. Then turn the clutch back up when ready to drill
philtx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 11:04 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
Default

In reading the idea about locating "stub ups" in the attic from inside walls, something I have wondered about for some time...would someone critique this please.

You are working alone in a house and wanting to install a switch in an interior wall. You cut out for your switch box, tape some cardboard around the opening to keep from damaging the wall and then take one of the 4-6 ft. 5/8" flex shaft bits that Greenlee sells, work it into the switch opening until you feel it hit the ceiling plate. Then chuck up a drill to the bit and slowly begin drilling. As soon as you sense it go throught the plate, go into the attic and see if you can find it. Hopefully you have brought some wire with you, if all goes well, hook it onto the hole in the end of the bit, pull off enough slack to reach the switch, go back down and pull the bit/wire out.

Give me a minute to get my NOMEX on ...... OK, whatcha think?
philtx is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to philtx For This Useful Post:
gilbequick (05-18-2014)
Old 09-23-2007, 11:11 PM   #14
Wire Ninja
 
MDShunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Beautiful Cumberland Valley, in PA
Posts: 17,304
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by philtx View Post
You are working alone in a house and wanting to install a switch in an interior wall. You cut out for your switch box, tape some cardboard around the opening to keep from damaging the wall and then take one of the 4-6 ft. 5/8" flex shaft bits that Greenlee sells, work it into the switch opening until you feel it hit the ceiling plate. Then chuck up a drill to the bit and slowly begin drilling. As soon as you sense it go throught the plate, go into the attic and see if you can find it. Hopefully you have brought some wire with you, if all goes well, hook it onto the hole in the end of the bit, pull off enough slack to reach the switch, go back down and pull the bit/wire out.

Give me a minute to get my NOMEX on ...... OK, whatcha think?
Hey, it's nice in theory. I've tried it myself. Trouble is, you need to run the bit to get it back down through the hole, and you twist off the attached romex. Particularly through the double top plate. Greenlee makes a special pulling grip that attaches onto the little hole in the end of the flex bit that will "spin" and not twist up the wire. When I lost two of these due to failures at 20 bucks a pop, I quit using that method.

Consequently, I almost never cut out a switchbox opening before I scope out the situation from above first. I find the top plate from the attic and drill my hole first. Then, I shove a sufficient amount of fish stick down the wall to determine if I even have a path. Then, and only then, will I cut in the box opening. Sure, it involves a little more back and fourth, but it has saved me from screwing myself many times.
__________________
One reason not to give DIY advice:
Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him.
Teach a man to fish and you’ve ruined a good business opportunity.
MDShunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 11:32 PM   #15
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cornpatch USA
Posts: 35,052
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by philtx View Post
In reading the idea about locating "stub ups" in the attic from inside walls, something I have wondered about for some time...would someone critique this please.
I've done this many times. You can go down to the sill plate as well. Having A Greenlee 712P helps, too.:
__________________
Ark: ..............Arch: ................. Arc:
480sparky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 12:52 AM   #16
Ambassador of Amps
 
TOOL_5150's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: sf bay area, CA
Posts: 9,300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
I've done this many times. You can go down to the sill plate as well. Having A Greenlee 712P helps, too.:
Has any one used that "handle" for the flex bits, and do they really help? Every time I go by them in the store but I never buy it.

~Matt
TOOL_5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 06:49 AM   #17
Wire Ninja
 
MDShunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Beautiful Cumberland Valley, in PA
Posts: 17,304
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOOL_5150 View Post
Has any one used that "handle" for the flex bits, and do they really help? Every time I go by them in the store but I never buy it.
Yeah, that "placement tool" is the only way I've been able to successfully use the flex bits therough the device box location. I seldom use the flex bits anyhow. When I do, it's mostly to get through a fire block.
__________________
One reason not to give DIY advice:
Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him.
Teach a man to fish and you’ve ruined a good business opportunity.
MDShunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 06:56 AM   #18
Moderator
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY State
Posts: 8,980
Default

You definitely need one. It's the only way to even try to get the bit centered in the wall cavity.
That pic is WAY off though. The tool needs to be all the way down the bit. Having it completely out of the hole does nothing. After the placement tool the bit is absolutely straight.
Speedy Petey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 09:33 AM   #19
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cornpatch USA
Posts: 35,052
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOOL_5150 View Post
Has any one used that "handle" for the flex bits, and do they really help? Every time I go by them in the store but I never buy it.

~Matt
Abosutely! If you're trying to add a recep in the wall near the floor, you can't get the flex bit bent enough for it to come out in the basement. Without this, you'll end up drilling a hole outside.

Sorry for the 'way off' pix, but it's from Greenlee's web site. I suppose they show it this way because it shows the entire tool, not just the handle.

Edit to add: The placement tool also works if you need to 'aim' your fishing rod/stick as well.
__________________
Ark: ..............Arch: ................. Arc:

Last edited by 480sparky; 09-24-2007 at 09:38 AM.
480sparky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 08:40 PM   #20
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cornpatch USA
Posts: 35,052
Default

Production PVC bends:

If you've got a lot of identical bends to make in PVC conduits, make a template with EMT first. Then when you take the PVC out of the hot box, you can use the EMT as a 'form' to bend the PVC. Even if you are bending different sizes of PVC, all the bends will be the same.


'Morse' Code

When two electricians are pulling wire through a conduit run, and they are too far apart to talk to each other (or it's too noisy), use a "Morse Code" type system to communicate. One 'tug' means "Stop," two tugs means "I'm ready. Go," three tugs means "We're here. Stop now." This obviously only works with pulling by hand, but if properly understood by both parties, it can be a very effective means of communication.


Making holes in drywall for toggle bolts:

If you've got to put a lot of holes in drywall for inserting toggle bolts, use a 10- to 18-inch piece of 1/2" or 3/4" EMT. Cut one end at a 45-degree angle. Strike the sqaure end with a hammer, and in a few swings you'll have a nice, neat, round hole. It's easy to carry around all day (lighter than a cordless drill/driver), saves money by not dulling drill bits and hole saws, and is quick and easy to replace if you destroy or lose it. I've put up scores of flourescent lights in motels with this method.


No more 'floaters'!

If the drywall hangers got a little ambitious when they cut the hole around your box, and the devices' strap won't reach the drywall, take a scrap of #14 or #12 wire, wrap it around your #2 phillips screwdriver shaft and make a 'spring'. Cut it to length (needed to reach the strap to the box), and place it around the devices' 6-32 screw. No more 'floaters' and broken cover plates!


Handy note pad:

Have you ever needed to write down more information than you can remember? Try this; the next time you visit the local home improvement center, grab a sample white kitchen counter top laminate sample. Cut it to fit the side of your tape measure, and glue it on. The next time you need to make some quick notes, use a pencil, and you've got a handy, yet convenient notepad. This comes in handy when you measure for multiple conduit bends, panel layouts, even phone numbers. When you're done, wipe it off with your finger!

__________________
Ark: ..............Arch: ................. Arc:

Last edited by 480sparky; 09-24-2007 at 08:42 PM.
480sparky is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
Bushranger (07-04-2013)
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Posting tips Speedy Petey Site Feedback and Suggestions 25 01-20-2011 02:16 PM
tricks of trade stillirnin General Electrical Discussion 41 08-23-2009 04:46 PM
Any tips for a new apprentice? Shiro General Electrical Discussion 38 04-17-2009 12:15 PM
Tricks of the trade... waco General Electrical Discussion 3 08-17-2008 09:02 PM
Tips and tricks of the trade, websites or books? shocking General Electrical Discussion 17 10-21-2007 08:53 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:06 PM.


Copyright © 2006-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com