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Thread: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

  1. #1
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    Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Took me a while to get up the courage to post a pic of something I had made...

    Anyway, I salvaged a couple of 20-foot lengths of 3/8 wire rope that I thought I could use to drag logs out of the woods with. On each piece, one end had a nice factory-made loop, but the other end had a loop made of those U-bolt clamps. I wanted something a little more low-profile, if not more reliable.

    The pic tells most of the story. I cut a couple of short pieces of tubing into halves lengthwise and then clamshelled them together with the doubled-back cable in the vise. Tack one side, flip it over, weld the other side, flip it over, weld the tacked side. When you have it in the vise, hammer the tubing down so there is a minimum of airspace between tubing and cable. Tighten the vise until it (or you) squeaks.

    Not artful welding, but I'm learning. It works great.

    Tim
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    When that flies apart remember to duck.


    I have pulled on the clamps you didn't like till the cable broke, the clamps were fine.


    Good Luck

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Looks very good and professional, but I would set the swages on an anvil or a good solid surface and center punch the swages on the "dead " side so it further crimps into the cable. I say this only to buy a little "insurance for you or others helping you. When a rope breaks it usually only messes up your day, when a cable breaks it can mess up your life.
    JMHO,
    Mike
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bastard View Post
    When that flies apart remember to duck.


    I have pulled on the clamps you didn't like till the cable broke, the clamps were fine.


    Good Luck
    And that's when you DIDN'T saddle the dead horse!!!!
    Mike
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    I would be afraid of those homemade ferrules, the clamps your replaced are better. My experience with breaking cables they tend to break at the ferrule or the cable clamp, I would be afraid of yours slipping out. You could eye splice the ends of the wire rope which is a stronger way to finish a end than a ferrule or a clamp. Try going to animatedknots.com and looking at the eyesplice it is the same for the wire rope you have. I learn how to do it from a old guy that used to rig for Barnum and Bailey Circus setting up the flying trapeze. Thought I might throw out something I know because I am just learning this welding stuff

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    I agree w/ Dlama, an eyesplice would be best. Then get some tube large enough to fit over the splice and do vise sqeeze, tack thing over the "whiskers" so no one gets stabbed.
    Mike
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    I also agree. Even for ''just around the house'' i still would'nt trust it. The last thing you want is that to break under high tension.
    Ya gotta spend money to make money!

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    To use that cable under any tension is asking for trouble.I would scrap that idea.

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    The comments here made it clear that more testing was in order, so I went out and attached one end of the cable to a tree, the other end to my pickup. With repeated sharp jerks I was able to get one of the connections to slip.

    So 86 this idea.

    But hey, I did manage to post a picture! First time ever, on any forum.

    Tim

  10. #10
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Glad to hear that. When cable/ wire rope breaks under high tension it's stored up lots of energy. And God help whoever is in it's path!!!!
    Mike
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    I wouldn't put 100 Lbs of tension on those. Done properly a triple cable clamp is fairly reliable.
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Twist a loop in the end. It is as strong as the line itself.

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    I used to use a dozer as a logging skidder. I used the commercial chokers they sell at the skidder dealer. One type has lug swaged on one end while the other has an eye that is swaged. (There is also a sliding steel catch that the lug end fits in to make the choke.) Trust me, the swages work. Of course these swages are crimped on with many tons of force and grip both the standing rope and the bitter end.

    A problem with using the bolt on clamps is the bloody things hang up on just about every stump or rock or anything else you drag the logs around, including other logs, and this causes the wire rope to bend and kink and stretch and snap weakening the rope at the clamp. That's where it breaks. The swages don't usually hang onto stumps or catch on other debris. The clamps are fine for straight line pulls, but I didn't like dragging them around.

