I've got a fish tape and I sometimes use a piece of string with a
fishing weight on the end of it and hook it with a piece of bailing
wire. I'm curious, what are some other ways to fish wires through
Obviously if you have a full attic with great access, no insulation,
and you are installing a 3 gang box in a wall, it's pretty
straightforward in most cases.
But sometimes I'm running audio or antenna wires, the customer doesn't
want an opening that would require a single gang plate, and all I've
got to work with is 1 1/2 inch hole in the sheetrock to try and catch
the wire/tape/string/whatever that I dropped down from the attic or
pushed up from the crawl space.
What are some of the tricks/techniques that you all use?
What are some of the tools that you all use?
Anybody have links to any not well known tools that work well for them?
Greenlee makes 54" long drill bits that are somewhat flexible. They have a
holder that allows you to steer it in the wall. When the drill bit gets to the
area you need it, a special puller harness attachs to the point of the drill.
As you pull the drill back, your wire follows it.
I worked out a little trick to stick cable through a wall, not down
inside. Just drilled small holse, fed a narrow, stiff (but flexible)
plastic tubing through it and then threaded wire through the tubing.
Removed the tubing from inside when the wire was in. with right length
of tubing, you may be able to insert your wire and then guide it to the
point where you have opened the wall?
Here's a tip a central vac installer gave me a few years back. When you're
working in a basement or crawl space and need to drill up into a wall
partition, especially when you're snaking low voltage and can only cut a
small hole in the wall, it helps to have a good reference point. Sometimes
you can measure off of a pipe or duct, but when nothing is in the area, you
can take one of those 16 inch wires used to hold up fiberglass insulation,
cut the end at a 45 degree angle with a linesman pliers, and drill it right
through hardwood floors, joists, etc. It leaves such a small hole, it's not
even noticed, and give you an excellent point of reference for finding the
Go to Home Depot and get some "fish stix". They're fiberglass poles that
screw together and are flexible yet quite strong, allowing you to push as
well as pull a wire through. Some glow in the dark.
I've also seen some people use radio-controlled toy cars to pull speaker or
alarm wires across a suspended ceiling.
I can't take credit for this b/c a friend showed it to me. But in a small
hole, push a steel measuring tape in and it will conform to the space
between the studs, then drop the wire and pull the tape out, it will
capture the wire (like a lasso) and bring it out.
That is a great idea, thanks!
People are always amazed when I use a powerful hard disk drive magnet
to find studs. For me it works quicker than my good Zircon stud sensor
which also works well.. If you have an old hard drive to scrap, get
the VCM (voice coil motor) magnet out of it. Basically I gently hold
it and rub it lightly along the wall/ceiling, it gets pulled out of my
hand and sticks to the nail head. Using the magnet to grab the chain
in the wall space is another great use for it. Anybody else have
another great use for magnets in their toolbox?
The steel tape idea is great too.
Hey, I may be able to combine the two by dangling a magnet that will
stick to the steel tape. unless there is steel conduit, etc. in the
Thanks for these great ideas
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