Pre Tying Your Own Ceiling Grid Wire

ceiling grid wire twisting toolWe sell hundreds of thousands of pre tied ceiling grid wire for Ramset & Hilti tools each year.  While most are sold to local customers, we sell many across the country as well.  One thing that really hinders our nationwide sales are the shipping charges.  This really is a shame because pre tied ceiling wires are becoming a must have fastener for many installations.  You will find some suppliers offering pre tied wires, but many times the clip choice is limited or the quality of the pin is sub par (yes pin quality makes a huge difference.)  So, here is an option for you to tie your own ceiling grid wire or pencil rod.

What You Need

  • Grid Wire Twist Tool.  The first thing you need is a wire twisting machine.  We offer a simple to use manual tool that with a little practice, will have you tying 300-400 wires an hour if you need that many!   The tool will handle standard ceiling clips for use in Ramset and Hilti type tools as well as bar joist clips, purlin clips and a variety of different eye wedge anchors.
  • Clips/Anchors.  As mentioned above, you will want to have quality ceiling clips if you are going to shoot the wires up with a powder actuated tool.  Keep in mind, cheap ceiling clips aren’t cheap when they bend or blow out especially as it cost you the labor, clip and load.  I recommend having a good quality balistic point pin clip on hand along with bar joist clips, purlin clips and eye wedge anchor on hand.  Doing so, you can tie up what you need when you need it.
  • Grid Wire.  Grid wire or pencil rod is available from many of the big box stores.  You will typically use 12 gauge wire.  You can cut to length with a cutters or if you want to cut bundles, an abrasive chop saw or grinder will make quick work of it.  Standard lengths are 6′ and 12′.
  • Work Area.  You will obviously need a table or work area to bolt the tie machine to and the longer the wire the bigger area you will need.  You may want to bolt the tie machine to the wall and then use a long 1″ x 12″ mounted to the wall, almost like a shelf to tie on.  Add a couple of 1″ x 3″ to the sides to keep the wire in check.
  • Labor.  Nobody likes tying wire.  I know, I have tied many, many wires.  So here is a great way to get someone to tie them.  Offer them piece work to tie them.  I had a neighbor kit tie for me for a while, I paid him $.04/each, he was making $16 bucks an hour in his garage and watch TV at the same time.

How To Do It

Well I could try to explain it to you, but the video below does a better job.  It may look a little tedious but you will get fast at it and learn a few tricks along the way.  Again, the idea of paying someone piece work will insure it gets tied and fast.   Tying your own ceiling grid wire to clips for powder actuated tools, bar joist and purlin clips and eye wedge anchors can be a very viable option for the small user.  You will save the money on the high shipping associated with pre tied wires and have the ability make exactly what you need for the job on the f

 

 

Toggler Brand Strap Toggle Bolt Anchors

toggler brand strap toggle bolt anchorToggle bolts are one of the basics of any installers kit.  Toggler Brand Strap Toggles should be the standard toggle bolt!  Toggler strap toggles are so much easier to install than a standard toggle bolt.  Just drill a 1/2″ hole (as opposed to a 5/8″ or 3/4″ for standard toggles), slip in, zip up and break off the plastic straps.  The Toggler strap toggle allows you to use a shorter screw as well as you don’t have to acommodate the extra length of the folded toggle wings.  The anchors will work on drywall from 3/8″ to 5/8″ drywall and the manufacture boasts that in 5/8″ drywall the toggle bolt will hold up to 365 lbs.  I know what you are thinking, who in their right mind would hang 365 lbs on a toggle bolt.  I agree, but you will see as you use these strap toggles, they are very secure and your best bet for fastening to drywall.

Now here is one of my favorite things about the Toggler strap toggle, removal.  If you have an application where you may need to remove something you have installed, and you will eventually, your know what a pain unscrewing a standard toggle bolt can be.  With the strap toggle, you just back out the screw.  If you need to install or replace, the threads are still there waiting for you in place.  Typically the anchors are are shipped without screws so make sure you grab some as well.

Check out the install video on the Toggler Strap Toggle here and you will see why these are the toggle bolt anchor of choice for easy installation and removal.

