Organize your cables Pt II
Back in March 2017 I lamented over the problems I was having with my new Gardner Bender Cable Boss stapler shown on the left. This particular device has normal shaped staples with a plastic insert that protects the cable from the metal staple. The problem I ran into was the staples would not fully seat in plywood or hardwood, or anything harder than fir studs. I had to bang them in flush using a hammer, which kind of negated the rationale of using the stapler.
Recently I asked David Popp about the stapler he had been using for the project layouts in MR and MR Video Plus, and it turned out his was also a Gardner Bender, shown on the left. H had purchased this one at Home Depot several years ago, but it obviously was not the one I had purchased. He mentioned that the one he uses had never given him any trouble with plywood or any other wood for that matter. This one uses staples that have a rounded loop in their top which holds the cable without penetrating the casing or wires. Since these staples come in two sizes, 5/32″ and 1/4″, they are ideal for organizing a wide range low voltage cables, and if the cables are a little smaller than the staple loop, they can be pulled through if you need to adjust them. You can even pop in a line of staples and then feed the cable through it.
Since I was still unhappy with the performance of the old stapler I zipped over to Home Depot and bought one along with a package of both sizes of staples. Another reason for the purchase was I was in the midst of installing a telephone system for the Piedmont Southern and needed a reliable way to organize those cables amongst the other Loconet, 12VDC bus, DCC bus, and various control wires for the Tortoises.
This stapler is a lot easier to use, requires less hand pressure, and so far it has been successful with even my hardest plywood and hardwood. The bottom of the stapler has a channel that the cable sits in so the staple ends up in just the right spot over the cable. I had my new telephone network installed in just a few minutes and then went back and tidied up the old cables installed earlier with the old stapler. The really good thing is this stapler and the staples it uses were considerably cheaper than the big orange version I purchased back in March.