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How do I crimp or swage stainless steel threaded studs onto a 3/16 in cable?

How do I crimp or swage stainless steel threaded studs onto a 3/16 in cable?

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  #1  
Old 05-14-16, 01:20 PM
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Question How do I crimp or swage stainless steel threaded studs onto a 3/16 in cable?

I built a 24x40 barn, but no door -- the opening faces away from the prevailing wind, so I didn't see the need.

The barn got thru its first winter OK, but some snow swirled inside, and pine needles. I decided to hang a heavy-duty tarp from a stretched cable anchored to the door posts. I'll use swivel hardware attached to grommets (one every 12 inches), so it can slide open like an accordion-door. I have the tarp, the cable, the swivel snap-clasps, and 2 threaded stainless steel studs. But I can't find any information on how to swage these studs onto the ends of the cable.

These studs are mostly used for cable deck-railings and such. The cable is inserted into the cavity on one end of the stud, and the thin stainless steel walls are crimped 2 or 3 times, turning the stud-&-cable between crimps (90 degrees for 2 crimps, 60 degrees if 3). The studs are then inserted thru holes in the posts, and you install grade-8 fender washers and a nut on each end, and tighten the nuts to stretch the cable.

Great! So far, so good. But what tool do I use to crimp the studs? All of the swaging (or crimping) tools I've found, and the YouTube videos I've seen, are for swaging "hour-glass" ferrules to create cable-loops, not for swaging or crimping threaded studs.

Jeez, there are lots of ads for cable deck-railings...why no video on installing the anchor studs? I've considered putting the stud (cable inserted) on an anvil, and using a hammer and blunted chisel to gently pound crimps, but I'm afraid of going too far and destroying the (pricey) studs, or not going far enough, and having the swaged crimp fail. I don't have $200 or more for the big "bolt-cutter" swaging tools, and anyway, the openings on even those high-end tools are marked for ferrule crimping, not studs.

Any suggestions? [ ...and sorry for the length of this posting. I got carried away. ]
 
  #2  
Old 05-14-16, 01:40 PM
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OK, let's try a picture to go along with your thousand words. It will tell us better what you are working with so we can offer better advice. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
  #3  
Old 05-14-16, 02:05 PM
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Sure. Attached is a PNG picture I ripped from an ad.

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Old 05-14-16, 02:18 PM
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Here are 3 more pictures showing the "normal" cable crimping process. The first is a zinc-coated copper "hourglass" ferrule, used to clamp two strands of cable in a loop. the second shows an inexpensive crimping tool, in the process of crimping a ferrule. The third shows a finished swaged loop.
Name:  hourglass ferrule.jpg
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Size:  8.9 KBName:  cable loop.jpg
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Last edited by OffGrid9; 05-14-16 at 02:21 PM. Reason: describe pictures
  #5  
Old 05-14-16, 02:48 PM
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I would assume you would crimp them twice with something like this.

http://www.e-rigging.com/eighth-inch...swage-fittings
 
  #6  
Old 05-14-16, 02:52 PM
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Nope: "*Note: These Swagers are NOT to be used for Specialty Stainless Steel Cable Railing Components, please use E-Rigging’s Stainless Steel Hand Swage Tools."

The cheapest tool from this outfit that is rated for quarter-inch stainless steel fittings is this one:
1/4" Stainless Steel Hand Swage Fitting Swage Tool

It's over $200...which I said up-front, I don't have.
 

Last edited by OffGrid9; 05-14-16 at 02:54 PM. Reason: clarify, quarter-inch fittings
  #7  
Old 05-14-16, 03:38 PM
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Well sorry... the right size one is exactly like it and is on the same page. Sorry you can't afford the right tool to do the job. They clearly warn you... "FAILURE WILL RESULT IF YOU DO NOT USE THE PROPER TOOLS."

So go ahead and put it in a vise or hit it with a hammer.

Maybe check ebay if you think you can find one that's less expensive.
 
  #8  
Old 05-14-16, 03:46 PM
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Securing Cable

The third shows a finished swaged loop.
Use the loop with an eye bolt.
 
  #9  
Old 05-14-16, 04:14 PM
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Please forgive me, XSleeper. I didn't mean to sound snarky. I swear to God that the first time I clicked on your link, it took me to a much cheaper swaging tool (from the same maker) that was NOT for stainless steel hardware...but it did have links to the more expensive ones that ARE rated for SS fittings. Don't know how it happened, but I was under the impression I was responding in regard to the cheaper tool. My bad.

But you don't need to be sarcastic about my inability to afford the "right tool". I'm retired, on a fixed income, and it isn't much. I built that barn for very little money with posts, beams, girders, braces, purlins, and girts that I milled from timber I felled on my own property. I bought the cable and hardware based on a recommendation from a stranger, a cable-railing installer, and he didn't warn me about the price of the swaging tool.

The main reason I explained my project in detail was so that you and other responders would know that I honestly don't have $200+ for this tool, and that the project was in no way going to cause any injury if the swages fail. All that would happen would be that a 20-lb tarp would fall to the ground...and some snow might drift in.

I'm just looking for a way to do a non-critical job without shelling out a lot of money for a tool that I would use only one time. I thought one of you guys might have an idea.

I'll try not to ask any more dumb questions.
 
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Old 05-14-16, 04:23 PM
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I wasnt being sarcastic. A lot of people will either buy a used tool off ebay or buy a new tool, use it, then sell it on ebay to get most of their investment back. But since its such a specialty tool you may have a hard time finding a used one... or a buyer for your used one. You could check rental stores but again... its a specialty item so its not likely you will find one to rent unless its from a deck company that has one that would rent it to you.
 
