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this is the Saturday  Morning Home Repair Blog where the Dailykos community gets together to talk about all things construction and repair. Our genial and expert staff stand ready to aid you on your every problem

Well, I really didn't do that much over the last month. Three weeks of it was taken going down to Chile and hanging out  in Valdivia and checking out the wall art in Valparaiso with my pal Bernardo.
Just got an email from Bernardo, he says the fire is almost all out in Valparaiso.

So I didn't get a lot done around the house this month but I hate to disappoint you guys so I thought I'd show you a trick that is just slicker than snot on a doorknob.
I know you guys are always looking for the right fixture to unroll Romex cable with. You don't want to unwind it from the center, that twists it all to hell and gone. You need a reel to unwind it off the outside so it unwinds smoothly and straightly as God intends it to but you don't want to pay ungodly amounts like $129 for a stud reel.  You don't want a stud reel anyway, you can't use a stud reel once the sheetrock's up. You want something you can make on the job out of wood scraps laying around.
What to do, what to do?

here's what to do:
get a couple of pieces of 2x4, one about 24" one about 16." Using #16 sinkers, Nail the shorter one to the bigger one making a tee. now take a small piece of plywood, any thickness, but triangle, roughly isosceles, about 12" per side and nail it to the side of the tee so it serves as a gusset-- a reinforcement to the tee--- and it helps to hold the roll in place.
like so:
(notice in the picture how the triangle holds the roll in place--this is important as it keeps the roll from flopping around when unwinding)
 photo CIMG1950.jpg

now comes the tricky part:
drive a #16 nail into the top of the fixture (as it sits above) then bend it back over.
Now take another #16 and put a washer on it, as in the picture below. Take a loop of Romex about 2' long and drive the nail through it in the center. now, using pliers, bend the nail back up, again as in the picture.

 photo CIMG1951-1.jpg

This creates a hook, which mates with the hook on the top of the upside down tee. The washer makes a bearing on the upper bent nail, which allows the fixture to turn. the romex easily unwinds from the reel. As you can see in the top picture, tie the ends of the romex loop together to make a sturdy loop. this can be hung on a nail in a framed doorway or window or a nail driven in just above the door casing on a finshed door, which will be invisible. If you use this inside a finished house pad the ends so they don't bang into the door jambs.
You can see the upper loop/nail/washer/bearing in the upper picture. you can make the loop longer or shorter to hang it right where you want it.
these things last forever---I built this one when I moved into this house 9 years ago and I'm still using it

So that's your little home repair trick for the month.
So what are you working on

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