Builder’s Tip: Using a Tape Measure as Fish Tape
I needed to pull wire in a wall to hook up some speakers on my porch. I thought about buying a fish tape, but the cheapest one I could find was $17 — too much for a one-time-use tool.
Thinking about the problem on the ride home from the store, I hit on the idea of using my 25-foot tape measure instead. Pulling the tape all the way out, I found that its inner end has a slot that hooks to the rewind spring. Here is what I did:
- I separated tape from spring and kept the spring from rewinding hopelessly into its case by wrapping its end with a cable tie.
- Then I fed the tape into the wall.
- When the tape reached the bottom of the cavity, I tied a length of mason’s twine to the slot.
- I pulled the twine with the tape, then I pulled the wire with the much stronger twine.
The tape went back together nicely, and my only cost was the fraction of a penny for the cable tie.
— Jeff Van Dine, Gold Bar, Wash.
Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press
To request a reprint of this feature, e-mail Christina Glennon at Fine Homebuilding.
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