Coil Your Extension Cords Like A Roadie With The Over-Under Method

No one understands the value of a properly wound cable more than concert roadies and TV crew professionals, who wrap and unwrap hundreds of metres of cord on a daily basis. Here's the method they use to keep their shows running on time.

The over-under technique shown above and below is best suited for long cables and as an alternative to wrapping the cord around your elbow and hand. Coil the cord with thumbs facing the same direction then alternate and end the coil with the thumb of your bottom hand facing towards you.

This method eliminates unnecessary twists in the cord and allows the cord to coil in it's natural state (like it was wrapped from the factory). It also allows the cord or cable to be quickly straightened by either throwing the coil away from your or just pulling on one end.

This Old House also approves of the over-under method and they have added a great tip to keep the cord tied together. Wrap a long string around one end of the extension cord near the plug, and after the coiling the cord, tie a bow knot around the entire coil.

They also suggest storing your wound cords in a bucket which will keep them from unravelling. You can also dispense the coil straight from the bucket but cutting a hole on the side of the bucket near the bottom, and pulling the male end of the plug through the hole to plug into the wall. Then pull the length of cord needed straight out of the bucket.

The chain link method is another effective coiling technique and eliminates knots, but it adds more twists and bends to your cord and is not very compact for storage. Check out our advice for wrapping smaller cables while you're at it.


    Like a roadie, or a film school student

    working in tv this is the best way of doing looms of up to 100m, anything longer than that a figure 8 technique is best.

    Note that the cable has to be unkinked first - if it has been coiled the wrong way previously then it may have set twists in it that must be untwisted first. A warm concrete driveway can help with this although I have found that really the cable has to be dangled from a height to allow all the twists to straighten.

    That looks very similar to the half-twist method I learnt a very long time ago when rock climbing.

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