Introduction: Reusing Bread Wire Ties
Most of the time when you buy a loaf of bread it's got a little wire twisty sealing the bag. The same ties are used with cables and power adapters which come with electronics.
I save all of my old twisty wire ties and reuse them, most often as replacements for nylon ties. Sure nylon cable ties have their purposes but nylon ties are normally not reusable (or much more expensive if they are reusable versions). In addition if something isn't permanent (and in my setup permanent is rarely for more than a year or so before something gets upgraded or moved around) then the nylon tie has to get snipped and almost certainly ends up in a landfill. Environmentally it's certainly better to repurpose a twisty tie than to use a nylon tie (and also less expensive).
Besides making cable storage neater and making cables neater there are lots of other ways to use wire twisty ties.
Step 1: Bundling Related Cables
In this example I'm bundling a stereo audio cable (actually two cables permanently connected), a video cable, a second audio cable, and a control cable. All I did was wrap the twisty tie around the bundle several times. It helps keep these cables organized, especially since this bundle goes in a wire raceway along with many other cables and it helps to have the related cables in separate bundles.
Step 2: Identify Similar Cables
Many of my electronics produce R-F outputs and these all go into a matrix switch. The cables are basically identical. To make it easier to identify which cables come from which sources I wrap a colored twisty wire around the end of each cable.
Other choices would be to paint the connector with nail polish, a color-coded shrink wrap, or wrap the end in colored electrical tape, but the twisty wire is the easiest and least expensive choice.
Step 3: Hold a Data Cable in Place
I've got a USB cable which goes along the arm of a lamp (from my swing arm lamp instructable). To keep the USB cable in place a couple of twisty ties attach it to the lamp's power cord. The twisty ties keep the USB cable out of the way and in place at the same time without interfering with the lamp's operation.
Step 4: Keeping Cables Neat Inside a Dekstop Computer
When I first assembled my own computers I used nylon ties to hold the power connectors and other internal cables in place. After a couple of upgrades to computer components and replaced power supplies I realized that I was going through lots of nylon cable ties. With wire twisty ties I can easily redo the ties when I do upgrades and replacements.
There are lots of other uses for wire ties and I may update this instructable in the future. Comments on how you reuse twisty ties are certainly welcome.
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