Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
posted 10-14-2005 09:25 AM ET (US)
When working with plastic cable ties with one-way ratchet locks (such as the Ty-Wraps brand of these devices), be careful to use proper installation and removal techniques.
When installing, do not over tighten the cable tie. Pulling the cable tie too tightly against the insulation of the cable can cause damage to the cable. Also, use a cable tie with appropriate width. Large, heavy cables should not be secured with narrow width ties.
When installing cable ties, if the tie is to be trimmed after tightening (and it should), be careful to cut the plastic tie as close as possible to the lock mechanism so that the remaining material is square and flush with the lock. Cutting cable ties on an angle and leaving a small portion protruding results in the creation of a small plastic knife. Reaching into a bundle of wiring with cable ties improperly trimmed can result in having one's hand cut from the small plastic knives created.
If a cable tie has to be removed, it is best to cut the tie on the input side of the locking ratchet mechanism. This will allow the tie to be re-used. The portion of the cable tie in the locking mechanism can be pushed out, and the cable tie can be used again, albeit that it must be tightened to a smaller loop diameter.
Cable ties which will be installed so that they are exposed to sunlight and weather should be of high quality and made of plastic designed to tolerate UV exposure. The garden-variety white-translucent nylon cable tie does not hold up well if exposed to sunlight for long periods.
posted 10-14-2005 11:52 AM ET (US)
Good tip on trimming the Ty-wraps; I've been slashed mercilessly by those things. I have tried the reusable style Ty-wraps and for the most part I don't like them. The problem with them is that the head end is quite long to facilitate the release mechanism, which makes them bulky and awkward to use.
For cutting Ty-wraps, I have a smaller, spring loaded pair of cutting pliers. These have finer jaws that allow you to slip them under the Ty-wrap without damaging the insulation on the wires. They are Craftsman brand, and work quite well for this task.
posted 10-14-2005 04:53 PM ET (US)
Just about all brands of wire ties use the black plastic ones as UV rated for weather exposure. Also a trick a lot of electricians do with ty-raps is to use pliers to twist the end off instead of cutting it, they break off flush with the clamp section.....Jack
posted 10-14-2005 06:40 PM ET (US)
There actually is a specialized tool made for tensioning and cutting Ty-Wraps. It pulls them to the proper tension and then cuts them off very flush and clean. In a production situation, this is the way to install them. For a boat owner, it is a bit of overkill. Just don't pull them too tight, and cut then off cleanly, and you'll get the same results.
posted 10-14-2005 08:22 PM ET (US)
There are actually (at least) two grades of cable tie tools.
The really good (aviation grade) puts a precisely measured
tension on, the cuts with a blade. The cheap ones are as
accurate at tension as your fingers, and cut by twisting.
The cheap ones are nice for getting tension on a tie that's
in a obscure corner of the console, or getting tension on
without twisting things (handy for tieing to the console rail)
but I really dislike the twist-to-cut and cut them with a
small pair of diagonal cutting pliers. Find a pair with
a sharp endge, and with the edge ground on the inside edge
so they cut flush.
posted 10-17-2005 01:25 PM ET (US)
Another tip would be to pay attention to the type of tie wrap you purchase to make sure the ratcheting mechanism is all plastic if you plan to use them in a marine environment. There are types made which use a strip of metal to lock the smooth tail in place rather than a molded cam which catches on plastic teeth which are molded into the tail. The metal tabs will corrode and then fail.
posted 10-17-2005 03:20 PM ET (US)
I think you will find that the metal tab, at least in the higher quality raps such as T&B, is stainless steel and actually has a higher tensile strength. Not sure about the less expensive brands.
posted 10-17-2005 04:16 PM ET (US)
And an alternative to tie-wraps is double sided Velcro strips.
I use these quite a bit for temporary work, then come back
with tie-wraps when I think I've got it all pretty.
posted 10-18-2005 12:58 PM ET (US)
Be careful where you place them. The gelcoat in the stern of my montauk was damaged from a Ty-Wrap used to keep the steering cable and engine wiring bundled together. It must have rubbed up against the gelcoat for several seasons eventually wearing the gelcoat down to the fiberglass. I guess the previous owners never noticed. It's always struck me as odd because other than that, the boat was was in great shape when I bought it.
I've started using velcro straps more on my boats for tidying up cables, lines, etc. I try to limit the Ty-Wrap. I don't need a tool to remove velcro. It's reusable. You can't nick anything removing it since you aren't using a tool. No need to trim it-the excess wraps back around on itself. The light weight version is available in rolls at the home stores for a pretty reasonable price. The heavy duty stuff has substantial grip for heavier items.
posted 10-18-2005 08:56 PM ET (US)
Like most things in life, there are various grades of tie-wraps - the better ones have a high nylon content - they are more supple while at the same time stronger than plastic.
Watch out for the kind where you get 10000 tie-wraps in 16 different rainbow colors in a pretty container for what seems to be a really low price. You get what you pay for.
posted 10-18-2005 10:07 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the tip about the double-sided velcro being available at home remodeling stores. We've been buying it at the electronics boutique--and probably paying too much for it!
Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.
Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000