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Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209445 04/01/13 09:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,486
T
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member
Hehe yeah, did that once too, with something like a 1 hr train trip home (and another back again). Borrowed a chisel and a piece of wire, used the chisel to wedge the door open at the top and then pushed down the wire. Two tries and the door was open. And NO ONE bothered to ask what I was doing there! One pedestrian actually told me "Been there, done that!" laugh

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209577 04/09/13 10:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 774
B
BigB Online Content
Member
It's a great feeling to be able to make a tool and not have to go shopping. I made my own holding tool and wrench for my Superduty diesel fan clutch out of 1/8" flat steel using a torch and grinder. Last month I needed a long hole saw to drill thru a 3" plastic finnial for a floor lamp my wife was making me fix on my day off. I grabbed a piece of 3/8 rigid tubing, cut off a piece and took it over to the band saw and cut some teeth in it then chucked it into the press and drilled it thru, stopping to clear the plugs which was easy as it was open on both ends.

Made a nice ground rod pounder out of a hockey puck sized chunk of steel welded to a short piece of pipe. Place it over the rod and pound away, can't miss. A little tape to keep it from bouncing off.

Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209581 04/10/13 10:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
harold endean Offline
Member
I used to use this crazy little piece of wire to search for hidden pipes, duct work, etc, above ceilings when ever I had to install recess lights in a finished ceiling. I would take a piece of #10 copper about 8-12" long and form in into a Long "Z" Like this:

------|
|
|
|
------

The length of the first horizontal piece is determined by the size of the recess can. You make the copper wire 3" for a 6" can or 2" for a 4" can.

Then you lay out your pattern on the ceiling. poke a small hole where you want your first can to go, stick the wire inside the hole and spin it like a helicopter blade. Then as you spin, you raise and lower the wire up and down to "see/feel" if there are any obstructions in the way. If you hit a duct or pipe you will feel and hear a metal TINK. If you are to close to a rafter or floor joist the wire will stop spinning and you will be able to tell where the beam is.

I hope this picture comes through.


Re: Homemade tools [Re: harold endean] #209586 04/10/13 11:37 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
S
sparkyinak Offline
Member
In my younger days, I stopped a crazed maniac from world domination with just a piece of bubble gum, a shoe string and some rubbing alcohol. I heard they made a TV series based on my misadventures....


"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209589 04/10/13 01:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,528
G
gfretwell Online Content
Member
I have mentioned this before but the rare earth magnet from a 3" hard drive is a handy fishing tool. I crimped a #10 solid on it to make a probe. It will fit through a 1/2" KO and when used in conjunction with a chain dropped down from above, you can fairly easily fish into a device box.

[Linked Image from gfretwell.com]


Greg Fretwell
Re: Homemade tools [Re: gfretwell] #209590 04/10/13 02:54 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
S
sparkyinak Offline
Member
Nice one Greg. I used a HD magnet to guide a fish tape to an opening


"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209592 04/10/13 04:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
E
EV607797 Offline
Member
I like to use straightened pieces of coat hanger wire with a sharply-angled cut on the end as "feeler" drill bits. They are great for finding your place in a wall from the attic or even below. If you are in a bad spot, you can adjust your position and the hole is barely visible. I also keep a small tube of toothpaste for patching these holes in the ceiling or when I scratch a wall.


---Ed---

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209598 04/10/13 09:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
T
twh Offline
Member
I had an after-hours problem in a bank where I had to trace a empty conduit in a slab and intercept it in the middle of the floor.

I pulled one conductor into the conduit and ran another conductor across the floor. Then I put a cord end on one end of the wires, plugged in a half inch drill and locked it on with the suicide button.

The other end was plugged into a wall outlet.

I took a radio off a window sill, set it on the conductor above the floor and tuned it to the RFI of the single conductor.

Then, I used the radio to trace the in-slab conduit. I missed centre of the conduit by about two inches.

My home made took is a line locator. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to duplicate it. There was something about that drill, that radio and that conduit in that slab. Sometimes we have to settle for winning one little battle.

Re: Homemade tools [Re: wewire2] #209603 04/11/13 08:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,210
HotLine1 Offline
Member
I settle for one winning little battle at work every day! Details would be a long rant, for another day, and another thread.



John
Re: Homemade tools [Re: EV607797] #209609 04/12/13 12:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 774
B
BigB Online Content
Member
Originally Posted by EV607797
I like to use straightened pieces of coat hanger wire with a sharply-angled cut on the end as "feeler" drill bits. They are great for finding your place in a wall from the attic or even below. If you are in a bad spot, you can adjust your position and the hole is barely visible. I also keep a small tube of toothpaste for patching these holes in the ceiling or when I scratch a wall.


I do the same with seismic wire, always keep a few on the truck. I drill thru wood floors behind the base board, a tiny dab of caulk afterwords and nobody can tell I was there.

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