Ramset L652 LADD Ceiling Clips

Ramset sold a tool for years known as the LADD L1600 ceiling tool.  It was a very simple tool with hardly any moving parts.  You would load the single shot loadRamset L652 Ceiling Clip For LADD L1600 Tool in backwards, with the primer facing up and then insert the ceiling clip which had a special pin which had a dome on it.  The ceiling clip was Ramset part number L652 and was also known as a LADD ceiling clip. When you compressed the tool against the ceiling, the dome of the pin was pushed into the load setting off the load and driving in the pin.  The tool was loud but actually did a very nice job even in harder concrete.  The tool would screw on to a piece of pipe, so you could make your own extension pole for the tool as long as you liked.

The tool has been discontinued for some time but you will see them in use here and there.  We have stock on the original Ramset LADD L652 clip for use in the L1600 tool.  If you are looking to update your ceiling tool, we are recommending the Ramset Viper 4.  While Ramset has no longer carries the L652 ceiling clip, we currently have stock that we are clearing out, check out our closeout page.

Extension Pole For The Plastic Body Ramset Cobra Plus

pole tool for plastic body ramset cobra plus

If you have one of the plastic body Ramset Cobra Plus Tools sold by one of the big box stores, we now offer an extension pole to fit your gun.  If you check the picture, the latest Ramset Cobra Plus is a nylon body tool with a larger plastic housing on the front of the tool that also serves to dampen the noise of the tool.  If your tool looks like the one in the picture, click here to choose from either a 6′ extension or 8′ extension pole for to fit.  If your tool is a standard Cobra tool or the metal body Cobra Plus tool, check our install tool section for either the LS350-6 6′ extension or the LS350-8 8′ extension.

Using an extension pole with your Cobra Plus tool offers you several advantages including faster and safer installs.  Any time you can save a trip up a ladder, you are saving time and reducing risk of falls.  We recommend the 6′ pole tool wherever possible as it will accommodate most jobs.  The 8′ may be the answer for taller ceilings but down the road, on a lower ceiling, you may actually find yourself bending over to pull the trigger.

If you haven’t purchased a Ramset Cobra Plus tool as yet, please consider the standard Ramset Cobra Tool.  The standard Ramset Cobra is based on the time proven Hilti DX-350 tool.  The tool is fully serviceable and parts readily available.  The  Plus tool is offered in most big box stores and has gone through several versions.  Not only are parts sometimes hard to find but it can be hard just to identify, which tool you have.

Are Cordless Rotary Hammer Drills Worth The Cost?

Is a cordless rotary hammer rill worth the cost? While the initial outlay can be double or even triple what you are paying for a corded tool, consider a few facts that will help you decide if they are worth the spend.

Convenience. While we don’t often think of the convenience factor when looking at a power tool, really that is what it is all about with cordless tools. A cordless rotary hammer drill is always at the ready (assuming you keep your batteries charged!). You won’t be spending time looking for your power, running a cord and then rolling the cord back up. Open the case and drill, put the tool back in the case, easy.

Power. There was a time when cordless rotary hammer drills were only considered for use in lightweight applications like 3/16” holes. Today’s tools arecordless rotary hammer incredibly powerful rivaling corded tools of the same capacity. For instance the new Bosch GBH18V-26K24 will out work many corded hammers. When you pull the trigger, you can just feel the power. Most of these tools are now rated for thin wall core bits as well, making them even more useful.

Run Time. New battery technology is the driving force behind the increase in usefulness of all cordless tools. Most cordless hammers are packed with 2 battery packs and most of the batteries included have increased mah capacity. Remember in the world of batteries, all things being equal, mah represents your gas tank or run time, more mah, more run time. If you have stayed away from a cordless rotary hammer because of run time, trust me you won’t be disappointed.

Cord Cost. One hidden cost to consider on any cordless tool is extension cord cost. A good quality extension cord can be very expensive and they can have a short life span on the site with all the traffic. Cords are a common theft item on the site as well. And did you know, using long extension cords can actually damage your corded tool?

Safety. Safety, safety, safety! More and more time is being spent on job site safety and a lot of focus is being put on concrete dust, including that resulting from Cordless Rotary Hammerhammer drilling concrete. Here is where a cordless rotary hammer drill can really shine. Many of the current tools can be purchased as a fully self -contained dustless unit with the vacuum on board. Not only can you purchase a dustless rotary hammer cheaper than buying a corded hammer and separate vacuum, consider the space needed in your truck, each truck to haul the unit. Add to that dragging it around a busy site, tripping over the cords or working on a ladder, a cordless rotary hammer drill is a no brainer.

