The Wire Hat and JK Products Stud Reel: Keeping Your Lines Straight

Electricians have a thankless job in many respects. Residents of North America are accustomed to a world in which the lights come on when we flip a switch, the TV is always glowing in the next room, and the fridge is always full of cold beer (OK, food too). Few people think about all the work an electrician went through to wire up a home or office. Even fewer realize how frustrating the job can be trying to manage all that wire.

The best comparison for an Average Joe would be the seasonal untangling of Christmas lights during the holidays. You know the deal. The lights were haphazardly stored away after the New Year. Now you have to try and unwind all that mess. It never goes easy. Now you know how electricians feel! Well, electricians are getting hand, or tip of the hat, courtesy of Rack-A-Tiers.

The Wire Hat is a slick, simple new product we offer for purchase that makes it easy to keep your wires housed properly throughout the work day. The Wire Hat works with various coil dispensers to perform a much-needed task. When combined with a product like the JK Products Stud Reel, you’ll be unstoppable the next time you’re rewiring or wiring a new build.

Tip of the Hat, The Wire Hat that is

There’s nothing flashy about the Wire Hat. It’s a simple product available for purchase that keeps wire from unspooling on a stud or floor-mounted coil dispenser. Whether you have a long extension cord spooled or electrical wiring you’re running on a big commercial job, the Wire Hat is a perfect fit.

The Wire Hat works with almost all sizes and types of coil dispensers due to its 18” design. Not only does the Wire Hat prevent unspooling, it can also serve as a separator on a multi-wire spool. You can stack multiple sets of coils quickly on a single dispenser, separating each layer with a Wire Hat. Best of all, you won’t have to deal with snags, unwanted spooling, or worse, re-spooling.

So, what products is the Wire Hat best with? We’re glad you asked! The JK Products Stud Reel is a perfect example of a partner for the Wire Hat.

Meet this Stud: JK Products Foldable Stud Reel

When you need to get setup quickly and easily on the job site, the JK Products Foldable Stud Reel better be in your work van or truck! This foldable stud reel opens easily, and quickly slides onto any stud wall. There is a rotational wire guide so you can pull wire in any direction you need while working. The raised sides prevent the wire from spilling over, and the stud reel offers the following additional features:

  • 2 optional sizes: 2×4 stud and 2×6 stud
  • 100 lb capacity
  • Works with 14-2, 14-3, 12-2, and 12-3 wire

The JK Products Foldable Stud Reel is a great choice on its own that is even better with a Wire Hat on top. Not only will you eliminate twisting and kinking of wires, you can also prevent unspooling and store more wire on one spool with these two products.

It’s About Saving Time

There’s nothing flashy or advanced about the Wire Hat or JK Products Stud Reel (or their other reels). The goal of both is to save you time on the job site. Stop wasting time unkinking wires that don’t unspool properly. Stop wasting time re-spooling wires that have unspun themselves from your reels. The Wire Hat can save you time and frustration on the job site. You might even find it helpful in streamlining your wire management.

Get Both at Rack-A-Tiers

At Rack-A-Tiers, we’ve got you covered. Whatever you need to get the job done right, and get it done fast, we’ve got. There are more JK Products on our wire management page, and don’t forget to look at our innovative products for new tools to help you out on the job site!

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Find Your Center with the GD Center Finder

Never fear Rack-A-Tiers fans, we aren’t going soft on you. Our latest blog post hasn’t suddenly turned to yoga and tantric exercises. Instead, this week we’re talking about the GD Center Finder, a brilliant tool that enables you to quickly and easily mark panels, junction boxes, and other enclosures correctly. Nothing is more frustrating when you’re trying to work than wasting time trying to figure out the installment of vertical wiring into an electrical enclosure.

With the GD Center Finder, you won’t have to worry about wasting any more time guessing. No more trying it once, finding out you’re just a bit off, and starting all over again. From now on you can get the job done right the first time, every time. Let’s learn more about the GD Center Finder, available now from Rack-A-Tiers.

What is the GD Center Finder?

The GD Center Finder is a simple tool that allows you to mark panels, junction boxes, and other similar electrical enclosures. The key to its greatness is the fact that you quickly find the correct spot where your conduit needs to enter the enclosure. All you have to do is level off the middle of the GDC and mark your two points of reference. This part is critical because it allows you to easily transfer those measurements.

With your measurements marked off, you can take the GDC to the surface of the electrical enclosure you’re working with to drill holes or punch out conduit entrance points. The GDC works on common trade sizes from ½” to 4”, across EMT, RMC, IMC, PVC, SCH40 & SCH80. It’s a lightweight tool that is easy to take around from one job to the next. The notched design of the back allows you to get closer measurements against any obstruction.

A Deeper Look at the GDC

Overall, the goal of the GDC isn’t just to give you a more accurate reference point. When you’re installing conduit, you’re doing a lot of work. New wiring or rewiring takes time, and anything that can save you time is A-OK in our book. The GDC is designed to be incredibly simple on purpose. You won’t have to read a training manual or spend days or weeks figuring out how to use it properly on the job site.

