Efficient uses for cable scrap

June 1, 2011
Waste not want naught on the job site by making good use of product scrap.

Waste not want naught on the job site by making good use of product scrap.


This month we bring you two tips for the installation job site, both of which are meant to make use of what many might consider scrap materials.

When was the last time you did anything productive with the cardboard core from a 1,000-foot reel of cable? Even before you recycle it, there's a way to make use of it while protecting cables at the same time.

Then read about how you can use a short length of UTP cable to remove cement dust after drilling a hole in the floor for a rack.


The shape of the T-bar supports in some ceilings can impede a cable pull, and if the cable is pulled with too much force, both the support and cable can be damaged. Also, maneuvering cables around 90-degree corners can be difficult during a cable pull.


Use the cardboard core from a cable spool to protect the cable during pulls through T-bar ceilings and around sharp corners.


Recover the cardboard core from a 1,000-foot spool of cable. Slit the core, from top to bottom.

When pulling cable through a T-bar ceiling, position the core around the ceiling support so that it covers the T-bar. Then route the cable around the core above the ceiling. You may have to tape both ends of the core in place.

When pulling cable around a sharp corner, position the core around the corner so that the cable will follow a more gradual, rounded path around the corner than it would otherwise follow. Again, you may have to tape both ends of the core in place.

Please note that caution should always be taken when you are pulling through a T-bar ceiling because the T-bar supports are not very strong.


After you drill a hole in a cement floor to mount a rack, you must clear the hole of the cement dust. When installers use the quick method of blowing the dust out of the hole, they can end up with dust in their eyes, even if they are wearing safety goggles or glasses.


Clear the hole by blowing through a 2-foot length of unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable sheath. You can stand a safe distance away from the hole and avoid the dust.


Once you have drilled the hole in the cement floor, cut a 2-foot piece of UTP cable.

Remove the conductors from the sheath.

Place one end of the sheath into the drilled hole, stand back, and blow into the sheath's other end.

Sweep the dust from the floor.

If you have an idea of how to make a cable-pull easier, or to perform any task in the realm of installation, routing, termination, management or removal, please let us know. We'd like to publish your tips in our magazine. You can email your tips to our editor, [email protected].

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