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Thread: Cable Tie Tightener

  1. #1
    rgsparber's Avatar
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    Cable Tie Tightener

    Those plastic ratcheting cable ties are not so easy to get tight. This tool might help.

    If you are interested, please see

    http://rick.sparber.org/CTTHH.pdf


    Your comments are welcome. All of us are smarter than any one of us.

    Thanks,

    Rick
    Rick

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    Great little tool, I like it, but I would suggest that you don't use it for Data Cables Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 etc. These cables are very sensitive to being crushed and the advice given is that that they should always be left slightly loose, not even fully hand tightened, and for similar reasons they should never be stapled with a staple gun.

    Larger sized cable ties are very strong, and if for example a 10mm wide nylon cable tie was tightened until the tail sheared off, it would probably damage the insulation of any type of cable. If a bunch of cables carrying current was clamped very tightly, it would create a hot spot as cables are given current ratings that assume they are freely ventilated.
    Cable ties can and do slip, and shearing them off, assuming they shear at the last tooth of the ratchet, would mean that they are only being held buy one of the two teeth that they were originally designed with to make a secure tie.
    I have never seen electricians shear off cable ties like this, they just cut the tails. My observations were in a marine/military environment where they are now largely forbidden, and stainless steel ties are used instead. They still use thousands of plastic ties in the wiring installation process as they are easy to use, but on completion they are removed and/or backed up by expensive stainless steel ones at around $6 each.

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    I agree with Moby Duck, but this tool can be also used freely for the ties used to clamp some other parts, such as tubings, rods, etc...
    P.S. Thanks to the rgsparber for sharing this interesting and practical device..!!
    Last edited by toma; 09-07-2017 at 12:34 AM.

  6. #4
    rgsparber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby Duck View Post
    Great little tool, I like it, but I would suggest that you don't use it for Data Cables Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 etc. These cables are very sensitive to being crushed and the advice given is that that they should always be left slightly loose, not even fully hand tightened, and for similar reasons they should never be stapled with a staple gun.

    Larger sized cable ties are very strong, and if for example a 10mm wide nylon cable tie was tightened until the tail sheared off, it would probably damage the insulation of any type of cable. If a bunch of cables carrying current was clamped very tightly, it would create a hot spot as cables are given current ratings that assume they are freely ventilated.
    Cable ties can and do slip, and shearing them off, assuming they shear at the last tooth of the ratchet, would mean that they are only being held buy one of the two teeth that they were originally designed with to make a secure tie.
    I have never seen electricians shear off cable ties like this, they just cut the tails. My observations were in a marine/military environment where they are now largely forbidden, and stainless steel ties are used instead. They still use thousands of plastic ties in the wiring installation process as they are easy to use, but on completion they are removed and/or backed up by expensive stainless steel ones at around $6 each.
    You have made a lot of very important points that I have included them in the updated article with proper acknowledgement: http://rick.sparber.org/CTTHH.pdf

    Thanks,

    Rick
    Rick

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    Clever idea Rick
    Just an observation, however ties are tensioned and cut they leave a sharp edge which is a lot tougher than skin. I work mostly on motorcycles and this has caught me out more than once during maintenance work especially as most folks put that part of the tie were it is not visible, my trick is to melt the exposed end with a lighter for a few seconds to make a nice rounded safe blob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olderdan View Post
    Clever idea Rick
    Just an observation, however ties are tensioned and cut they leave a sharp edge which is a lot tougher than skin. I work mostly on motorcycles and this has caught me out more than once during maintenance work especially as most folks put that part of the tie were it is not visible, my trick is to melt the exposed end with a lighter for a few seconds to make a nice rounded safe blob.
    That cut end is certainly a hazard but I can think of a few people that should not be handling open flames around electrical cables. Is there a way to trim these tails without using a flame?

    Rick
    Rick

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgsparber View Post
    That cut end is certainly a hazard but I can think of a few people that should not be handling open flames around electrical cables. Is there a way to trim these tails without using a flame?

    Rick
    In July 2017, at a particular factory in Nevada, I bound literally hundreds of pneumatic lines, plus respective labeling at manifolds and actuators, with thousands of zip-ties/ cable-ties.
    I despise the acute point or chisel tip that wire cutters leave on zip-ties. Wire cutters (diagonal pliers) cut by indenting and wedging the wire apart. They duplicate that point on nylon ties too.
    SO, I bought a small precision scissor that trimmed near exactly flat and flush to the buckle of each one. 7" long, a sliding lock, and razor sharp, totally pleased with these Wiss W7T. Everyone wanted to try them.
    http://www.wisstool.com/scissors-she...ity-shear.html
    The difference is bypass action of shears, vs anvil or diagonal cutting.

    Frank S recommends battery powered or micro torch soldering gun with a buttering blade work well. Yes it will, but;
    Most of the time I was inside on my back, in harness suspended above, on a ladder, or climbing like a monkey. A bag of zipties and the shear was all I wanted to carry pocket-wise. A hot tool wouldn't be so friendly
    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 09-09-2017 at 10:33 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Another way to blunt the sharp ends is to carry a battery powered soldering gun with a buttering blade installed those tiny little micro torches work well the flame is so small it can easily be directed away from the wires, but you might have to steal one from a crack head because they are getting harder to find in the stores
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  14. #9
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    Thanks Rick! We've added your Cable Tie Tightener to our Fastening category, as well as to your builder page: Rick's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:



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