Quick Tip: Cable Bundling via the “Roadie Wrap”

Quick Tip: Cable Bundling via the “Roadie Wrap”

We’ve covered techniques for proper cord and cable wrangling before. There are obviously different ways to get the job done and people have their preferred method. One common way to wrap cable so as to minimize kinks is the over-and-under twist method commonly known as the “roadie wrap.”

In this video, Todd Obin, one of the editors of Making Music magazine (and as several people dub him in the comments, “the Bob Ross of cable wrapping”), shows you how to do it.

The roadie wrap is remembered using a mnemonic device: Roadies are overworked and underpaid. The first twist of the cable loop is overhand, followed by an underhand loop, followed by an overhand, followed by and underhand, etc. Overworked and underpaid. Overworked and underpaid.

I also learned a nautical term in the video, “flaking the line,” which Obin describes as simply reeling out the relaxed line into a pile as you might be dropping it into the hold of a ship. Online glossaries define it as laying a rope in a coil or loose series of loops so as to allow it to run freely without kinking. Not to be confused (apparently) with “faking,” which means to organize rope on a deck in a series of “fakes” (usually loops in figure 8 patterns) so that it is ready for running. But the terms are controversial, frequently confused, and often used interchangeably.

[H/t to Boing Boing for the link.]


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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