how to re-use plastic cable ties

You can use a match or stove flame to melt and fuse the ends of a cable-tie after you've cut it. No sense in throwing them away if you cut them near the "ratchet" head (not the narrow tip). These are, of course, those plastic straps you use to bundle wire and such.
It's a very strong repair when done right. Get both ends to catch fire briefly, then hold them together and let them air- cool gradually so the joint isn't brittle. This effectively converts the one-use type to the reusable (more costly) type.
N.C.
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Anonymous wrote:

I just use a flat blade jeweler's screwdriver to lever up the ratchet dog and slide the tail out through the head.
Works for me...YMMV
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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On Thu, 20 Jul 2006 19:55:27 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

I buy them in packs of 100 at the 99 cent store.
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Anonymous wrote:

Do you wash out used bathroom tissue also?
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?? Wash?? What's wrong with the other side?
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Lee K wrote:

I usually only use one square per 'session':
Take 1 (and only 1) square. Fold it in half, and half again and tear off the corner that is the middle of the two folds. Keep the torn out piece to be used later in these nstructions. Then you reopen it, you will have a hole dead center of the square. Now, push your index finger through the hole. Wipe your delicates with your finger, and then wrap the TP round your finger and pull off, cleaning off your finger. Then, take that little piece you tore out of the middle, and use that to clean under your fingernail. You can get hundreds of wipes per roll this way.
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Anonymous wrote:

If you want them reusable then buy the releasable ones for the couple cents more. The releasable ones have a little lever on them to release the ratchet catch with. Of course you can't trim the ends to make them neat any more since they might end up too short to reuse.
Pete C.
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If the tie looks like a nice one, and I'm not in a hurry, I'll sometimes release the catch with a pin and slide the thing open to reuse it on the same project or for shelf stock. (I sometimes use rather large ties, which can be hard to find in civilian stores, and the hard-to-get-to commercial sources wanna sell me a whole case when I need maybe 20. I try to stock up on crap like that at hamfests, from the guys that buy and repackage case lots.)
OP's melt scenario isn't anything I would trust. Be just my luck it would fail at a critical moment and the whole damn thing would come undone. For want of a nail, etc.
aem sends...
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On Fri, 21 Jul 2006 01:29:30 GMT, "ameijers"

I'm in that situation too, especially with large sizes I don't even have a need for but want to have available when I need them.
I didn't do it for this purpose, but I found I satisfied my plastic tie needs by cutting down all the obnoxious advertising on street lamps and telephone poles. I learned to cut as far from the ratchet as possible. Some of them are 4 foot long, and I drilled a hole in each end of one, that had no ratchet anymore, and used it for snaking a wire through the molding at the top of my windshield (convertible)
Some times they use a string of shorter ones, and I take them apart with the flat jeweler's screwdriver.
The corrugated sign material was piling up too, and I found it works for lots of purposes. A couple will cover the lawn mower from the rain, a couple or more are good for covering the grass when spray painting something, they're good for kneeling on the rough parking lot to work on the car, or for protecting my rear seat covers when I'm carrying something big and maybe with a sharp edge or not so clean.
In the past 3 months they past new laws in Baltimore City and County giving average people the explicit right to take down these signs, and in Baltimore City, if community groups do it, they can get a share of the fines.
When I started 2 years ago, I was about the only one doing it in my 3 square mile area, but now when I don't have time, I notice that other people (I don't know who) take the signs down. There are at least 3 other people.

I go to hamfests too.

I'm afraid me too, but I'll try it sometime.

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It would probably more frugal to use nylon lacing cord rather than plastic ties. 1500 feet of lacing cord costs $20.50 and would be good for maybe about 3000 tie-downs. http://www.wassco.com/walaco.html
Here's how to begin a cable lacing knot: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/g_knott/elect23.htm You finish the knot by tying an overhand knot with the loose ends (like the first knot you make when you begin tying your shoelaces) and then snipping off the ends.
I learned this wire lacing knot years ago and it's about as quick and easy as using nylon ties once you learn it.
Don
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"Don K" (dk@dont_bother_me.com) writes:

I was thinking that myself, that cable ties are actually expensive (relative speaking). Nobody had them years ago, and yes wiring in electronic equipment was laced together; nobody thought twice if you needed to cut it to get at the wires.
I'm sure there are times when cable ties are useful, I admit I've used them for some things without giving it any thought (though, someone else was paying for the cable ties), but for other things simply tying is good enough. Especially when someone was talking about buying "reusable cable ties", at which point one should be looking at alternatives.
For things where people expect to remove the things, using cable ties seems wasteful (and if people are popping them open, that seems like too much work to me). I tend to use twist ties, that come with plastic bags that I'm using anyway and have lots of because I reuse them, if I want to tie up a power cord, for storage or because it's longer than needed when plugged in somewhere. But it's a simple matter of twisting the wire, to use it, or untwist it if you need more cord length. Small bits of solid wire work well too, and it's often easy to come upon hunks of wire that someone has thrown out.
Michael
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Thank you! My father taught me how to do proper cable lacing. His work in radio stations was truly the work of a craftsman (there is much more to a good job than simply strapping wires together). The plastic cable ties are down and easy quick fixes for some jobs, but lacing is much more elegant.
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Anonymous wrote:

why bother? theyre extremely cheap.
on that note, i do reuse garbage bags when i recycle aluminum cans.
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Anonymous wrote:

That's a nice trick to use in case of an all out emergency. Any other time, it's not worth the effort and burns more BTUs in the Bic than the cost of the tie. I buy a bag of 1000 ties for $5. I never pay more than 2 for bigger ones. For more strength and 100% reusability, I use a stainless steel screw clamp.
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To all who replied: This tip isn't about extreme frugality, rather those times when you need to replace a few cable ties in a pinch and it's not worth driving to a store. You lose only a small fraction of the original length, which beats forcing a cut blunt end through with little slack. Also, the plastic weld is very strong if allowed to cool properly. Try a pull test if you have doubts.
N.C.
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Anonymous wrote:

You're changing your story a bit now N.C. You did post it as a cost saving technique until it seemed so foolish. You did not post it on the survivalist group either. Just keep a supply of ties handy folks.
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Al Bundy wrote:

In a pinch, any kind of tape (packing tape works), snippets of wire or string will work. I've even seen paper clips bent around a bundle of wires. I imagine whoever did the twisting had fingers of iron to manage that. It's a rare office that doesn't have one of these things handy.
That said, cable ties are cheap and don't take up much space in a tool kit so just keep a supply of them handy folks. :)
Anthony
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Anonymous wrote:

I just use other stuff instead of cable ties. For repairs, I usually use a screw or some glue or nails or something rather than jury-rigging with a cable tie. For cables, I use twist ties, like what comes on a loaf of bread. I don't think I've ever bought them; they come on bread, plus when you buy garbage bags, they often come with way more twist ties than I can ever use on the bags themselves, so I toss the excess in a drawer in the kitchen, and I'm set. The great thing about twist ties and cables is that they are easy to unfasten *without* getting a knife or other tools, i.e. just using your fingers. That comes in handy when you're, say, moving a piece of furniture and need to move some cables to do it. For me, at least, it keeps the frustration level down if I can just do it right then rather than having to go grab a knife or something else that I'd need to cut a cable tie.
- Logan
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If I do cut a plastic tie. I cut it near the loose end not the "head". then use if for smaller jobs. Or.. if a tie is too small, one can join two together. some times I find them. Just cut and save for a small job.
--
"In the future you may be here, but will your dreams?"

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Crusader george wrote:

AND they're re-usable if you push the ratcheting flap up with a pin.
--
Cheers, Bev
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