fishing speaker wire questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by DerekBH, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. DerekBH

    DerekBH Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am pretty new to the whole constructing a home theater thing.i know all the basics of hooking a system up but my question is more on the "construction side". I was wondering how to fish wire through the walls and around corners especially.this seems tough for me to imagine how to do it considering there would be studs in the way and how to angle it around the corner.i know what i said is kinda confusing but if anyone could kinda map out how it is done i would greatly appreciate it.thanks.
     
  2. Barry Ford

    Barry Ford Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Derek,

    It is almost impossible to run wire through existing construction without cutting holes in the wallboard and drilling through every single stud. Since they're only 16" apart, that's a lot of holes and patching.

    I believe the easiest way is to hide the wiring under crown molding along the ceiling. With this technique, you still have to fish the wire vertically from the ceiling (under the crown molding) to the outlet, but if done carefully, the crown molding will cover the top hole, and you can cover the lower hole with a cheap (39 cent) blank wall plate. (Drill a small hole for the speaker wire.) No wallboard patching!!!

    Fishing a wire vertically is fairly easy since rarely will there be cross beams between the studs. Just tie the wire to a chain or string with metal, drop it through the top hole and catch it with a magnet or hook at the bottom hole. Then pull the wire with the string. There are a couple of companies that build plastic, paintable crown molding just for this purpose. It has a removeable cover and doesn't need to be mitre cut.

    A cooler, but messier method is a metal channel system that runs under the baseboard in a room. You pull off the baseboard, cut a slot in the wallboard for the channel, screw the panel into the slot, then attach the baseboard back to the channel. The channel cover and attached baseboard is then removeable for additional wiring etc. You have to fish the wire from the baseboard up to the outlet in this system as well.
     
  3. GrahamTAK

    GrahamTAK Extra

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Derek, I had the same question and haven't yet gone through the wiring process. Lucky for me, the walls aren't up yet so I can put them in before drywalling.

    However, I still wondered how to get the mass of cables around the room (cheaply) to speakers etc without the usual mess. So on that end, thanks for the info Barry.

    After reading this I found the baseboard track you were talking about - pretty cool. A lot better than that black vacuum tubing that seems so popular and in my opinion, not any better than loose wires.

    Id's say the google keywords to look for are:
    "raceway"
    "wiretrack"

    There are also some rubber cable track options meant to protect cables from being walked on - and from you tripping on them.

    I'm thinking I'll get a length of that to bring the x-box cables closer to the couch so I don't end up cross-eyed from being too close to the screen.
     
  4. MikeTC

    MikeTC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Couple of easy wiring solutions without drilling into stud:

    1. Remove the baseboards and create 1" channel (bet. floor & bottom of drywall) and run your wires thru the channel. Replace baseboards after finish wiring.

    2. For carpet flooring left up the carpet, there is usually a 1/2" to 3/4" of channel bet. tackless strip and baseboard that wires could be ran. Use duct tape to hold wires in place and then put the carpet back.

    Good luck.
     
  5. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    In many cases it's not actually necessary to lift up the carpet, especially if you're only dealing with speaker wire. I think this is preferable, if possible, so that you don't have problems with an improperly stretched carpet.

    Usually you can just push the wire directly under the bottom of the baseboard, and it'll just sit nicely in that little channel between the tackless strip and wall. I've been able to cram in one coax and three 14-gauge speaker wires with little to no trouble.
     
  6. Barry Ford

    Barry Ford Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have crammed wires under the baseboard method as well. It works OK but the problem is how to get the wire up to the surrounds without coming around the baseboard. You can't run it into the wall because of the baseplate.

    Any ideas on how to do that without the wire showing?

    The best site I found for all the wire pulling tricks is at mccartento company. They sell the tools etc.
     
  7. Darren{Moo}

    Darren{Moo} Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    The best solution, in my opinion, if you have attic access above the space is to go up and over. That is, you fish the wires vertically to/from the attic to your head end, and then vertically to/from each speaker location. Unless the wall is relatively tall with firebreak blocking, you should only end up drilling the top plate. There are a variety of tools made to aid in this process. Fishing chains, 72" (or longer) flexible drill bits, fish tapes, glo-sticks, etc. Also, a second pair of hands in the attic while you are in the room, or vice versa really simplifies the process. I have more experience doing this than I like to remember (read that as I have a wife completely intolerant of wires) so if you have specific questions shoot me an email.
     
  8. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Derek,
    Surround wires are going to either go up and over or under and up. If the joist in your ceiling are parallel to the side walls, they may well be open from front to back. Then all that remains is dropping down the wall. If it's an outside wall, fire breaks and supports make it absurd. However, inside walls are possible without inducing a stroke. Drywall cutting and patching for drilling access is part of the job, but really not the scary chore it is often made to sound. These basic tools will make the difference between getting a beer or getting bi***ed at; Drywall saw
    Fiberglas fish stick (pulls apart into sections similar to a cane for a blind person. Has an elastic cord inside.)
    6 foot 3/4" drill bit (home depot, 28 bucks.)
    Bending tool for the bit.
    Fiberglas fish stick, solid 6 ft. Called a green stick.
    Mirror on a telescoping wand. (trust me...)
    A GOOD stud finder with AC warning.
    Small bright flashlight or better, an LED light on a headstrap from wal-mart. Makes you look like a geek, but a geek that can see!
    100 bucks should get all this.
    Always think two steps ahead and you are set. Oh yeah, I've had amazing luck removing air vents and finding wide open spaces or spotting major problems.
    Good luck!
     

Share This Page