Warranty. Most power tools have a 1 year warranty. But did you know that most cordless tools have a better warranty, some between 3-5 years? Many of these warranties require you to register your tool, but that is really a small price to pay for such an excellent warranty.

Consider the points above when you are looking to add a hammer drill. I think you will find some real benefits from purchasing a cordless rotary hammer drill.

Malco MSHC Dual Sided Magnetic Driver

Malco MSHC 1/4" - 5/16" Dual-Sided Hex Chuck DriveHere is a great little driver you will find useful in all kinds of applications, the Malco MSHC Dual Sided Magnetic Driver.  The foremost feature you will notice on the driver is the dual driver, 1/4″ on one side and 5/16″ on the other.  You will find many hex screws fall in to that range.  For instance,  most #8 hex sheet metal and hex self drilling screws will have a 1/4″ head and the #10 & #12 of the same type of screws will have a 5/16″ head.  Moving to your tapcon type anchors, the 3/16″ hex head tapcon will have a 1/4″ head and the 1/4″ will have a 5/16″ head.  With this one driver you can handle a large portion of your screw driving.  If you are a sheet metal guy, you know that most every screw you install will be a 1/4″ or 5/16″ head.  But there is another advantage to having the dual head.

Easy Magnet Cleaning With The Malco MSHC Driver.  One of the frustrations with magnetic drivers is that they are magnetic and hold any metal shavings that may develop.  Cleaning the shavings out of a regular socket can be hard if not impossible.   Soon you have a build up that makes it harder for the screw to seat properly in the driver.  If you check out the video for the driver you will see how easy it is to clean.  Simply pop off the socket and you can pull the shavings off.  Check out the  Malco MSHC Dual Sided Magnetic Driver along with a video on it at CosntructionFastening.Net

Choosing The Correct Power Level For Ramset & Hilti PAT Tools

Choosing the correct power level for use in your Ramset, Hilti, Simpson, Powers or other powder actuated tool is easy when you keep in mind a few basic principles and understand what the different power levels are.

As a rule of thumb, you will want to use the lowest power level that will get the job done.  This provides a safe fastening and demands less of your PAT tool.  Keep in mind, that in concrete you are typically looking for ¾”  to 1” embedment and in steel, you are looking for a embedment of ½”.  There are some variables such as if the steel is thinner than ½”  you will pierce it which is fine.  When choosing a pin for your application, keep these numbers in mind and you will have the correct length of pin.  At that point, you want to start with the lowest power level available for the tool.   Usually when you have the correct power level, you will still have some of the fluting still left on the pin after you install.  If your pin doesn’t set to the desired depth, jump up to the next power level.

Power levels for Ramset and Hilti tools are somewhat standard throughout the industry, all though you will see some exceptions here and there for specific tools and applications.   Loads are distinguished by numbers and color.  For numbers, low to high, 1-5.  They are also identified by color going from low to high: Brown, Green, Yellow and Red.  For the strip and disc loads you may not find the brown very easily, start with green and you should be fine.  It is important that you test your tool rather than just compare it with what others are using on the job.  Different tools may be set a little different.  For instance, a yellow in a disc tool may closer to the power developed by a strip tool with the same color load.  Power loads for Ramset, Hilti, Simpson, Powers & other PAT tools.

Some tools have a power adjustment feature.  I am not a big fan of these tools (more working parts) but they offer you the luxury of stocking just one power level.  Remember though, they can only drop the power level of a load, not increase what you have.

Most of our customers have enough experience that they can look at the application and just know what power level they will use.  Most settle in on 2 different power levels for their trade.  If you are new to using a PAT, invest in a couple boxes of every power level available for your tool.

To sum it all up, start with the lowest power level for your tool and work your way up until your pin is setting to your desired depth.  Choosing the correct power level for your Ramset or Hilti tool will ensure a safe working environment along with trouble free operation.

