Introduction: Wire Clamp Tool From Calk Gun
I recently needed to repair a leaking hose and did not have the proper sized hose clamp. I remembered seeing a commercial for the nifty little tool that used wire to make any sized clamp you need, so I thought I could make one.
The commercially available tool is very simple in operation in that it allows the user to pull the loose ends of a wire loop very tightly, then bends the ends over to lock the wire in place. I realized that all I needed to accomplish this was a tool with the ability to pull, or push, but also gave me a significant mechanical advantage. After some contemplation, I decided to try to adapt an old caulking gun. And, less than 10 minutes later, I had a clamp tool that produces very tight hose clamps.
After publishing this, I found that others had already done this. :-(
1/8" Roll Pin
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Step 1: Remove Plunger End From Cauling Gun
Remove the plunger end from the gun. Mine was easy, as it was held on with a nut. Other models may need to be cut with a grinder or hack saw.
Step 2: Remove Frame
This particular model had only four nubs that were peened to the orange frame. To separate it, I used a file to remove the heads of the nubs and then used a punch to pop the frame loose.
Step 3: Drill Hole for Roll Pin
I think you could probably skip the roll pin all together, but I think it helps with bending the clamp wire over at the end. I used a center punch to mark and then drilled a 1/8" hole through the shaft, approximately 3/4" from the end.
Step 4: Taper Shaft End
I then used my disk sander to taper the end of the shaft. I did not sharpen it to a fine point, but left the tip approximately 1/8" wide.
Step 5: Insert Roll Pin
I then drove the roll pin through the shaft.
Step 6: Cut Groove in Tip
Lastly, I used a needle file to cut a shallow groove in the tip of the shaft. This will keep the tip of the shaft on the wire loop when you tighten it.
Step 7: Use It to Create a Hose Clamp
To use the tool, create a loop of wire and wrap around the hose. Inert the ends of the wire through the loop and pull the slack out. If desired, make additional wraps, pulling the ends through the loop each time. when satisfies with the wrapping, apply the tool as shown in the photo, with the tip on the wire loop. Secure the loose wire ends to the frame of the tool by looping through the frame and twisting together several times. Repeatedly squeeze the handles until the wire pulls tight. Then rotate the tool to tightly bent the wire ends over the loop. Clip the ends to about 1/4" long and bend down flush with hose, and you have a very tidy hose clamp!
One downside to this tool is it's size. You may find it difficult to operate in tight spaces. To help in that regard, one could cut the shaft down to make it more compact. But, I chose to used the entire shaft length just in case I wanted to bind large objects together. This will allow me to pull a lot of slack wire from the clamp in one pull.