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How to crimp wires together in 4 easy steps

If you were put to the test, would you know how to crimp wires together? When you learn how to use a wire crimping tool, you can save time and money from having to get a pro to do it for you. If you work in construction and deal with wiring, knowing how to crimp wire connectors is a necessity. It’s also a pretty simple task. Before we dive into the easy steps to crimp wires, we’ll explain why you crimp wires and the benefit.

Individual using a wire stripper
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Proper wire connections avoid shorts and other issues

When you’re on a construction project involving electrical matters or doing something similar at home, being able to easily crimp wires together is important, and it’s especially pertinent that you get the wires tightly together. Failing to do this can lead to a loose connection and you may not have the power source you seek.

Crimping wires gives you a stronger and more reliable connection. With crimping, you can form an airtight seal that joins the cable and connector. Doing so reduces the chances of particles like dust and dirt getting in between the cable and connector. This procedure also protects the wires from moisture, which can come into play with outdoor wiring.

Step 1: Collect the necessary tools

Be sure you have the proper crimping tools before starting the job. The tools you need include:

  • Wire crimping tool (make sure it has various die sizes, so the die isn’t too small or too big)
  • Crimp terminals
  • Wire strippers

Step 2: Have the correct wiring and terminal

Know what type of wiring you require, so you have the proper wire size to work with. The best way to determine wire measurements is to use the American Wire Gauge (AWG). This number (example: 14 AWG) tells you the thickness of the wire. So, a 14 AWG involves wiring what you would find with lamps and other light fixtures. By knowing the AWG on the project at hand, you’re better prepared to get the job done in an efficient and expedient manner.

You also need to know your crimping terminal selection as you connect the wiring. Terminals come with various plating choices that protect the wiring from corrosion. Tin is usually a good choice for plating, with gold and silver next on the list.

You could also look to pre-insulated terminals as an option. These do away with stranded wire and facilitate the connections you want. A turned pin terminal (oftentimes round and made from rod materials) helps support the connector formation.

Person crimping a wire
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Crimp the wire 

Take the properly measured wire and remove the end section. Using a wire stripper allows you to take out the sheaths and stripping on more than one insulated wire when needed. Look for a minimum of around 1/16 of an inch of wire to extend out of the crimp after you insert the wire. Make sure the crimping die (the top piece of the crimper used for crimping) is right for the chosen wire gauge mentioned in step 2.

From there, expose the strands of the wire. Do this by trimming off the end insulation, which could be any number of colors (red, yellow, blue, green). Now, have your crimping tool in hand and properly place both the wire and crimp in the tool. Match the insulation color with the right color on your crimping tool. If the insulation has no color, you can use the gauge markings located on the side of your tool to measure and match things up. Ensure the positioning is correct or you could end up damaging the wire. Move the tool until you reach the release point.

Step 4: Inspect the wiring

After you remove the crimp, the end result should be properly adjusted wire and firm insulation. Inspect the wire to ensure you have it the way you intended. You may want to use a magnifying glass to help you get a better look at the finished product. With a gentle tug, the wire shouldn’t be able to separate, even partially, from the crimp. If you can unseat the crimp, you must go back and do the procedure over again to ensure the wiring is properly placed.

Wire crimping made easy

Using a wire crimping tool, crimp terminals, and wire strippers allows you to become a pro at this. By avoiding soldering and lowering the installation time, you can crimp wires together before you know it. Wire crimping is a better choice than soldering because the connection is more reliable. Remember, have the right tools, make the right connections, and move along to your next project.

Former Digital Trends Contributor
How to create a memorable food cart menu
Food truck with menu and person standing out front

Food trucks are a popular business for many entrepreneurs, aspiring chefs, and restaurant owners. They're a great way to test out smaller menus and specialized cuisine without the startup costs of opening a restaurant. Many food truck owners go on to establish permanent locations in areas where their goods sell very well.
If you want to set up a restaurant one day or try your hand at operating a food truck, you need a solid menu. Creating a menu isn't always easy. You might feel overwhelmed with limiting the menu. Business savvy types may focus too much on profit margins, neglecting the value of a menu with one costly (but revenue-building) specialty item.
Read on to learn what you need to know for carving out a solid food truck menu. You'll discover the most popular food truck items, how many items you should include, and what makes a good menu.
What are the most popular food truck items?
It should come as no surprise why some of these items hold such popularity as menu items. The following aren't just popular food truck cuisines, either. Many of these are adaptable for special diets. Some are perfect for prep, easy cleanup, and sale.
Think high-quality or specialty meats: bison, kangaroo, and gator. Consider ease and adjustability for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or, think of regional twists like Mexican, Cajun, and so on. Plus, you can adapt to keto, vegan, and vegetarian options, too. For quick and easy cooking, you can always rely on a burger.
Known for its rich spices and rice or flatbread base, Indian street food is perfect on a food truck menu. It's popular for taste, dietary options, and ease of consumption. Plus, cooking rice and prepping most sauce or curry bases are very straightforward.
Understandably a favorite, pizza isn't hard to prep ahead of time. And if you layout your food truck just right, you can customize pizza in many ways. Although making vegan options is harder, you can still cater to specific dietary needs and a wide variety of specialties with unique topping combos.
Loading up fried potatoes is easy. And if you want a standout factor, you can sell a simple burger or other entrees with one-of-a-kind specialty loaded fries on the side. You can quickly adapt fries to vegan needs, and you can even make a heart-healthy loaded fry entree. If you're wondering what these would look like, imagine how curious your customers might be.
Grilled cheese
Grilled cheese is doable for even the most novice cook, which is a solid, reliable staple food in kitchens everywhere. Finding a good location and sourcing quality ingredients can put this at the top of any food truck's potential menu.
For different dietary concerns, healthier options, convenience, and more, falafel is another multicultural street food. Customers love this dish, which is full of flavor and easy to eat on the go (often served in kebabs). Plus, you can cater to a wider variety of customers with this on your menu.
Mac 'n' cheese
Mac 'n' cheese is another staple, like grilled cheese or pizza. Not traditionally the healthiest, but often the tastiest option, you'll find this is easily adaptable, too. You can make it healthy with veggie-based pasta and you can jazz it up with seafood. You can even "veganize" it with vegan cheese. Your options are limitless.

