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tool for tightening cable?

msm-s's picture

I am trying to pull a cable taut between trees and need some sort of tool to get it really taut.
I've googled "tensioning tools"and "cable tensioning tools" but keep getting tools that apply plastic cable ties; not what i'm looking for, although it needs to work on the same principle but for strong (approx 350 lb test) wire cable.
Help please? thanks-

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
–Jack Handey

(post #82520, reply #1 of 22)

Turnbuckle.

.
.
A-holes. Hey every group has to have one. And I have been elected to be the one. I should make that my tagline.
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #82520, reply #2 of 22)

Yup... no need to reinvent the wheel.

(post #82520, reply #19 of 22)

Ya beat me to it.

 

Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #82520, reply #3 of 22)

I use a come-along to get the kids' zip-line tight - pretty amazing how much pull it needs - like around a thousand pounds.


And yes, I have calculated that.


Forrest

(post #82520, reply #4 of 22)

try a fence puller

(post #82520, reply #5 of 22)

This is what you need. You use it with a 2 ton cable come along. It will not work too well on plastic coated cable though.


http://www.mytscstore.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_10551_10001_44179_______14345%7C14359%7C14374%7C44179?listingPage=true


 


"It is what it is."

 

"It is what it is."

(post #82520, reply #6 of 22)

Regardless of how you tighten it, lay a coat or moving pad over the cable when tensioning - that way, if something gives, it won't backlash all crazy - it'll just fall to the ground.

Same principle when using a truck-mounted winch to pull something out.

May make the diff between losing a windshield or not.

JT

(post #82520, reply #7 of 22)

you need a "Chigago Grip" to mount on the cable and a "come-a long" to tension it. The utility companys have them and you may be able to borrow


Roger


The more I learn,the less I know
The more I learn,the less I know

(post #82520, reply #8 of 22)

fencing tensioner or a fence stretcher... (depends where yur at) ...


PS... don't feget yur Plammers...


or a wire grip and a pull jack or a come along...


 


Maasdam Wire Grip
'Dog' Wire Grip      


 


  Pull Jack
Come-A-Long


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #82520, reply #21 of 22)

that wire grip picture that you posted is what we always called a "pork chop"


i have tightened lots of cables for temporary safety lines, you have to use crosby clamps (a brand of cable clamp) sized correctly for the cable, and then a come-a-long.


tension can be dangerous, so you have to have your head in the game to prevent a bonehead manuever that you will have to post about in the other thread going on in here, i agree with McDesign, 1000 lbs of tension is not at all uncommon, so you should have a 1 ton come-a-long.


you can create a loop with the crosby clamps so you don't have to buy or rent a pork chop, and it is fairly easy to weave a flemish eye with most cable. i'm sure you can find instructions googling.


a standard steel choker with eyes on both ends is nothing more than a piece of wire rope with flemish eyes weaved, then swaged at the weave after removing excess cable. homemade flemish eyes and a crosby clamp work just fine.

(post #82520, reply #9 of 22)

I would try one of these if you only need 350 lbs of tension
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200353422_200353422
I haven't tried one but it looks like it might work well.

Karl

(post #82520, reply #10 of 22)

cable taut between trees


Flemish eye spice to anchor on one tree, cable stob on other tree. 


Big wonkin' eye bolt in other tree.


 Hook long cable thru the eyebolt and the end to your dozer.


Pull till the first tree starts to bulge the root ball, then apply brake.


Apply wire clip around cable and eye bolt and tighten.


Back up the dozer and pull cable tight thru eye bolt, apply 2 wire rope clips to the taught loop.


Be careful not to pull either tree over though.

(post #82520, reply #17 of 22)

what notes will he be able to play on that cable????

 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #82520, reply #11 of 22)

you could bridle the cable to another cable with a loop using good quality cable clamps (be wary of the cheap stuff at the BBs) and then a come-along to the loop.   2 or 3 for redundancy and I've gotten pretty good tension (my guess would be around 700# tension) pulling trees the driection I want them to fall.  May not work depending on the tensions you're looking for. 