Stainless Steel Bridle Rings

Stainless Steel Bridle Rings Stainless Steel Bridle RingsStainless Steel Bridle Rings.  If your application is in a harsh environment containing certain chemicals or outdoor use, you may be looking for a stainless steel bridle ring.  Our bridle rings are 316 stainless for added corrosion resistance.  Available in both 1-1/4″ and 2″ diameters with either a screw end made to screw directly into wood or a 1/4-20 thread version.  The 1/4-20 thread stainless steel bridle ring can be used in conjunction with a beam clamp, Sammy Screw or concrete anchor for installation.  While designed for installation of cable, we know our customers are finding many outdoor uses for them including marine and garden applications.

All of our stainless steel bridle rings are sold in packages of 20 to help you buy just what you need for the project.  If you need help finding a suitable anchor for your install, give us a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377 and we will do our best to help out.  While you likely won’t find many installs requiring a stainless bridle ring, when you need them, you now have a source!

Simpson Titen HD Anchors

While you have many options for fastening racks and other fixtures to concrete and block, but have you tried the Simpson Strongtie Titen HD Anchor?    The Titen HD anchor is a concrete screw anchor that is easy to install and leaves you with a nice finished hex head.  The anchor is also removable making it perfect for temporary installs or future moves.

Installing The Simpson Strongtie Titen HD Anchor
Installation of the anchor is simple.  Drill a hole the same diameter as the anchor, so for a 3/8″, drill a 3/8″ hole about an inch deeper than intended installation clean the  hole and install.   The Titen HD has are real advantage over some of the competitive anchors that use special bits or even strange hard to find fractional bits.  Everyone has a 3/8″ or 1/2″ hammer drill bit, but 7/16″ or 9/16″, not so likely.  A cordless impact driver makes quick work of driving in the anchor.

Simpson Strongtie Titen HD anchors are available in diameters from 1/4″ to 3/4″  in a variety of lengths.  The standard finish is zinc which works well for most interior work but you can find mechanically galvanized and even stainless steel for more demanding environment.

Check out the video below to see how fast and easy the Simpson Strongtie Titen Anchor installs.  Available online at ConstructionFastening.Net

 

Replacement For The Ramset J Master L1701 Ladd Clips

ramset ladd clip j master l1700 l1701 l1801The Ramset J Master Ladd clip, part number L1701 for bar joist installations and the L1801 for purlins have been discontinued by Ramset.  Both clips were installed with the L1700 install tool.  The good news is we have a replacement for all three that will offer you a few advantages, including a tool to tie the grid wire for you.  More about the Purlin Master at the end of the post.  The Purlin Master tool will allow you to something with our  bar joist and purlin clips that you could never do before with the Ramset L1700 or L1801.

For the Ramset L1701 Bar Joist Clip  

Our replacement for the Ramset L1700 bar joist clips is the VOH14 clip.  This clip mounts to 1/16″ to 1/4″ vertical flanges typical with bar joists.  The clip can be used with the Ramset L1700 tool but a better choice is the HOIT-AL which features a spring lock that snaps into the clip so it will be more stable while you install.   These clips are available pre tied in lengths of ranging from 4′ to 8′.

For the Ramset L1801 Purlin Clip   

To replace the Ramset part number L1801 purlin clip, we are offering the ADOC14 clip.  As with our bar joist clip, this clip can be installed with the Ramset L1700 tool but the HOIT-AL is the recommended tool.  Our purlin clip is angled for use on z purlins.  If you have a vertical flange purlin we would recommend the VOH14.  At this time we are not offering the ADOC14 purling clip pre tied on our site, but you can give us a call and we can do it for you.

For the Ramset L1700  

As mentioned above the HOIT-AL is what we are using in place of the L1700 tool.  The real advantage for the HOIT-AL tool is how it allows you to click the bar joist or purlin clip securely on the the tool so it is nice and steady as you raise the clip to the ceiling.  Like the Ramset L1700 tool, the HOIT-S can be mounted on piece of 1/2″ EMT pipe with a set screw connector or if you have the Lamgaster Plus tool, there is a plug that will accept the tool.

If you install bar joist clips or purlin clips, you really need to check out the video on the Purlin Master tool.  The Purlin Master not only installs bar joist an purlin clips, it ties the grid wire on the clip for you, all from the floor!  Please keep in mind the Purlin Master will only work with our VOH14 and ADOC14 clips.