Unconventional Uses of Heat-Shrinking Tubes





Introduction: Unconventional Uses of Heat-Shrinking Tubes

Heat-Shrinking tubes come in various colours and sizes. They resemble a straw and are mainly used by electricians to insulate electrical connections of wires. I always enjoy discovering about unconventional uses of things, so here I will share with you 2 of them that I have used in the past.

Step 1: Shoelace Terminals

I own a pair of military boots which I wear frequently outdoors. One of the little plastic terminals of one shoelace broke the other day and the shoelace begun unlacing. I didn't want to replace the whole shoelace because it was still quite strong. Heat-shrinking tube to the rescue! I chose one size that fit snugly, cut it, inserted it in place, heated it with a lighter and it was ready for use.

Step 2: Tool Handles

With this tube you can also fix broken tool handles.

I had an agricultural cutter tool with a broken handle. The handle was slipping out of the user's hand because it had rips in some places and the whole sleeve was detaching. This time, I used a larger piece of heat-shrinking tube and fixed the handle.

In the same way, I also fixed the broken handle of a hacksaw which was loosely attached to the tool's frame.

If you have some tools without a plastic handle you can make one out of this stuff as well. In the above photo I created handles for wire cutters, pliers and nose pliers.



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    Good idea. I saw some references here to soldering. How is this related to soldering please? Thanks.

    did you know the end of a shoelace is called a sniglet?

    3 replies

    I think it's called an "aglet"...

    that's what I wrote below

    I was wrong. Like they the other commenters wrote below: it's an aglet. A sniglet is any word coined for something that has no specific name.

    I was going to make an 'Ible about this...

    Don't you have any more ideas?

    Never worked for me on shoelaces, as it just slides off in no time, so I've mostly dipped the ends in a hard drying lacquer and rolled it between two fingers before letting it dry.

    Might work better if you make a thin thread of hot melt glue and wrap it around the shoelaces where the shrink goes, before adding the shrink tubing, as this will secure it in place.

    Great ideas. Here is a little tip from me on this occasion. When you are out of shrink tubes, or forgot to put one on a cable and then already soldered it, you can use a HDPE foil (trash bag, grocery bag, etc.) to fix it. Just roll a stripe around and then heat with a lighter - it turns into molten plastic fast and secures the joint just as shrink tube would.

    1 reply

    Been there, done that. When I am in a rush I almost always forget to insert the tube prior soldering. When I discover it later, it is too late. Your tip is very useful and I will definatelly use it. Thanks for sharing it!

    My husband wears those eyeglasses that open in the front (over the nose) called Clic Glasses and his broke in the back, but after seeing your tutorial it reminded him that he had some of these shrink tubes in the garage......it works GREAT


    1 reply

    Cool! Post a photo of the fixed glasses if you like. I didn't know that such glasses exist until now. Thanks for commenting!

    I used mine on a shovel handle 15 years ago to keep from getting splinters and blisters and it still looks good today.

    1 reply

    Thanks for sharing this and for commenting!

    LOL! I have used HST for everything from lace ends (aglets?) to bike grips and garden tool handle protection and small hand tool ID.

    I salvaged some 150' rolls of 3" to 6" wide from a former job.

    2 replies

    I'd love to have some that size. The largest I've seen is about 1".

    I keep in my inventory various sizes of this stuff. You never know what the next "hack" will be. I live in a relatively remote area and the stores aren't nearby. Thanks for commenting.

    Heat-Shrinking Tubes Rock! I have been soldering an electric guitar and I used this tubes to protect the cables. I really love them but I haven't think to use them for other things. I have some tool's handle that need to be repaire. Thanks for sharing this :)

    1 reply