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Old 05-14-16, 04:34 PM
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For your app of hanging a tarp over door I think any of the cheap tools would work. There is no safety issue involved. Worst that can happen is tarp falls off. actually I think I would get some u clamps like these.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_235159-1277-...t=cable+clamps
Cheap, easy to use and no special tools.
 
  #12  
Old 05-14-16, 04:38 PM
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That's a good thought. At least for ONE end of the cable -- I could use a lag-eye-bolt screwed almost all the way in, so a small loop in the cable would only extend about two inches from the post...slide the tarp up to the loop, only a two-inch gap. Unfortunately, doing that for both ends would leave me with no way to tension (stretch) the cable. I COULD do it at both ends, if I could add a turnbuckle...but the swivel snap-clasps wouldn't slide over the turnbuckle, so it would leave a pretty big gap on that end.

But it IS a good thought...I could bolt a short piece of angle-iron at the BACK of the post, projecting inward (toward the back of the barn) about two inches. Attach the turnbuckle back there. The post is 5.5 inches thick, so I'd have that much room for a small turn-buckle, and still have access to crank the turnbuckle. It would leave little or no gap in the curtain. I think it might work!

Best thing, it's within my budget. THANKS!
 
  #13  
Old 05-14-16, 06:08 PM
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You wouldn't need to use a turnbuckle with your angle iron idea, just use threaded eyebolts on both ends. Size the cable so it will just let you get a nut on the eyebolt, and then tension it by tightening the nuts. I've done this with 5/16" aircraft cable for a dog run (for a *big* dog). In that case, I used a length of all thread with an eye-nut because I needed longer thread length, but same idea....
 
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Old 05-14-16, 08:43 PM
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Thumbs up

This is to all the folks contributing ideas --

to Chandler for asking for pictures, to get everyone on the same page;
to XSleeper for kicking it off;
to WirePuller38 for the idea of using short cable-loops and eye-bolts;
to pugsi for the suggestion on U-bolt cable-clamps;
and to CarbideTipped for expanding on my idea of the angle-iron extensions.

Thanks to all you guys, it all came together, and I know exactly what I'm going to do. First, I'll try to manually swage those studs I bought (...hey, sunk cost, I have no other use for them, so they're free). I may be able to use a tool I already have, and if it doesn't work on the first one, I have a couple extra, so I can experiment. Assuming that these efforts fail, I'll use the idea finalized by CarbideTipped:
- 1st (using a swaging tool I already have), I'll swage very small loops at both ends of the cable, with each loop already attached to a threaded eye-bolt.
- 2nd, I'll bolt chunks of angle iron onto both posts with an inch or so extending beyond the post, and with holes drilled 1/2 inch out.
- 3rd, I'll run the threaded eye-bolts through those holes, attach grade 8 washers and nuts, and tension the cable.

I can do it, without great expense, and no single-use tools.

Thank you all.
 
  #15  
Old 05-14-16, 08:47 PM
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Get a hydraulic wire terminal crimper such as this one from Harbor Freight. Hydraulic Wire Crimping Tool The sizes marked on the dies are all wrong (typical with ALL Asian crimpers) but it works well with a little practice. Use a 20% off coupon and the price is only $44. I know about being retired and on a fixed income.

I would crimp the shank in at least two places.
 
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Old 05-14-16, 09:39 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, Furd. I'm a week late for the Mother's Day 25%-off coupon, and there's no coupon in this week's mailer or email sale notice. I'll keep watching, and if a coupon comes up (as it usually does each month), I'll try to pick one up.
 
  #17  
Old 05-15-16, 04:43 AM
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What about fashioning your own crimp tool out of a low end set of bolt cutters. Use a chain saw sharpening file to rout out a groove in the cutter blades to accommodate a slightly smaller than the item you need to crimp.
 
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Old 05-15-16, 05:01 AM
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Ha, Z, funny you should mention that. My dad was cutting through a bunch of cable that he thought was dead. Well one wasn't and when the bolt cutters cut it, the arc left a perfect indention in the cutter head for crimping. Not all was lost, but I don't recommend that type activity.
 
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Old 05-15-16, 07:31 AM
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My dad was cutting through a bunch of cable that he thought was dead.
LOL... all of my dad's side cutters look like that. He loved working on live power for some reason.
 
  #20  
Old 05-15-16, 08:49 AM
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Home-made "Old Sparky"

I guess every family has a story or two about electrical hoo-hahs. I've always been leery of working on house wiring, so I'm pretty careful. I needed to clean up a mess of old wiring that the previous owner had left me in a single-gang junction box in a small bathroom. I stuck a tester into one of the outlets and had my son go thru all the circuit breakers until the light went out - bingo. I started to work on the wiring and was zapped so hard my fingers froze on the wire and I had a heck of a time letting go, had to hurl my whole body back, slammed against the other wall.

Turned out the jackass had wired the two outlets to two separate circuits. When I cornered him at the grocery store he explained that he'd kept popping the circuit breaker with a small heater, so he'd wired one of the outlets to a higher amp circuit.

My dad told me to drive like every other driver had only one purpose: to kill me. But it's not just other drivers that are trying to annihilate us.
 
  #21  
Old 05-15-16, 10:16 AM
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Ha, Z, funny you should mention that. My dad was cutting through a bunch of cable that he thought was dead. Well one wasn't and when the bolt cutters cut it, the arc left a perfect indention in the cutter head for crimping. Not all was lost, but I don't recommend that type activity.
Seems my lineman pliers resemble many here on the forums. I keep using them as a reminder to myself that it is not fun to play with electricity. But to the OP, I think you can fashion your own crimper for around $16 buck by modifying a bolt cutter.
 
  #22  
Old 05-15-16, 04:10 PM
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Late to the thread, but if you have a local boatyard that works on sailboats, they will probably have a swaging machine for your fitting. I used to pay $5 or $10 per piece.
 
 

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