Everything you learned as an apprentice electrician has already prepared you to use the GD Center Finder. Here’s a quick rundown of the GDC in action with a typical commercial installation as an example:

  • Pop the GD Center Finder on the top of each conduit pipe. It is easy to level on any pipe size, such as those mentioned above.
  • Once level, take your initial measurements on the conduit and then go to your junction box surface.
  • With each conduit pipe you take individual measurements for the junction box holes you’ll need.
  • Mark off each measurement on the surface of the junction box or other electrical enclosure.

From there, it’s as easy as punching out the proper openings or drilling your holes. The GD Center Finder removes all guesswork from the process. Better than that, it speeds up the process for you. Not only will you do less guesswork, you’ll be doing less repeat work. With the GD Center Finder, your measurements are right the first time. For a quick video on the time saving benefits and ease-of-use for the GDC, click here.

Get the GD Center Finder

Rack-A-Tiers is proud to sell the GD Center Finder to electricians across North America. While we’ve touted the time-saving benefits of the GDC in this post, it’s important to remember this tool is also about professionalism. You don’t want to waste time eyeballing your conduit openings. No one’s ever interested in repeating the same steps time and again to get the measurements right. The GDC offers a way to save time, but it also provides a clean, professional finish.

When you use the GD Center Finder during installation, you can rest easy knowing your electrical work is done with the greatest accuracy. In the end, you save time while also completing a job with the utmost professionalism in the finished product.

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Keep the Job Site Safe with Sidewinder and Temporary Cable Guard Systems

As we often do, Rack-A-Tiers takes time to point out some of our safety products we offer. While we’re proud of the innovative tools and products we offer tradespeople across North America, we’re concerned about your safety on the job site just as much as you are. The trades keep the economy humming, and workers power the trades with their hard effort. Lost time on the job means lost progress.

That’s why we’re going to use this blog to again highlight some of the sensible, easy-to-use safety products we sell. While our focus on the Sidewinder and Temporary Cable Guard systems in this week’s blog might seem bland, you’d be surprised the difference these simple systems can make on the website. No more tripping, losing loads on carts, or cutting/clamping cords. With the Sidewinder and/or Temporary Cable Guard, you can run all the cords you want on the job site without tripping, falling, or cutting those cords in an accident.

Need an Outdoor Solution?

For those jobs that require temporary fixes on an active job site, the Temporary Cable Guard is the tool you need in your truck. Products like this cable guard are so common you likely walk over them or drive over them on other job sites each year without even noticing. However, when you need to restore service quickly with a maze of cords, the Temporary Cable Guard is your best option.

Whether you’re working to pre-wire on a new construction site or doing an entire new installation, the Temporary Cable Guard ensures you have power without worrying about cords. The guard is available in easy-to-assemble 5-foot sections. Buy one or buy ten; you can get as many as you need to get the job done. The Temporary Cable Guard is load tested to 5,000 lbs per tire and accommodates cable up to .750 hardline. It can withstand heavy traffic volume without cable damage. This means it’s a temporary fix that can do the job for a long period of time.

Best of all, it can be easily anchored to concrete with screws if you need a tight hold. The Temporary Cable Guard is a great outdoor tool to reduce truck roll, make it easier to move carts of material around the job site, and eliminate downtime from traffic or roadway activities.

How About an Inside Job?

No, we don’t mean that kind of inside job! When you’re working on interior job sites that don’t have wiring in yet and power is needed, the Sidewinder helps you run power and other cabling without worrying about trip-and-fall incidents. The Sidewinder has an articulated, flexible design. This means it curves around corners and through different rooms with ease, and does so without losing its flat profile. Installation of the Sidewinder is easy. You won’t need any tools, and the color design ensures your eye catches the obstacle on the floor in advance.

The Sidewinder comes in fully-customizable lengths, starting at 4 ½ feet and extending as far as you need. The pieces alternate in color, with available options of black, yellow, brown, and gray. No more worrying about tripping or tipping carts filled with spools just trying to cross an extension cord.

Seem Silly?

Well, it might seem silly to focus on cable guard systems, we admit that much. However, when you look at trip-and-fall statistics on North American job sites you realize quickly how important a simple investment in either of these products could be. The National Safety Council in the United States points out that overall, two of the most common locations for falls are high-traffic areas and unstable work surfaces. Sound like your last job site?

Let’s get specific to the job site though. Reliable Plant cites US Department of Labor information that notes:

  • Slip, trip, and fall incidents makeup 15% of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • Slip, trip, and fall incidents account for 25% of all reported injury claims in a fiscal year
  • Slip, trip, and fall incidents result in a total of 95 million lost work days per year, accounting for roughly 65% of all work days lost in total

Workplace trips can result in minor injuries such as twist ankles, sprained knees, and broken wrists in many cases. In severe cases, trips can lead to falls from height that result in hospitalization or death. The next time you’re on a job site, think about how often you do (or do not) look down. Are you just missing those cords as is? If so, the Sidewinder and Temporary Cable Guard not only make life smoother on the job site, they make it safer too.

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