Tricks Of The Trade!

The more we share this page, the more tricks we can add!

building

Sometimes we discover neat tricks while working that create shortcuts or make our jobs easier. Below is a growing list of tips and tricks, if you would like to add to it there is a submission form on the bottom!

Make a bigger hole!

role

If you used the wrong hole saw or otherwise need to make a hole bigger, thread both onto the arbor and use the original size as your new pilot bit!

Keep an old gift card on you!

A credit card, drivers license, or gift card is the perfect size to trace for a single gang cut in box. Just center it on your height, trace, and cut right on the line! No notching out for the corners or flanges, just slides in perfectly. 

Buy an earth magnet!

A strong earth magnet has many great uses!

  • More accurate than any stud finder and never runs out of battery. Just run along the drywall and find the screws / nails. 
  • When fishing down a wall, tie a heavy nut to a string and use the magnet to guide it to your box.
  • Drop a tool where you can’t reach it? Tie your magnet to a fish stick allthread, or similar item and pull it back up!

Use a potato peeler to easily strip UF cable!

Quickly find a circuit

Need to find a circuit in a house and working by yourself? Plug in a radio or vacuum to the outlet, turn it on high, and start flipping breakers. When the noise stops, that’s your breaker!

The sun softens up insulation!

Stripping a lot of heavy wires to recycle? Let it sit in the sun for 30 minutes. The insulation softens up like butter! Also helps on long wire pulls.

Use the bigger bender.

When you are bending different pipe sizes in the same run and you want them to match, use the largest bender. I.e. When running 1” pipes next to ¾”, do the ¾” pipe bends in the 1” to match them. 

Reinforce Outlets

Reinforce Outlets

When you run out of caterpillars and need to reinforce the back of an outlet, wrap bare wire around a screwdriver to build curly q’s. You can set the length exactly to what you need and the screw goes in perfectly.

No locking pins on your hole saw?

If a hole saw arbor doesn’t have locking pins, wrap bare #12 wire at the base to prevent the arbor and hole saw from binding. 

8-32 and 6-32 Screws Kits

Most home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes will sell more expensive 6-32 and 8-32 kits in the electrical aisle. Head over to the hardware section to save some money!

Pull MC the right way

MC actually has a lip to it that gets caught when pulling it through studs, making it harder to pull. Identify which end doesn’t have the lip, and then unspool the MC from there. Studs are also punched out from the opposite end towards the face, so pulling the MC that direction also helps.

If ” ] ” is the shape of the stud, for example, pull the mc —-> ] this way instead of —-> [ this way, and your pull will go much smoother.

Keep an N95 in your hardhat

Construction environments can quickly get dusty. If shit hits the fan, or maybe concrete dust in this case, you want to be ready to not have to inhale it and cause permanent damage. Find an N95 and slip it in the top portion of your hard hat. You won’t even notice it’s there, until you need it!

Have a trick of the trade you would like to add? Submit it below!

Scroll to Top