How do you crimp ferrules

Does anyone use ferrules(sp) on cable? I need to make some straps out of 3/64 cable, they will not carry heavy loads, just span a gym and paper stars will be hung from them.
Can I use ferrules if I just crimp them "Detroit Style" by pounding on them with a hammer?
How about smashing them in my bench vice?
I have seen the tools specifically for the job but they are way to expensive.
Do I really need to use thimbles, or can I just make loops.
(I want to use cable because we decorate the gym frequently and it would be nice to just have a set that we can string up, rather than re-invent the wheel every time and start tying rope, and trying to keep them from stretching... etc. )
Any thoughts?
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Probably better using the vise than a hammer, most metals have a "memory", leave them in the vise several minutes and re-tighten once or twice. In the past, I've used small U-bolts successfully. You could also buy the tool, use it, and then re-sell it on eBay to get some or most of your money back. I've done that before with tools that I "had to have" only once, works for me.-Jitney
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I would not use these ferrules without the proper crimping tool. Instead go to your hardware store and get the type you would tighten down on the wire/cable with a socket wrench or wrench. They are usually sold in the same area where the wire is located. They work great PLUS you can re-use them over again.
J
Jack wrote:

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I've always used a chisel with a hammer. Hammer on a vise or a block of steel. Obviously, don't hit is so hard as to cut the ferrule. I've used it to secure sound equipment to its cabinet, so U bolts won't do.
Joey wrote:

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Yes, see if you can borrow a tool. Half assed fixes usually turn out to be just that. What would happen if one of the end comes loose during an event?
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The ferrules are known as nico-press sleeves.
If you are hanging anything overhead, even just the cable itself, you need to use the correct fittings, either nico-press, crimped with the proper tool, and tested with a go/no-go gauge, or a Crosby clip (U-bolt).
If you are unsure of how to properly install nico-press fittings, or lack the proper tool to do so, you must use Crosby's instead.
There is NO safe way of installing nico-press sleeves without a proper crimp tool.

NO.
NO.
There are two styles of tool for nico-press sleeves:
One type looks like a pair of bolt cutters, and will cost a couple hundred bucks.. (I haven't priced them recently). This is the type you get if you are going to be installing them regularly.
The other type is much simpler, but very slow.. it is basicly a two piece clamp with bolts that you tighten down to make each crimp.
Check with your local theatre companies, they may have a tool that they will let you use, and they may even help you make the cables, and help with the initial installation. Ask nicely.
Another place to check would be a marine supplier, or an industrial rigging company..

Yes, you must use thimbles to avoid exceeding the minimum bend radius of the cable, which can lead to kinking, and loss of strength in the cable.
If you are just using the cables to lock things up, you can get away without the thimbles, but if you are using them for overhead rigging, you must use them.

Remember that you may not always be there, and that somebody in the future may decide to try and hang something heavier than paper stars on the cable, so do it right the first time.
The last thing you want is for a mirror ball to come crashing down on somebodys head in the middle of a dance.

If you are going to use nico-press sleeves, there are several very important things to consider:
1. you MUST use the correct size sleeve for the cable. there is zero margin     for error. do not use 1/4" sleeves on 3/16" cable.
2. you should crimp each sleeve in at least two locations. (I normally do 3).     srart at the thimble, and work out.
3. remember that the sleeve will expand lengthwise when crimped, so if you     trim the cable to just barely peek out from the end of the sleeve,     you should end up with the cable end flush with the sleeve when you     are done.
4. Test each crimp using a go/no-go gauge.
If you are using Crosby clips instead of nico-press sleeves, remember that the U-bolt ALWAYS goes on the dead (cut) end of the cable. Do not stagger the clips.
When using Crosby's, always leave a couple inches of tail, but feel free to tape it down after you have installed the last Crosby.
Remember the rule: "Never saddle a dead horse"
Helpful tips.
When cutting cable, if you wrap the cable with tape (electrical tape, or masking tape work well), and cut thru the middle of the tape, the ends don't fray. This is important because it is hard to get frayed cable into the sleeve.      Always cut your cable slightly longer than you need. Install the nico-press or Crosby's on one end, re-measure, and then make your final cut.
Make sure your anchor points are solid. Make sure your anchor points are solid.
You can alys install turnbuckles if you need to tension the cable, in which case you want to make the cable slightly shorter by the length of a turnbuckle. measure the turnbuckle when it is set at it's mid point.
turnbuckles should be rated for load, and connected using rated shackles or quick-links.
make sure the cables are properly stored, and are not kinked in the process. I have visions of volunteers wrapping cables over their elbows in the manner that destroys many an extention cord...
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replying to Jack, Jules Bartow wrote:

ranchers, electricians, HVACR, and sign folks all over the world 4-million times per year.
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