Measuring the length of a conduit run with ordinary fish tape can be a real pain in the neck. First, you have to work the fish tape down into the conduit. Next, you have to haul it all back out again – but make sure you marked the depth first! And finally, you have to break out a tape measure to measure the fish tape against. That sounds like too many steps, doesn’t it? There are better ways to use your time on the job, and nobody knows that better than Klein Tools, the company that developed Depthfinder™ fish tape.
Klein Tools realized that the hassle of measuring fish tape could be reduced to one simple step, provided that the fish tape is marked with incremental measurements, just like a measuring tape. So they got down to business, and turned that inspired idea into reality. And that’s how we got Depthfinder™ fish tape. To get an accurate measurement, you only need to thread the tape down a length of conduit, and then take a look at the markings on your end once the fish tape has reached the end of the line. How’s that for saving time?
Depthfinder™ flat steel fish tape comes in an ⅛″ width, but you can choose from lengths of 60, 125, or 240 feet, so it has you covered for just about any job. It’s high-impact plastic winder reel is bright orange for easy visibility, and has an extra tough internal reel that helps prevent the tape from kinking and jamming.
We’re into May and things are starting to heat up, but one thing never changes: Friday morning product training sessions. Just a little while ago, I had the pleasure of trying out some of Jameson’s most popular products, the first of which was the Wee Buddy® fiberglass conduit rodding system.
This fiberglass fish tape and reel combo is far more lightweight than steel, so it’s a lot less trouble to schlep around a jobsite than steel tape would be. Secondly, it’s completely non-conductive, so you don’t need to worry about electric shock or injury in the event that the conduit rodder accidentally comes into contact with a power source.
In the case of the Wee Buddy®, the fiberglass rod is covered in a bright orange polymer jacket, which not only makes the tape easily visible, but also keeps it smooth to the touch no matter how long you have it for – a huge advantage over bare fiberglass, which can start out smooth but eventually “bloom” after extended use and continuous exposure to UV rays.
If you’re not familiar with fiber blooming, it’s what happens when the glass fibers begin to disintegrate and separate from the rest of the rod, and let me tell you, it can lead to some serious skin irritation and discomfort for whoever happens to be handling the bloomed fiberglass. So as you can imagine, it’s a huge benefit to use jacketed fiberglass, because it not only strongly resists blooming, but is also far more comfortable for operators to use throughout the product’s entire lifespan.
A Wee Buddy® feature that I found extremely interesting is the fact that it can be repaired on the job should a break ever occur. Apparently all fish tape and rod snaps at some point, regardless of what it’s made of or who manufactured it. It just naturally weakens under the stress it’s exposed to job after job. If you’re using a steel tape, you’re pretty much out of luck if it breaks – the only option is to toss it and get a new one. But Jameson’s fiberglass rodding design, combined with a very well-thought-out repair kit, allows you to repair an injured Wee Buddy® tape on the spot in just a few minutes, so you can get right back to work without missing a beat. I may not be a contractor, but I can definitely see how preferable that would be to halting operations and waiting for new conduit rodder to arrive.