How many items should be on a food truck menu?
Even knowing what the most popular food truck menu items are may not simplify your decision-making. Maybe you feel more overwhelmed than ever about how you should craft your menu. Here are a few tips for how you pare down your menu ideas.
Offer only essentials
The more specific your menu, the more essential every item on it is. Keeping your menu limited to only the most basic dishes, especially if you're adapting a restaurant's menu, can help reduce your choices.
Selling fewer items allows you to rotate out less popular items or sell new things as a weekly special. Reliable food helps people understand your brand and spread the word about your cuisine.
Rule of thumb
Most food trucks sell 5 to 12 items. These can vary based on how you wish to plan your menu, which could be based on how you source your food or choose to market. Sticking to a set menu streamlines purchasing, prep, marketing, and cleanup. And it keeps tight budgets in check.
Quality over quantity
Focus on the quality of the food you sell. If you make a grilled cheese, you want solid toasting bread. If you put bacon on loaded fries, make sure it's thick and flavorful. Quality ingredients stand out far more than selling tons of food. If you invest in quality, your customers will invest in your food.
What's a good food truck menu?
A good food truck menu follows a few rules. These help your truck stand out, cut costs, build customer interest, and grow your business.
Explore menu psychology
Avoid dollar signs on truck menus or your menu board. Customers should focus on your menu items and their descriptions, not the price. Customers often spend more this way.
Use bracketing to offer the same dish in two sizes. This makes customers feel like they're getting a good deal for more food at a slightly higher price.
Highlight special dishes
Put the most important menu items in the upper right-hand corner. It's the first place the eye goes. Plant your signature dish here for recognition and memorability.
Keep it clear and readable
Don't use columns of menu items. These force customers to compare prices, encouraging them to choose less expensive items. Suppose you can price items the same. 
Make your board easy to update, so customers recognize new foods, specials, and their options. If you want to try new dishes and experiment often, this can help.
Readability is important, too. Make sure you proofread your menu. Avoid fancy fonts and calligraphy anywhere outside of a logo or branding.

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Where do street food carts go each night? And how clean are they?
Business owner writing menu for food cart

Overnight parking and cleaning are often overlooked, but they're very important aspects of operating a food truck business. Without an area to store your food truck, you're looking at expensive insurance and lots of inconveniences. Most cities have commissaries with secure parking specific to this need.
You can deep clean, sanitize, and refuel at commissaries, too. If you're not worried about having enough space for upkeep to follow the health codes for your food truck, you also risk the future of your business. Not complying with regulations and ordinances is usually expensive with fees and fines and can result in license and permitting revocation.
Read on to learn all you need to know about these critical operational aspects of owning a food truck. Next time, you'll be prepared when it comes to parking and cleaning your food cart.

Where business owners put their food carts at night
Food trucks don't operate 24/7. That means they need a place to sit overnight. Experienced food truck owners know the best place to park is a commissary, which is somewhere you can fuel up and sanitize your truck. Here's a breakdown of the best places to park overnight.
Indoor parking
Your best parking area is space dedicated to larger vehicle indoor storage. This likely comes with a rental fee, but you're paying for more than parking. You're likely investing in decent security and protection from weather incidents.

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Construction loans explained: What they are and how they work
Construction loan approval

Whether you're a current or aspiring homeowner, construction loans are great tools to help you create the home of your dreams. However, not all homeowner needs are the same. That's why there are a variety of construction loans available. Although they may sound straightforward, construction loans can be challenging to navigate. There are particular rules and regulations for different types of loans.

How you qualify for a construction loan and the rates associated with these loans vary as well. In this guide, we'll discuss the different types of construction loans and how they work, how you obtain one, and the typical construction loan rates.

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