Instructables
Sometimes your electronic project requires you to have long cables and wires all over the place but cleanliness is next to godliness. Some say that the look or the composition of your project reflects your very own personality.

This instructable describes an easy and cheap way to make cable guides.
So let's get those moving CNC wires or mad-wire projects guided up!
 
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Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools
Tools:
  • Scalpell (or other knife with long sharp blade)
  • Wooden stick (that fits inside the tube)
  • Cutting pad

Materials:
  • Tube

Tubes in different colors and diameter should be available at every home improvement market.

Step 2: Round and round

First thing you want to do is to put the tubing over the wooden stick or push the wooden stick inside the tube. Just what pleases you the most.
Now take your blade and "roll" it in a spiral way over the tube. The wooden stick serves as a good cutting surface.
Depending on the pitch of the cutting line the tube gets more flexible with shorter cut intervals and more stiff with wider intervals.

The more preasure you apply with the knife now the better. Else you will have to rework as the tube is not completely ut.


Step 3: Warp it up !

Once the cutting is done the tube can simply be coiled around the lose wires. There is no need to unplug or desolder the wires which is quite handy.
Cable guides are especially usefull for securing moving parts like in CNC projects.
Orngrimm1 year ago
Oh: One addendum thou:
I suggest instead of an exacto-knife or scalpel, use a long sharp blade like a filet-blade. If you keep them good honed, they are more than sharp enough to cut the tube with ease and you can make long rolls for many turns until you "run out of knife" and have to reposition the knife.

my 2 cents.
A filet blade used for cutting fish?
Yes. Mine is sturdy enough for this. But if you have a long blade for another purpose, thats a go too.
I think the longer (while stury enough to not bend too much) the better.
Experiment with your different knifes. the tubes are dirt-cheap and the result is quickly seen :)
I have EL wire I am looking to diffuse in tubing I got at lowes, so I plan on trying this. The tube curls. I've also been told I could lay the tube out in the sun, but ain't nobody got time fo' dat.
ianmcmill (author)  funkytaco1 year ago
Once the tube is cut this way it should not curl that much anymore. Try it !
I can confirm that: the spiralcut acts as force-release and the tube will spread the cuts a bit instead of bending the complete tube.

I can only second the post above: Try it. :)
I didn't do a spiral cut, but it worked great. As mentioned previously, my tube curved, so I just cut along the tube with a ceramic knife (never even knew they existed, just saw it and it looked about the right size for my tubing). Essentially, the cut I made was on the outside of the tube curl. When I was done, I found this greatly - and I mean greatly - reduced the curl; I was able to hang it at length with a satisfactory straightness.

Such a simple solution to something I had been contemplating for a while now, so thank you guys! The dance party I will use this for will now be amazing!
ianmcmill (author)  funkytaco1 year ago
Yeah great !

Pictures of the dance party please :D
ianmcmill (author)  funkytaco1 year ago
Must be steady and not too flexible but yes.
ianmcmill (author)  Orngrimm1 year ago
Hey thanks !

Yeah absolutely true !
jduffy543 months ago

+1 to this, had some cable problems on the cnc I'm working on, but this fixed it in just a couple minutes with leftovers from the shaft couplers. Haven't had a problem since.

I am not a very patient person and I wonder if a rotary tool would be quicker cutting it or if it would just leave a melted mess... Haven't used one on rubber tubing.
ianmcmill (author)  Longshot7261 year ago
I havn't tried it. Using a long sharp blade to roll over the tube would be faster than a rotary tool I guess. I think the cut will be finer and the overall outcome would be better than using a cutting disc in a rotary tool. Anyways you can try it with your rotary tool. Just use it on a sample tube and see if it melts and if the cut is nice.
mole11 year ago
Would it work around a bundle larger than the tube lumen?
ianmcmill (author)  mole11 year ago
I guess this would work, too. Yes, depending on the stiffiness of the cables and the tube you use. The tube can easily be winded to hold a larger diameter of cable than its own diameter. Though I would use a more inflexible tube.
Thanks, that means I can probably use some tubing I already have. It's a great idea and looks really nice!
ianmcmill (author)  mole11 year ago
You are welcome and thanks !
Orngrimm1 year ago
Smart indeed!
I knew those spirals, but we always bought them in the company... for high-$!

Thats why i always resisted in using them at home: too expensive.
And now you open my eyes and i just realize how stupidly simple and cool this instructable is.
Cant get more simpler and elegant, yet usable and smart than that!

Thanks a LOT and thanks for sharing!
HollyMann1 year ago
Very very nice - I love to organize - even though I'm not so good at it. This will help me out a lot!!!
ianmcmill (author)  HollyMann1 year ago
Hey glad I can help !