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#200741 - 04/17/11 02:34 PM Re: Tricks of trade  
harold endean  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
I don't know if this topic came up before, but I thought that I would throw out something to help my fellow EC's.

When my guys and I trimmed out a house, I made all men carried a level. The plates all had to be level. Nothing worse than seeing plates and light fixtures (Excuse me, Luminers) (I think I spelled that wrong, but I don't care)

I used to catch hell from GC's and HO's when the plates were crooked. So I made my guys finish off each 6-32 screw on the plates so the slot was up and down on each screw. This way when the painters took the plates off and screwed them back on all crooked, I could just look at the screws and know that someone took them off after we installed them.


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#200743 - 04/17/11 03:05 PM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,123
Estero,Fl,usa
My wife had one electrician who popped a chalk line down the wall before he set the boxes so they were all exactly the same height. He said it was faster than measuring each one and gave a better result.


Greg Fretwell

#200746 - 04/17/11 03:15 PM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
Obsaleet  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Pa
I have done this and used my laser bob to get the 2 end the same. When I on a rough wire a use a piece of wood set to give me 18" orf to center. Same can be done for switches.

Ob


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#200747 - 04/17/11 03:20 PM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
Obsaleet  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Pa
One of tricks is to use pieces of fish instead of the reel. 10 to 12' piece works great for down walls etc. than wire can be pulled up or down and the control is greater, not having a big clunky reel. I have 2 such cut and been using then for years. I do very little new work:)

Ob


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#200749 - 04/17/11 03:28 PM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,123
Estero,Fl,usa
I like the string, chain and magnet idea for fishing down a wall. I have found a rare earth magnet (scavenged from a bad hard disk) epoxied to a short piece of fish tape or other stiff wire is good for poking around in the wall looking for the chain dropped down from the top.


Greg Fretwell

#200753 - 04/17/11 07:00 PM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: gfretwell]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted by gfretwell
My wife had one electrician who popped a chalk line down the wall before he set the boxes so they were all exactly the same height. He said it was faster than measuring each one and gave a better result.

Greg,
I've used a couple of pieces of 4" x 1" timber (one for socket-outlets, one for light switches) before as a "story stick" when fitting my flush-boxes, mark off the height with a pencil on the stud, fit the box.
Whenever I'm doing any sort of repetitive marking out, I've always used this method and always have a few scrap bits of wood or PVC conduit with me, it saves quite a bit of mucking around measuring things individually.


#200756 - 04/17/11 11:39 PM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
schenimann  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Western North Carolina
I usually mark my can lights on the floor and use my laser level to shoot a mark on the ceiling. The laser level is a miracle tool. If I have a line down a hall where you can see if one is out a little I will pull a chalk line. I should get a level that shoots a line or a beam.


#200757 - 04/18/11 12:19 AM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
Niko  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Campbell, CA
when i do remodels i chalk line the studs so all of the holes are at the same height, it looks better (even though it gets covered up), and make sure that all of the boxes are the same height. (receptacles at 12" CL and switches 48" CL)

Like Harold, all of my finish screws are vertical and if the cover plate is moved i will know.


Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live


#200758 - 04/18/11 01:45 AM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
Tesla  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Sacramento, CA
Ugh...

Our policy is to use 18 CL, 42 CL and 46 CL.

$ at 46 because of sheet rock and building code; 48 is the maximum upper bound permitted. Any foul up and it's on the electrician.

18 is easier to install, 12 is passe.

42 is for backsplashes such as bathrooms.

80 CL is for high mount TV, common in commercial settings.

-----

I use the schenimann technique going back years and years, I usually pull an offset and run string if the run is anything much.

I use jigs and fixtures to lay in can lights when dealing with a hard lid. This is normally done on the floor or table top -- and then the assy is brought to the location. What appears to be more effort ends up flying into the building with a dead-nuts alignment.

BTW, the string line for wall boxes is especially important in any situation where you know the floor is not level. This goes triple for kitchen remodels. The cabinet maker is going to shim his work UP so it is necessary to find the correct high point and snap from there.


Last edited by Tesla; 04/18/11 01:48 AM.

Tesla

#200759 - 04/18/11 01:47 AM Re: Tricks of trade [Re: harold endean]  
twh  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 919
Regina, Sask.
I run all my circuits from panel out, so if I'm interrupted I can go back and know that if the device has a wire it has a feed.

For bathroom wall lights, I mount a 2x4 behind where the light will be, horizontally, with the top at about the center of the light. Then, I take the switched circuit from the switch to the light and stub it out at the top of the 2x4. When I finish, I cut a pancake box in. It allows a couple of inches of movement if the vanity isn't exactly where I expected and when it's a long way off, I just have one wire to move and a small hole to patch.


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