Introduction: Silence Your Spanner

Picture of Silence Your Spanner

Jangling equipment is a nightmare when trying to be stealthy.

My birdspotting scope and tripod need to have a nut tightened on a regular basis (thanks to a DIY repair by the previous owner, my dad).  I keep a shortened spanner clipped to the tripod with a small carabiner just for this purpose.

Unfortunately, it jangles terribly when I move the tripod around, annoying me, scaring away birds and irritating other near-by birders.

This is my quick solution to the problem, which could also be used by the sort of chap who keeps his tools dangling from a belt.

Step 1: Equipment

Picture of Equipment

Very simply, all it needs is a 5g sachet of Sugru, and a knife to open it.

Check the instructions on the packet for correct handling and use of Sugru.

Step 2: Wrapping

Picture of Wrapping

Basically, all I did was roll pieces of the Sugru into small sausages, lay them along the carabiner and the spanner, then squidge them into place to wrap all around the carabiner and around the outside edges of the spanner.

Be careful not to obstruct the hinge and catch of the carabiner!

I only used a single 5g sachet, but it probably would have been ideal to use six or seven grammes.  I just didn't want to waste most of a sachet.

I used black for reasons of stealth, but if you are quieting tools that you want to find quickly, then the other brighter colours would be fine.

Step 3: Afterword

Picture of Afterword

The day after this finished curing, I went out for two full days' hard birding in North Norfolk.

It worked.

Although the clip and spanner were not ninja-silent, the noise they did make was low enough that I was the only person who could hear them, and then only because I had my tripod over my shoulder, with the legs beside my ear.

I call that a success.


finton (author)2013-01-25

Wait. What?! Kiteman is English??!! How did I miss that? Another victory for us Poms (or semi-Pom in my case). In YOUR face world: we've got Kiteman. (He said, sucking up to an Instructables Great One).

Kiteman (author)finton2013-01-25


shakeval (author)2011-11-21

what do you think of the dip/spray for tool handles that rubberizes the surface?

Kiteman (author)shakeval2011-11-21

I've never tried it, but other people seem to like it.

shakeval (author)Kiteman2011-11-21

oh ok, just figured since you can get a spray on version i figured you may have looked at it or tried it once.

Kiteman (author)shakeval2011-11-22

Nope, sorry.

shakeval (author)Kiteman2011-11-22

oh ok, i'll probably find a use for some eventually

dungeon runner (author)2011-01-18

Your title reminded me of this XKCD comic:

Kiteman (author)dungeon runner2011-01-18


chainsawz (author)2010-12-02

should have just put some tape around it lol joke

l8nite (author)2010-11-30

Nice update on an age old problem, there are many reasons to silence equipment, especially when your a young person who has been transported to a far away land by your friends and neighbors but in those times we used tape. I know several hunters who also tape up anything that might betray them. Ive seen alot about sugru on instructables but as of yet haven't actually seen any or used it

Kiteman (author)l8nite2010-11-30


sarahfish (author)2010-11-27

good on ya kiteman! not a birder, but a concept I will definitely employ sugru for! waiting for my first packet in the mail, hooray!!!

The Ideanator (author)2010-11-18

I hung out with some birders once. Y'all are insane, going out in subzero (Fahrenheit, not Celsius) temperatures and 30mph winds. I'm never doing that again for a photoshoot.

Kiteman (author)The Ideanator2010-11-19


Two winters ago, on a beach in Norfolk, watching a Glaucus Gull eating a dead seal, while snow built up on the side of my scope.

Great day.

The Ideanator (author)Kiteman2010-11-19

You are dedicated in your watching our feathered friends, and by dedicated, I mean the English (ours or yours) cannot describe the mind-blowing level of absolute insanity that birders have.

Kiteman (author)The Ideanator2010-11-21

Just got back from another two days in Norfolk - only 72 species, thanks to 24 hours of thick fog that wasn't on the weather forecast.

bowmaster (author)Kiteman2010-11-23

I didn't know there were that many species!!! (I'm using hyperbole)

Kiteman (author)bowmaster2010-11-24

In the UK, avid listers don't even report their lists until they hit 400 species found in the UK.

The Ideanator (author)Kiteman2010-11-21

Fog is awesome, wonderful in photos if everything falls into composition. However if it were well below freezing (or felt that way) and gusting, I'm sure the fog wouldn't stick around long and you'd get to see more of those birds.

Goodhart (author)2010-11-23

Very nice. And it is a good thing you didn't run into any "disturbed birds" ;-)

skimmo (author)2010-11-18

are you a cat burglar?

Kryptonite (author)skimmo2010-11-19

More of a kite burgler, actually.

bowmaster (author)Kryptonite2010-11-23


trike road poet (author)2010-11-21

Loved the Instructable, clever and handy! I've found that a thin layer of Sugru placed around the curved part of camera clips and another around the camera strap rings making lifting the camera for free hand shots silent too. Worked great this year shooting some shots of deer in the woods here.
Another tip, use instant gun blue compund (get in most gun shops) and darken the rings and snaps to prevent glare that can scare the critters just as effectively as yelling!

Kiteman (author)trike road poet2010-11-22

Cool, thanks.

(YOUR N (author)2010-11-22

fyanks kiteman

SkysTheLimit (author)2010-11-20

You have been nominated!

Note: This isn't affiliated with the instructables staff. This is member based.

Congratulations, your instructable "Silence your spanner " has been nominated to be "featured" in the group, We hope you participate in helping us nominate other great instructables. Thank you

Kiteman (author)SkysTheLimit2010-11-21

Thanks for the thought, but I'd rather have your votes, come the time?

About This Instructable




Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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