I'm thinking some of you guys can relate to this. Was at a job site last week and a newly licensed E.C. showed up with a homemade NM/Romex payout reel. It consisted of two 2x4's nailed together like an upside-down "T". There was a piece of 12-2 NM nailed over the top and down to the ends of the bottom 2x4 to make a nest for the roll. He had a 1" 2 hole strap at the top with a hole drilled in it and a u-shaped bent nail sticking out to act as a hanger. Said it worked like a charm. I made one out of conduit many years ago that worked great but ended up buying commercial units when company image became a bigger priority. Actually..I take that back. It hung from the rafters and I walked into it and dinged my forehead one too many times.
I saw a guy with a "6 gallon" milk box with all his stuff in the box, a stick of EMT through the handle holes and 3 spools of THHN on it. One trick was a couple of compression EMT connectors on the end so it wouldn't puke the pipe out but screwed on hand tight. It looked real slick for something you can carry around.
When I was 17 I had a journeyman who made his own screw tray. I think he used a couple sheets of 3/4 plywood. It was heavier than I was before he loaded the square and round covers into the unused holes. I can still scratch my ankles without bending over.
I just have a commercial made NM dispenser that collapses down to a small package which is nice for me whim I have to pile every thing in a boat or float plane plus it don't take up a lot of space in my service rig. I did however bolted a 2x4 with wing nuts to my utility cart so I can hang my dispenser on it and wheel it around with me.
I also installed beam clamps on the inside of legs of my cart so I can hang a butt load of spools on it at one time for wire pulling frenzy. That's about redneck'ish tools I got.
No wait, I have a piece of #4 solid grounding wire specially bent where with one quick flick of the wrist, unlocks the door to one of our offices. The local law enforcement got the biggest kick out of it. It's faster then using a key
The only awls I've ever owned were decommissioned screw drivers. I have quite a few different THHN reel carts and small portable stands but most of the time it's a hunk of 1/2" EMT across the ladder because it's there. (The ladder usually falls over followed by a few expletives).
I use 2 12' pieces of fish tape all the time drill a hole on top and fish it down. the wire can be pulled either way. I have hooks with tape on either end. No reel to contend with. I have pulled broken reels from many a trash can just so I have pieces. If I lose one or it gets bent or twisted, it time for a new one. no big deal.
Locked the keys in the F350 when we were working out of town. Thanks to AAA for for demonstrating the proper way to open a locked vehicle during a previous incident I knew I could handle the situation. I walked over to the construction site down the street and asked if I could have a chunk of lumber banding. Borrowed some tin snips, made a Slim Jim and was back to my truck within a few minutes. My son was sitting inside. He got it open with a piece of wire. Morals of the story are: (1)Make sure you have a spare key and (2)valuables aren't really very safe when they are locked in the truck.