(post #82520, reply #12 of 22)

wow- thanks for the answers, but since they all appear to be so different, i'm still feeling lost! FYI, i'm trying to set up a zip-line for my 7 yr-old in the back yard. i don't expect it will ever need to support as much weight as the cable tests for, but if there is any slack at all, the ride won't go anywhere.
I'd rather not buy an expensive tool i will never need again, but am willing to spend maybe $50 for some sort of ratchet thingy, if that's advised. there is no wide enough access to the back yard to get a vehicle in, so it will have to be done by hand. I don't know many folks with tools of this sort, and i doubt my local utility guys would be willing to "loan". who else might i be able to approach for a loan? wouldn't tree cutting services have this sort of thing?
I'll print out your answers and take to a few old independant hardware stores...

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
–Jack Handey

(post #82520, reply #13 of 22)

You can probably rent a "come along" or "fence stretcher" from a tool rental store.


What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. --Bertrand Russell


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #82520, reply #14 of 22)

I'm also thinking simple ... TURNBUCKLE!!


But I think you are wrong if you think a 350lb test cable will do for a zip line. While a child may only be e.g. 100 lbs, you probably have a LOT more stress on a zip line than 350LBs. Better check the math, again. My guess is that a zip line will require a LOT of force tension (that isn't the right term) to support a 100lb load using it. I'm not a structural engineer, but understand some basics there. You don't want that zip line to break when you've got a kid shooting down it putting a LOT of stress on the line.


Is there an engineer geek out there that can give us guidance on this one?

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #82520, reply #15 of 22)

I don't recall my calcs, but my 175' zip line indicated 1/4" cable, rated at something like #5K, for the amount of sag I could get away with.


I never wanted the kids to get very far off the ground; they just scrape the bottom of the seat at the middle of the ride if they ride two-up.  Three more clicks on the come-along for me!


Forrest

(post #82520, reply #16 of 22)

I'd agree. To maintain a taut line you'd be working at at least 1000 lb of pull, so you'd want a line with a minimum 1000 lb working strength, and 2000-3000 test strength.


What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. --Bertrand Russell


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #82520, reply #22 of 22)

I'm no engineer, but I've lifted a few things here and there, and you are right. A fairly small load on a relatively tight cable can exert some surprisingly high forces.

Here is a website that discusses slings, not really much different than what we're talking about here.

http://www.pnl.gov/contracts/hoist_rigging/slings.asp

See Figure 1, sling stresses at various sling angles.

Note that a load hanging off of a single vertical sling exerts a force equal to the weight of the load.

Two slings at 30 degrees from horizontal each have a force on them equal to the weight of the load. (Load angle factor of 2)

To the point of the discussion here, at 10 degrees the load angle factor is over 5, and at five degrees, the load angler factor is over 11.

I think it was McDesign who pointed out earlier that as the cable approached flat (zero degrees from horizontal) the result exceeds anything common sense would allow.

This is one place in life that a little bit of sag could be a good thing.

(post #82520, reply #18 of 22)

use a cable clamp or two to hold the comealong to the cable....


tighten away...


beg borrow steal rent or buy the comealong....


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #82520, reply #20 of 22)

Problem with a turnbuckle is that you're very limited in the length of the "pull" that you can get.  For my kids zipline, I bought a $25 cable comealong from Tractor Supply and just left it there, at the bottom of the ride - in tension, of course.


The plus was that when the cable stretched a little, I could give it a crank and re-tension the cable.  I arrenged the "ride" to bottom out on the ground a long way before the puller, so there was never a chance of a kid running into the comealong.  Sort of like Forrest said.


They'll love it ! !  I happened to find about 500 feet of nice braided 3/8 cable in the middle of the highway.  That's what got me started !


Greg


Edited 5/21/2008 3:52 pm ET by GregGibson