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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A useful item to have: cable ties

Also known as tie wraps. These things come in many sizes and all are useful but I don't hear people praise them very often. The most common thing I hear them recommended for is as a kind of makeshift handcuff. They would work for that but they have many other uses.

I have repaired several vehicles with them. On many modern cars there is a rubber piece under the front bumper that is designed to direct air up onto the radiator. I've had two cars that developed tears in this rubber piece and I was able to repair both with a few tie wraps. the repairs survived for years. Bailing wire might have worked but I think the smaller diameter of the wire would have torn through the rubber and eventually failed.

I repaired the trim around the wheel well on another vehicle with tie wraps. Some jerk ran into the car in a parking lot and of course didn't bother to leave a name or insurance info. The impact damaged a big piece of trim that went around the wheel well and ended at the rear bumper. The piece was torn loose from the car and would flap in the wind when the car was driven. A couple of tie wraps secured that trim piece about 4 years ago and it hasn't move since.

Here is one example of cable ties. Go buy some and put them in your miscellaneous bin. You'll be surprised how many things you can fix with them.


Ron Russell said...

I lived in CA at one time and had a friend(conservative) there who described such things as "Okie rigs", here in Mississippi we have another term for such bailing wire repairs "nigg..er rigs" no disrespect intended. I suppose in some areas of the country other terms might be used such as "pollack rig", "guinnea rig", "wetback rig", etc. Bailing wire always has had its uses.

Bitmap said...

The PC term is "African engineering".

Bailing wire works far better if it has to resist heat, like when you use it to hold on a muffler. Big advantage to cable ties include the fact that they don't rust and if you don't trim the end they don't have sharp edges. They are interchangeable for many uses and I recommend having a good supply of both around.

The Other Mike S. said...

I keep a half dozen of the 12 inch ones in my GHB. There are a million things they can be used for.

Debbie said...

We keep a huge supply of all sizes. I particularly like the very long ones. Once I use my gun and karate to subdue the attackers or bad guys, I can tie their hands and feet with these, ha. Then I take time to call the police.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth


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