Great Ideas: Winning Tips

Great Ideas: Winning Tips

Klein Tools
Klein Tools celebrates their 150th anniversary in 2007 by offering these tools as prizes in our Tool Tips contests.

When you find something that makes your job easier and/or safer, you tend to file it in the back of your mind. In this bimonthly article we tap into that knowledge and share it. The best part is that of all the tips we receive, the editorial team will choose one every other month to win $150 worth of hand tools, provided courtesy of our friends at Klein Tools.

Here’s how it works
If you are a service or installation tech, and have an idea or a tip involving the use of a hand or power tool that increases safety, saves money, or improves field worker productivity, send it to us or post it on in the Contest! Contest! forum.

Be sure to include a good photo depicting the tool and how you use it. You can also send your entry and photo to: Mike Weil, editor-in-chief, Contracting Business, 1300 E. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114. Or, e-mail: [email protected] In the e-mail, be sure to include your real name, company names, city, and state information. This is important so we can send the winning entry their prize. Also make sure the subject line says “Tool Tips.”

We’ll publish up to three tips, but only the first place winner will win the prize. The prize includes the following:

  • Aviation snips
  • Side cutting pliers
  • Multi-purpose crimping tool
  • Two-piece magnetic nut driver set
  • Torpedo level
  • 10-in-1 screwdriver/nut driver.

Note: If the same idea is submitted by more than one contractor, the entry with the clearest written description that includes a photo will be given precedence.

Now, on to the tips! The first place winning entry is:

Clamp-on Thermometer for Less Than $20
Clamp-on Thermometer“The metal sleeve on common probe-type thermometers can easily be removed. This allows you to secure the sensor to pliers or clamps by different methods. In this photo, the thermometer is glued into a groove in the clamp jaw and covered with foil tape. The sensor is in contact with the suction line through a slit insulation tube. A small slice can easily be added to solid tubes, or a four inch scrap of insulation tube can be situated for taking subcooling readings on the liquid line.”

Robert Jorgensen from Wild’s Heating and Cooling/Plbg, Midland, MI

Cool Wire-pull Idea
Wire-pull“I’ve found that when trying to pull wire down from the attic through a hole in the drywall (the hole is no bigger than the stat cover), it’s difficult to see into the studbay and find the cable.

“I use one of the large zipties (that duct installers use to attach big flex duct to a solid takeoff), bend it in half (making sure not to kink it), and push it into the hole. I push it until it hits the back of the studbay and can be pushed no further. Then I go to the top of the wall and drop my wire into the studbay, feeding until I’ve dropped past the thermostat hole.

I then return to the stat location and pull the ziptie out of the hole. With the cable trapped in the loop the ziptie creates, it easily comes through the hole. Imagine the cardbord in the photo as the finished wall.”

Rad, via the Internet

Well Blow Me Down
“I use to carry around a very inexpensive leaf blower to get rid of the pesky hang-on leafs and pine needles that always seem to find their way around and into outdoor units. But it was big and heavy.

Then I made a small blower from an old vacuum motor, PVC, and a bent S lock handle. I then found this blower in our local Harley dealership. It’s used to dry off bikes after washing them. This thing is great and is small enough to put on a shelf in the van. And it’s light.

Dave Bruner, Areawide HVACR, Bloomington, IN

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