    If you are going to swage the eye get the right parts and use the right tools to crimp 'em on. As a make-shift in a hurry you can use a blacksmith's hammer using the cross peen to crimp the swag parallel to the rope, not accross it. You will need some sort of anvil to do this. A foot or so hunk of RR rail works well. (So does the flat on top of the dozer blade!) Hand swageing will provide 95% of the wire rope strength, if done right. Use zinc plated or tin plated swages. These should be available from any merchant that sells wire rope. Or see http://www.usrigging.com/sleeves.html

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  14. #14
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Some "more attractive" mechanical clamps (nuts and bolts) can be found here: http://www.mcmaster.com/#wire-rope-clamps/=3uqjqj

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Those all say NOT FOR LIFTING.

    Well where in the heck do you get ones for lifting???
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    I looked a few pages ahead and all the end fittings, including the multi-Ubolt style all say "Not For Lifting". I suspect that's to protect from liability. The OP says he's "pulling" logs so they should be fine for that. I do agree with others about breaking a wire rope under tension (or a fiber rope, even a chain), the whip lash that will be produced could sever a limb (personal limb, not tree.. maybe both). I've cleared many trees off properties and personally I would use chain and grab hooks. Much easier than wire rope to wrap around a log and hook back onto itself. If wrapped proper the chain will "bite" tighter onto the log as you pull.

  17. #17
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    a really thourough (by my standards) treatise on wire rope.

    half way down are many example of terminations. some i like, some i dont.
    -i hate those sloppy looking saddles too.

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/billavista/Recovery/
    Last edited by dsergison; 10-01-2009 at 02:42 PM.

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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    That's a pretty good link, but I see one thing missing.
    Hand woven wire rope splices must not be used in a situation where the rope can be allowed to twist, or they can unwind themselves. There is no problem using them when both ends cannot rotate (say, for a circus tent tie down), but on a live load, or with a swivel, etc, woven splices are very dangerous.

  19. #19
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Lifting vs. pulling, the percentage safety factors are very different.

    A proper swage, sized correctly, and installed correctly, to the manufacturer's specs, is as strong or stronger than anything else.

    I would use the two or three U-bolt system, before ever considering some home-brewed swages.

  20. #20
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    for pulling a safety factor of 3:1 must be maintained for overhead lifting its 5:1

    A sling rated for lifting 1000 lbs must have a minimum breaking strength of 5000lbs.
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    If you untwist the rope to 2 1/2 the length of the loop you want, then tie an overhand knot in the ends until it settles back in it's twist, then keep going overhand with the ends until the loop is complete, then keep twisting the tag ends until the end, then serve the ends with wire, you will have a loop as strong as the line itself. It can be used for lifting and pulling and will not come out whether spinning or not.

  22. #22
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Bob's description also describes how an eye is woven into a wire rope assembled with a swagged anchor.

    Both small:
    Attachment 39664
    and larger sizes too:
    Attachment 39663

    Last edited by denrep; 10-19-2010 at 11:41 PM.

  23. #23
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    If you untwist the rope to 2 1/2 the length of the loop you want, then tie an overhand knot in the ends until it settles back in it's twist, then keep going overhand with the ends until the loop is complete, then keep twisting the tag ends until the end, then serve the ends with wire, you will have a loop as strong as the line itself. It can be used for lifting and pulling and will not come out whether spinning or not.
    When I learned it was called a Flemish Eye Splice.
    Gordie -- "I believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

  24. #24
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    What you just described is what I was taught is a "molly hogan. In my experience w/ it do not under any circumstances lift or pull w/ it unless you put THREE clips(cable clamps) on it tying the live and dead ends together. And as always, put the saddles on the live end( don't saddle a dead horse). Trust me, I learned long ago w/ no personal injury or property damage this is the only way they can be used. I've only used them when no professionally made rigging was available and never used them for lifting anything except what was known to be waaaay under the capacity of the cable!!!!
    JMHO,
    Mike
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  25. #25
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    Re: Wire Rope Pseudo-swage

    looking at the first foto, there is no real bond between the rope and the split coupling. itr occurs to me if this was brazed the filler would go into the spaces between the strands and bond to the inner surface of the split clamp..would love to know if that passed the pull test any better..

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