A reader recently sent in this question to JLC: Each member of my crew has his or her own way of coiling extension cords. Most of them just wrap their cords over their wrist and elbow. Is there a right or wrong way?

JLC senior editor Roe Osborn answers with a technique he learned from the first carpenter he ever worked with. Some of Osborn’s cords are still in good shape after three decades of use, which he attributes to the good habits he learned early in his carpentry career. The foundation of Osborn’s cord coiling technique is in recognizing the natural lay of the cord you’re working with (air hoses and braided rope, included). The natural lay of a cord comes from the manufacturing process. Coiling a cord by wrapping it around your wrist and elbow forces the cord into unnatural curves and also forces the wires inside into unnatural positions. Want to avoid kinked, frayed, or broken cords, and have them stay with you throughout your construction career? Read more of Osborn’s advice here.