Wire Clamping Tool ( DIY )




As requested by r-philp, here's a write up of how I made my wire clamping tool. This is simply a loose copy of the Clamp Tite brand tool. It is not to scale and absolutely not my idea/design in any way. I built both copies from a photo in the Garret Wade catalog.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools: ( Not pictured )

Files- standard set and jeweler's set
Drill press with vice ( I used a cordless drill in some of my steps but the steps can be done on the drill press )
Dremmel with cut-off wheels
Sandpaper- coarse and fine
Drill bits- 7/64" & 13/64"
Countersink bit
1/4-20 tap
Calipers and ruler/tape measurer
Small hammer
Marking tools


1/4" I.D. aluminum tubing
1/8" ss rod
An old center punch ( I used a piece of 3/8" ss rod and turned my own nose piece )
1/4-20 ss all-thread ( Not pictured )
1/4-20 wing nut ( I turned my own from a large brass punch )
1/4" UHMW washer ( Not pictured. A regular steel washers might destroy your tool over time and regular plastic washers are too soft to hold up to the pressure of pulling the wire )

Step 2: The Hard Part- Drilling Holes in Round Rod

Don't cut anything to size yet, you can minimize waste.

To align the chuck on the press to the vice you"ll 1st have to chuck the rod to be drilled on the press. Once done, Bring the vice to the rod and close it onto the chucked rod without moving the rod. Finally, clamp the vice down carefully so it doesn't move on you. You'll have to repeat this step for every piece to ensure that you're drilling centered.

Using the 7/64" drill bit, set up and drill a hole about a 1/4" from the end of the all thread piece. It might help to file a small flat where the hole will start on the all thread. Reset the clamp, and using the same bit, drill about an inch from the end of the center punch or the 3/8" rod.  Start drilling very slowly and watch the bit when it touches the workpiece, make sure the bit doesn't move to either side.

If you decide to make your own wing nut, drill a 13/64" hole an inch from the end of the rod in the same way as the other two pieces.

Step 3: Making the Body

This is a fairly straight forward step. First, score parallel marks on the aluminum tube with the calipers. Next, starting 3/4" from the end of the tube, with a Dremmel, cut slots on both sides to 2 1/2" long. Then, starting with an assortment of jeweler's files and working your way up to small standard files, open the slots to 1/8" and clean them up as much as possible without going overboard. Use the 1/8" rod as a gauge, sliding it up and down both slots together until you have a nice, easy glide with minimal play. The aluminum works easily, so this won't take long.

Once the slot is finished, cut the other end to 1/2" from the end of the slot and clean and de-burr all of the edges.

Step 4: Making the Nose Piece

*** Please note that using a drill in this manner could result in serious injury. I am simply telling you how I did it. I take no responsibility if you choose to use this method. ***

To make the nose piece, I chucked the rod on the drill and filed a shoulder where the taper ends. Using a file and some elbow grease, I turned the shoulder down so that it was about 3/100s of a mm larger than the opening on the body of the tool. I constantly checked my work and made sure it was parallel across at least a half inch off the shoulder. Once I was close to the desired measurement, I finished the shoulder with some sandpaper to get a smooth finish.

Once happy with the shape, I moved the piece into the chuck so that 9/16" of the shoulder was exposed. I then used a hacksaw against the chuck with the drill at low speed and cut the nose piece off cleanly so that I ended up with a half inch shoulder. To make assembly a little easier, I slightly chamfered the end on the shoulder and filed the tip left from cutting.

I used a file and sandpaper to shape the tapered end of my nose piece before making the shoulder, but it took allot of work which is why I suggest using an old center punch. For my original tool, I used an old 1/2" pin I found in a scrap pile. It ended up dictating the size of the tool which i thought to be too big for my needs.

I used the same method to shape the brass wing nut. If you're not interested in looks or want something easier, try your local hardware store for a regular wing nut. They're inexpensive and easy to find.

Step 5: Assembling and Finishing

On a vice, press the nose onto the body at the 3/4" side making sure to keep the hole and slot aligned. Be sure to go slowly to keep everything straight and stop as soon as the end of shoulder meets the tool body. It'll take surprisingly little pressure on the vise to bend the tool body at the slots and ruin it.

