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Old 11th Feb 2019, 3:00 pm   #1
chriswood1900
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Default Traditional ways of tying cables together.

In many older items the cables are tied together with a linen cord wrapped in standard way, can anyone assist in explaining how to achieve this or point me to a source as I don't want to use plastic ties on a on old item it just looks wrong.
Many thanks
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 3:09 pm   #2
snowman_al
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Its called 'lacing'.
Several youtube videos on it. Spacing the knots is the thing that makes it...
You can get round and flat lacing cord, what ever suits.

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Old 11th Feb 2019, 4:34 pm   #3
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Just Google 'Cable Lacing', there are loads of pictures and articles describing how to do it.

I recommend waxed lacing cord, much better IMHO than plastic-coated, it stays where you put it.

Andy
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 4:54 pm   #4
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

You can get waxed whipping twine from boat chandlers in a range of different diameters and colours.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 5:23 pm   #5
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

There seems to be a vast choice here: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/cable.../cable-lacing/
Unfortunately they seem to have discontinued the natural fibre types in favour of all plastics materials. The prices are something of a shock, too!
I have the remains of a large roll of R.S. waxed lacing cord (Fibre ?) which I bought in the '60s. Still good and not lost its strength.
Emeritus suggestion (#4 above) seems an excellent way to get a robust, inexpensive substitute that is possibly better than 'proper' cord. I agree with MOFYA Andy that plastic cord tends not to remain in the intended place. Tony.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 6:02 pm   #6
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

The flat stuff is the best, makes a lovely job. Like most skills it takes a while to get it right, once mastered the results are sublime.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 7:40 pm   #7
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

I hadn't actually tried using waxed whipping twine as lacing cord as I have a couple of large spools of the black plastic-covered stuff, but I tried it just now and it works well. The stuff I use comes on spools the size of 3" tape/cine spools. It turns out to be a convenient size, as the spool can be easily passed through the loops that you need to make when lacing up, and the twine cut to size on completion, reducing waste. I was taught how to use lacing cord by a wireman, whose name I can't recall, at Plessey, West Leigh, when I was a student, and it has been a useful skill.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 8:52 pm   #8
chriswood1900
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Thanks for all the responses, part of my problem was remembering what it was called to Google it, I will order some up and give it a try.
Regards
Chris
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 9:52 pm   #9
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

I learnt to do cable lacing whilst I was at Decca (Navigator). I remember that there was a special Decca way of doing it - but can't remember the details now, sadly. The intermediate knots had some extra twists, so that if the cord broke (in service), the knots would not come undone. The start and finish had (something like) a knot round all the wires, then a knot round one wire, then a knot round all the wires, close together. A pity I can't remember the details.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 1:39 am   #10
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Necklace cord is good and is also thin enough to work as tuning cord. It is waxed too.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 3:32 am   #11
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Just one word of caution when you come to any "old" lacing, as in a vintage piece of gear with the original lacing - much of it was arsenic impregnated.

Found that out the hard way when doing my training at a telecoms outfit way back when ('elf un safety, whats that?).
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 4:42 am   #12
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

I have used silk thread that works very well too.

One thing to remember, about lacing wires into looms, the not so obvious: Some wires do not belong in a loom.

These are ones in high Z low signal level parts of the circuit, that are prone to stray pickup, or affected by increased capacitance. Binding them close to others carrying AC signals or just other wires, is a very bad idea.

The worst example I once saw of this was a wire leading to the control grid of a CRT. While the AC cross talk wasn't too bad because the sensitivity of of the CRT grid is not high for any significant changes in contrast, the capacitance had increased so much by lacing it into a loom, that the HF response of the image was significantly degraded. This application is better with a free wire with small supports in occasional places to keep it way from other wires and the chassis.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 9:15 am   #13
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry_VK5TM View Post
Just one word of caution when you come to any "old" lacing, as in a vintage piece of gear with the original lacing - much of it was arsenic impregnated.

Found that out the hard way when doing my training at a telecoms outfit way back when ('elf un safety, whats that?).
What was the effect on you Terry?
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:31 am   #14
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

General feeling of being unwell, headaches and funny taste in the mouth from memory, very out of the ordinary for an overactive teenager.

Found out via a blood test if memory serves correctly.

Bear in mind we were using this stuff for days on end lacing mainframes and equipment racks, so pulling it out from the odd bit of equipment should have minimal if any effect, just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

And for those wondering why it was even in the twine - to deal with rodents chewing on the cabling.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 11:12 am   #15
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

This is a document I made by tidying up an old Navy publication.
Any help?
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 12:34 pm   #16
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

I use this method myself using artificial rawhide, mainly because it's very strong and I have a big roll of it. I start with a constrictor knot, which is just a clove hitch really with an extra turn. I then use a sort of blanket stitch for most of the lacing, or in other words a running granny not type thing. I put clove hitch in every 10 turns or so to keep the completed lacing from slipping, finishing off with a constrictor knot. I put a little dab of super glue on the knot, just in case.

Andy.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 2:06 pm   #17
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omegaman View Post
This is a document I made by tidying up an old Navy publication.
Any help?
Ive always wanted to know how this was done, many thanks for that link!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 5:24 pm   #18
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Cor, the memories! We were taught lacing at college in the late 60's and I found it quite therapeutic. Along, around, behind around er..... I think we used PVC cord.
I'm always impressed when I open up some old clobber and see a beautifully laced cable loom.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 5:30 pm   #19
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Another method is individual clove hitches, very handy for PTFE wire because the lateral tension in a "standard" lace just makes the loops slip along the bundle.
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Old Yesterday, 9:04 pm   #20
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Default Re: Traditional ways of tying cables together.

Lacing is not dead....

I work for RR in Derby and although I haven't checked recently I doubt that the looms on Trent 700s have changed - all hand laced. A long way from radios, but the effect is the same - so much more "professional" than the woven plastic "Chinese Finger Trap" sheathing that is used on the other Trents.
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