Introduction: The Better Hose Clamp, and It Costs Next to Nothing
Ok, this isn't going to change the world, lets face it, hose clamps aren't really all that expensive, but that doesn't take away from how clever this thing is. It's also way better than regular hose clamps, they don't come loose like hose clamps do, they really do cost pennies per clamp (vs $1-$2 per clamp) but they also can be built to any size. That is the real key.
The clamp is just steel wire, cut the right length, and then use the $3 tool to tighten the clamp way tighter than you can ever hope to get with a traditional hose clamp. So without any further ado, here is what you need for the clamp:
1) 1 1/4" turnbuckle (home depot, about $2.50)
2) 1 1/4-20 wing nut
3) 1 1/4-20 nut
4) 1 1/4-20 bolt about 1"-2" long.
That is it for the tool. to make clamps you really only need the steel wire (25lb galvanized steel wire is about $4 for 50 feet) but I also like rubber splicing tape for either under and definitely over the wire so you don't get scratched by the wire ends when you are done.
So if you are putting a new end on a hose, or in this example patching a hole in a hose, or you are binding some sticks together, This gizmo works where-ever you would want to use a hose-clamp or zip-tie.
Step 1: Lets Make the Tool (you Only Need One, for the Rest of Your Life.)
Well maybe a bigger one if you are planning to attach 2x4's to build a bridge or something. That is left as an exercise for the reader.
The turnbuckle has two eyelets on either side, one left-hand threaded, the other the normal right handed thread. The threads of the turnbuckle centerpiece are accordingly threaded to match. Mark them "L" and "R" accordingly.
The build is straight forward:
1) Unthread both eyebolts. You can dismiss the left-hand threaded one, it won't be used.
2) With a 1/4" drill bit drill out the left-hand threads from the turn buckle. Now the Right hand eyebolt will slide easily through the now widened bolt.
3) With the RH eyebolt through the recently widened LH hole, threat the wing nut so the wings are torwards the eyebolt. They wingnut I used was ever so slightly too wide to fit between the arms of the turnbuckle and I needed to file it down on both sides. This took about 30 seconds.
4) now thread the nut onto the bolt, then thread the bolt onto the RH threads of the turnbuckle. leave most of the bolt sticking out, and then tighten the nut onto the turnbuckle locking the bolt in place.
5) with a hacksaw or dremel cut off the head of the nut.
6) on the stump where the head of the bolt used to be, cut a grove with your saw that aligns with the arms of the turnbuckle. If the alignment is off, loosen the nut, turn the bolt until its aligned, and then tighten the nut again. Easy!
That's it! I made one of these literally in about 5 minutes (I own a dremel, and a belt sander.) Now onto how to use this thing.
Step 2: How to Use the Tool
So here is my example of how to use this. A more standard usage would be to put a new metal connector on a cut piece of hose by inserting part of the connector inside the hose and clamping the hose onto the connector. In my example I had a hole in my hose and I just wanted to patch it. The use of the tool is exactly the same.
For my repair I needed a patch material for the hole so I wrapped the hole several times with Rubber splicing tape. This tape is made for electrical, but it has the distinction of being pure rubber and after you stretch it and wrap it around the rubber fuses together so there is no seam or way to separate it. It literally becomes a piece of hose. The problem is its still rubber and under pressure from underneath, the water will push the the ring of rubber bigger and the water will leak. so what I'll do is put the clamp so one side on one side of the hole and the other side of the clamp is on the other. Claming the rubber down means it can't strech out as the wire is firmly on the original hose and my patch is done. So here is how it goes after I wrap a cover of rubber around the hole.
1) look at the diagram you folld the wire in half to make the U-turn at point 27, wrap the two ends around the hose and back through the U-turn. Go around a second time and back through U-turn 27. Snug this up on the hose as best you can.
2) now comes the tool. hook U-turn 27 on the notch of the tool, and then run the wires up the side of the turnbuckle, wrap them around the wing nut's wings, and then twist them together.
3) at this point you start to tighten the eyebolt of the turn buckle. What will happen is the wing nut will move away from U-turn 27, and tighten the wire onto the hose. In my case I brought the wing nut all the way up and the wires were still not really biting hard on the hose, so I undid the twist, unwrapped the wire from the wingnut, Unscrewed the wing nut all the way back down the eyebolt, and re-did the wrap on teh wing nut wings and pulled a second time. This time it really bit hard on the hose.
4) now comes the magic: take the eyebolt eye and bring it up and over to the other side of the hose, swinging in a 180 degree arch.
5) Now the ends 29 are folded over at 180 degrees over the U-turn 27 and they are not going anywhere.
6) at this point I twist both 29's together, fold in down onto the hose, and take another piece of rubber and cover the bits 29 so if they do get pointy, they are under the rubber.
Well, that's about it. The result is a lot stronger, and smaller than any hose clamp I have ever used. Hose Clamp also tend to work themselves looser over time: this will not.
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