Home made steel cable crimp?

Has anyone got experience in fitting crimps onto 2.5 mm steel cable. Such
as a handbrake cable on a car. What is the end crimp made of, is it normal
steel, say EN3?
Could I turn down a small piece of bar, drill a hole and then crimp it up to
grip on the cable. Then what type of crimping tools are available?
I have small hex crimps for the likes of co-axial cables but doubt very much
if they could put enough force out for what I would. So anyone know of hand
crimping tools for this type of work?
Lots of silly questions, sorry for that, just need to do two ends and do it
when already fitted in place so makes it difficult to have made then fit
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I've some crimps for making loops or stops on steel cable; forget where I got them but I think they are some sort of high strength aluminium alloy. They crimp adequately (not pretty) with a vice or a mole wrench.
You find stuff on ebay occasionally
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and you might try a good chandlers; sailing boats use lots of stainless rope stays.
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It is very hard to get a reliable crimp without spending a large, at least £150-250, amount of money on the crimp tool. For one-off/small volume jobs it probably isn't worth it. Also, using a crimp tool is not straightforward, it takes learning and practice.
You can also get screw-type crimps, if you use two then you'll have a reasonable degree of reliability. Don't use single ones though.
For a car there will probably be MOT-type requirements, I know nothing about those.
What is the end crimp made of, is it normal
It's usually some type of copper or copper/nickel alloy.
Crimps are pretty cheap, probably not worth making your own.
Try a yacht chandler or fencing supplier, but be prepared to pay for the tool. You may be able to hire a crimping tool.
-- Peter Fairbrother
Reply to
Peter Fairbrother
There are two principal methods of mechanical termination of cables, are you interested in a "turn back eye" i.e. a loop in the cable secured by a metal ferrule crimped on or a "swaged" terminal i.e. a tubular component squeezed onto the cable with what ever end on the tube you need usually a fork, an eye or a threaded stud?
There is a British standard for such cable terminations which calls for a termination efficiency 0f 90% if memory serves me correctly. It is over 25 years since I was involved in R&D in this area so detail info is a bit hazy. One thing I remember very clearly is that you must not use free cutting steels they have a to crack swage line. I also think if you were to use normal bright drawn bar you might get a similar tendency as the material has experienced a fair amount of cold working already. The advice already given about cost of ready made items is sound the correct swaging ratios are already built in and small deviations from the norm can have disastrous effects on terminal efficiency.
Reply to
Andy Cawley
Adrian, many years ago I used to make up similar cables for sailing boat rigging and for that purpose the ferrules were always copper. They were fitted using what amounted to a pair of bolt croppers, but with special jaws having semi circular holes in each half so that when closed they squeezed the ferrule down to a certain round size. There were three pairs of holes for different sizes of wire/ferrule.
It depends on your application, is it actually a handbrake cable? I've never seen car cables with anything other than steel terminals, probably for cost reasons and having cut filed or ground a few over the years I've not come across any that I thought were anything more exotic than mild steel.
Again, it depends on you application, but have you considered soft soldering the terminal on, like an old motor cycle cable? It might be a more practical solution for your restricted access.
Reply to
Richard Shute
Thanks to all for the comments, it is for a handbrake cable on a lightweight car, so the end crimps are just to be pulled against as apposed to a loop.
As a temporary measure I am using 'chock block pieces' which have the two screws to clamp and deform the cable. I have done a pull test on these and it is certainly enough to lock the back wheels on a brake tester.
But, I am not too happy with them even though they work in the same manor to the screw type ferrules.
I can not use soft solder on the cable as it is nylon or similar coated to enable ease of movement.
As I said I have a ratchet crimping tool for Coaxial cables which have hexagonal dies to crimp round tube on to the coax outer braid, these are hardened but the force to do steel with would be too much I think.
I also have the typical ratchet crimping tool for spade connections and it is amazing what pull force is required to remove after use and we also have to annually test them to ensure they still meet spec.
I was at one time a frequent visitor to the forum until I got a new bug and was pleased to see the news group still going strong.
Anyone interested in what kept me busy for the past two years follow the link below.
It is still hobby engineering to me!
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p.s. Steve that link to the ebay crimp tool, is similar to the type of crimp I already use, that is for coaxial crimping.
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Maybe look at one of the specialists that do this sort of thing such as
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I also had speedy cables bookmarked but the link is dead. Anyway a number of companies make custom cables of all sorts so a bit of searching might turn them up.
Reply to
David Billington
I have done a lot of motorcycle cables in my time. I advise the use of a good silver bearing solder, 5% silver 95% tin. It holds much better. I used to use it when making stainless steel cables, and it held well.
Steve R. in British Columbia
Reply to
Steve R.
Just been engrossed for an hour or more looking at the build, even to the point of thinking about getting the book (then sanity returned in the form the current list of projects). Most interesting, thanks for documenting it.
Reply to
John Blakeley
One important point that rarely gets mentioned these days is that if you ensure that the centre hole is countersunk and the cable is passed through the hole the splay the cable end before silver soldering the job is considerably stronger.
Reply to
Neil Ellwood
Warning, don't apply a pressed on termination to a plastic coated cable with out stripping the plastic. If you do not do this the plastic shears and acts as a lubricant allowing the cable to slip from the terminal.
Reply to
Andy Cawley

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