Next, sand down 4" of the 1/8" rod to 2.9mm and cut two 2" pieces. Starting with the all thread, drive your pin into the hole through the slot as shown in the picture until both side are even. The assembly should slide freely all the way through the slot. If not. pull the all thread all the way up to the top of the slot and gradually rework the it until you get a clean glide. Install the nose piece pin. If the pins are a little loose, use a little super glue on both sides of the pin.

On the tip of the nose, you need a small notch for the wire to cradle in while you're pulling it tight. A small triangle file makes short work of this. Just keep the notch parallel with your pins and centered on the tip. I made mine about 1/8" deep.

Finally, install the washer and the wing nut, bottom out the tool and cut the all thread to 1/2" above the wing nut.

Done! Go make some wire clamps. For instructions on how to use the tool, check out GeeDeeKay's instructable, https://www.instructables.com/id/Hose-Clamp-Magic/?ALLSTEPS. It was the inspiration for my instructable.

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18 Discussions


1 year ago

very impressed. On my list to do items to make one. Thanks for posting.


3 years ago

just brought all the parts to make my own .making it out os stainless steel the entire thing. being in uk ive gone metric using 8mm od 1mm tube which will fit m3 bar in with .25mm cleance either side (m3 is 5.5mm diameter)will post photos as i build it.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I would definitely love to see your work in progress. Stainless will be a bit tougher to work with than brass and aluminum but it's doable. Good luck!


4 years ago

An old trick I was taught for drilling round stock: lay a piece of shim stock (any thin hard plate) across your clamped round stock and then bring your drill down to it, the shim will shift an exaggerated amount until you are centered. Shift your drill / vice until the shim shifts to a horizontal position and you know you are dead on center!


6 years ago on Introduction

This was on my list of things to make. I'm interested in the tool but not enough to blink down $50+US to find out.

The US patent number is 7,036,394 and is available on google patent search if you want the inner details. Just don't sell it if you make it.

3 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I don't see how they patented this. It was already invented and patented over a 100 years ago.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I couldn't say as to the patent in particular but when it comes to material and mechanical devices, patents can hinge on very small matters e.g.the angle of the thread of a worm screw. A patent can be issued for device that looks almost identical to prior art save for a small change if the change, no matter how minor, is judged to be a significant improvement to the device.

Also, If significant prior arts exist which is rather old then you can get a patent for "improvements to existing art" based on using new materials e.g. substituting plastic for a part formally made of wood.

In this case, none of the exact metals this device uses existed a century ago, so simply updating the existing device with new materials might have qualified it.

Just guessing.


Reply 4 years ago

Here's a site I just found that covers a good portion of what you just stated:


It's an interesting read


6 years ago on Introduction

Great instructable. I made my own tool after seeing this. Not so good looking but it serves the purpose.
I just used stuff I had laying around. The tube is a pipe nipple. I used an angle grinder to cut the slots. For pins, I used regular machine screws because I tapped threads into the pin holes.
Posted a pic. Ignore the binder clip, just used it to prop up the tool for the photo.

1 reply

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Sorry about the double photo. Not able to remove the duplicate for some reason. Can a moderator help and also delete this comment, please?


6 years ago on Introduction

My kingdom for a lathe lol
Nice job, it's more then likely that I'll built one in the near future.

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

It'll be a bit, but I'll be getting a lathe in about a month.
It's on my list of tools to build.


6 years ago on Introduction

Nice instructable you have made there and an excellent looking tool as well, it looks 1000% better than the tool I made several years ago (also from studying pictures). The first tool I made was a simple "down and dirty" tool to serve a much needed purpose and it performed very well. I may have to make another (smaller as well) and take more time with it, to make it look better. I like the drill and file method of turning it is the same method I used for mine and have used the turning method for several other projects.
May your good looking tool bring you many years of use and enjoyment.
Keep up the good work


6 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for your excellent instructable. Kudos on your machining skills! I really appreciate the inclusion of alternate components for the parts you turned. It makes your project accessible to people without a metal lathe. Well Done!

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I actually didm't use a lathe. I turned the nose and the wing nut the same way I turned the shoulder on the nose piece. A drill, files, sandpaper, and a few breaks to relieve the cramps in my fingers is all it took.