Archive for January, 2012

Tool Wrap

Tommy Ursetti from Sarasota County (FL) Station 5 sent in this photo of a different method of creating a tool wrap. This wrap simply uses cotton clothes line rope and some half hitches. The wrap is technically called a Chinese staircase, named from the spiral that is formed as the knot is tied. The wrap is started with a clove hitch at one end followed by multiple half hitches pulled tight after each knot. The wrap is finished with a another clove hitch and secured with super glue. One benefit of using this style of wrap is that it tends to be a bit more durable than wraps created with tape. Any small diameter rope works well for this wrap. One potential benefit to consider when using cotton rope is that it actually gets a little tighter when wet. Para-cord (550 cord) also works very well. It tends to create a flatter wrap if the inside stands of the cord are removed prior to wrapping the tool. Its a big pain to remove the strands, but some people prefer the flatter wrap. Tommy mentioned that he actually learned this wrap from Chris Kelly and Lt. Jerry Jensen.

Some people prefer modifying their tools with grips, others do not. There are obvious pros and cons. Whatever your preference is the key to success is to take care of your tools, and train with them regularly.


Door Stand

There are a number of different methods to defeat the carriage bolts that hold supplemental locks in place. The two most popular are cutting the head of the bolt with the rotary saw, or driving the bolt through the door with a halligan. Lt Christopher Parker from City of New Haven (CT) Squad Co 1 sent in this idea for a simple prop to practice either technique. The prop is a simple stand that “clamps” a scrap metal door in place horizontally to allow for a large surface to mount carriage bolts. Once the door is consumed the carriage bolts are loosened to allow the door to be removed and another slid in its place. The stands are only 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide and don’t take up much room when stored. The legs are 5ft 4×4’s with heavy-duty brackets to secure the uprights. The uprights are made from 5ft 4×4’s on one side and 5ft 2×4’s on the other. The bottom “shelf” of the uprights are 3ft 2×4’s with an additional scrap of 2×4 cut into ¼” thickness (see photo below.) The ¼ scrap is simply to make up the difference of the thickness of the door. A piece of ¼” plywood would work just as well and may even be easier to work with. Once the door is clamped in place, simply drill holes and place the sacrificial carriage bolts in place. Wing nuts can be used to prevent the need for any additional tools when clamping the door or adding the carriage bolts. Notice in the first picture that the prop is up against a curb to limit movement (sliding) during use, placing the prop against a building would work the same. This easy to assemble prop can provide some great forcible entry training on a technique that may not often be practiced.

Here is the detailed parts list that can be obtained for well under $100:

(2) 10 foot PT 4x4s
(2) 8 foot 2x4s (plus a 2ft scrap),
(2) 8 inch carriage bolts
(2) 8 inch lag bolts
(4) heavy duty 90 deg brackets
(1) 2×2 sheet of plywood
3 inch deck screws


Sawzall Sleeve

Michael Rush from Chattanooga (TN) Squad 3 sent in this simple but effective method of storing sawzall blades. They simply took some scrap cardboard and folded in in half to make sleeves to hold the blades, these sleeves are kept in the box with the saw. The cardboard sleeves are covered in duct tape to make them last, and finished with some custom sharpie work to identity the different blades carried. They have found that the cardboard-duct tape combo fits in the sawzall box easily, takes up less space, and is more pliable then using a sleeve made from old fire hose. The nice thing about this method of storage is that the blades can be easily identified when reaching into the box to grab a specific blade. Another benefit is that the entire sleeve of blades and be slipped in the coat pocket of who ever is utilizing the saw, making a mid-cut blade replacement a breeze.