Wire Clamp Making Tool

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Introduction: Wire Clamp Making Tool

About: I mostly do electronics, PCBs and simillar, but I also like metalworking, woodworking, fixing things and all sort of cool and stupid things :)

My first instructable, so be gentle :)


It was about time to make a good old mechanical project, to take a break from all the electronics I usualy do. So, I decided to make myself a Clamptite replica.

It is a tool used to make all sorts of clamps from a simple piece of wire. Clamp is stronger than traditional screw clamp, and it has much lower profile and no sharp edges. People even used this tool to fix stuff in submarines! You can also use it to fix broken hammer handle, bind together random stuff and much more!


The tool is nowhere near the exact dimensions of the real deal. I just used the materials and tools that I had in the workshop and made it look good and proportional. The tool works very well. You can clamp a hose to the inlet, you can fix broken handles, fix your car... With just a wire. Just look on the internet what it can do.

Here is a quick video of its making, or you can follow the steps in this instructable to make one!

Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed

Tools:

I used lathe, CNC router, angle grinder, inner and outer thread cutters and some basic tools, like drills, sandpaper and files.

But you can also get by without using all those expensive tools like CNC router and lathe. It can be done, it just requires more manual labour.

Materials:

- Aluminium tube 10mm outer diameter and 6mm inner diameter (you can use other dimensions and scale other parts accordingly, just make sure that the tube has thick enough walls so it will be sturdy enough for use

- 10mm diameter brass rod for the handle

- steel rod 10mm in diameter - for the tip of the tool

- 3mm diameter hardened rods. I used some from an old CD-ROM drive. They are nice and smooth and VERY hard, so they don't scratch or bend and they are perfect for this tool.

- 10cm M6 screw

- plastic washer

Step 2: Make the Body

Start with the tube that is longer than needed. We will cut it to length later. Make it at least 15cm long.

Then start making the slot.

This is probably the trickiest part of the build. The slot is just wide enough so that hardened rods froim the CD drive fit in nicely. I made the slot 3.2mm wide and 6cm long. I made it with the router, but you can just drill the holes along the tube with the drill and use a file to make it nice. The problem I had with the routing was that the tube material was soft alumiinium, and it wasn't milling nicely. It clogged the routing bit one time and it broke.

Make the slot in the middle of the rod, you will shorten the ends as needed later.

Step 3: Making the Tip Part 1

For the tip I used a steel rof 10mm in diameter (outer diameter of the tube).

I narrowed one end wit the lathe and cut the M8 thread.

Also cut the M8 thread in one side of the tube, so that the tip can screw in nicely.

I think I overcomplicated this step. If I would be making it again, I would (instead of making threads) probably just pressed the tip into the tube and add some superglue to hold it in place.


Do not start to shape the tip yet.

Step 4: Making the Tip Part 2

After you screwed the tip into the body, drill a hole for the 3mm hardened rod from CD drive in line with the slot. It is much easier to drill it now when the tip is not shaped yet.


Then start shaping the tip.

I did it quick and dirty. I spun the thing on the lathe and used an angle grinder to shape the tip, since I didn't bother adjusting the lathe. You can mount it in the drill press and do the same. It is quick and it works.

Also make the slot for the wire. I marked it with a file, but then I used a cutting disk on the angle grinder to make it quicker.

Step 5: Make the Threaded Rod

For the threaded rod, I used a regular 10cm M6 screw. It should fit in the tube nicely. I lengthened the thread by hand, because I couldn't find the "perfect" screw.

Leave at least 10mm of unthreaded body at the end . There you should drill a hole for another hardened rod. If the thread is there, the part becomes too weak.

Step 6: Make the Handle

I used 10mm brass rod for the handle, because it looks nice and it is easy to work with.

The rod needs to be 5cm long.

Drill a 5mm hole in the middle and cut M6 inner thread so it can be screwed onto the M6 screw.

Step 7: Polish

Polish the body and the tip with sandpaper, so it looks nice. It is much easier to do it now.

I spun the thing in a lather and used a sandpaper. You can also do it in the drill press. BUT BE CAREFUL!

It is much safer just to sand it by hand.

Step 8: Assemble

Cut the 3mm rods from CD drive to the length (25mm and 45mm) and hammer
them in place. I used a drop of superglue to fix them in place. Dont forget to insert the threaded M6 rod beforehand! Else you will not be able to assemble it.

Put a plastic washer under the handle, and put a cap on the end of the thread.

The tool is now done!

Step 9: Summary

Here you can watch my video of the tool in the making.You can see some extra steps of the build.


There is also a demonstration on how to use the tool around 6:47 mark.

Now make some clamps!

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    22 Discussions

    > Clamp is stronger than traditional screw clamp

    :) Serious?? Every single car(!) with hell-knows-big pressure uses "screw clamp". Are you sure you wanna teach a whole industry what is "strong"? :) Even my engineering mind says stainless ring with screw is much stronger than any thin wire.

    Sometime people use stainless band w/o screw (clamping its end), but again no any wire here!

    Second drawback of your "solution" is wire - it's THIN, it become "blade" for any gum material, so no any hose can be tied.

    All I see is you repeat well known, but outdated tool using a lot of efforts. Just believe me, all those "handles" you could apply for better project.

    Very nice Instructable. I have one of the original Clamptite tools and love it! I often wanted to make a larger size and this might just get me started doing just that! Thanks, good job.

    1 reply

    How have I never heard of a clamptite tool? This is amazing! I'll definitely put this on my to-make list!

    2 replies

    You can purchase it for $39.99. It has been out for about 7 years.

    There is no fun in buying tools, if you can make them :D

    0
    user
    mf70

    6 months ago

    Nice 'ible! However, I would encourage folks to buy the commercial version to encourage creators of innovative US built tools. The concept is a vital new way to clamp all kinds of tubing. I've used mine for years (though I might swap out the wing nut for your brass "T" handle).

    0
    user
    DBat

    6 months ago

    Although this is the first Instructables of this we were making then at lease 10 years ago out of one piece. They do work good in a pinch.

    Thank you for a great remake! I got this tool over 40 years ago to use on my farm .... still using it! I did change out the handle to your way as my hands got tired too quickly! love this tool!

    I got mine from https://clamptitetools.com/ 10 + years ago it is the greatest and way easier to buy than to make if you don't have the setup!

    20180111_102933[1].jpg

    Very nice. Agreed with other commenters that a description of whta the tool does would be useful ^^

    Nice instructable! Featured on your first time out. I can't believe I've never hear of this tool! I would add a brief description of what the tool is used for. I was curious enough to track down a video:

    https://youtu.be/cBhkp-DZMrE

    1 reply

    Thank you for the tip, I will add the description.

    It looks really good. I posted one ages ago that I built with simple tools, if anyone is interested.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Wire-clamping-tool-DIY-/

    nice and clean looking project. I have been wanting to make one for a while but it just hasn't made it to the "project table". great job.

    1 reply

    A problem that I have with the one I bought at Lee Valley:

    It uses a wingnut to tension the device, and my fingers give out first. You have a much better replacement for the wingnut.

    Another problem I've had is keeping the wire from slipping on the back set of bars. I use a fairly stiff high tensile strength wire. This class of device needs an easy to use positive grab for the wire here. This design still has this problem.

    Hmm. Wonder if I could expand this to use high tensile fence wire for poly pipe connections?

    1 reply

    Yes, I also wanted to use a wing nut, but it is a pain to handle with hands. The brass handle is much nicer to hold. And it is very easy to make.

    I had no problems with wire slippage, I twist wires as in the video. But I haven't tried with very high tension. If that rod would be thicker, I would drill two holes, to stick the wire ends through. Maybe it would help.

    0
    user
    Phil B

    6 months ago

    I made one of these a few months ago, but have not used it yet. I used 1/2 inch square tubing and a 5/16 inch toilet tank bolt. I put a hex nut on the bolt and will use a wrench to tighten the bolt.

    People at Instructsbles are just grateful to anyone who publishes a submission. The on,y ones who have been unkind in their comments to me are people who have never published an Instructable themselves, but they know what is wrong with our work. You are doing fine.

    1 reply

    Thank you!