How To Lace Cables Like It’s 1962

Cable harnesses made wire management a much more reliable and consistent affair in electronic equipment, and while things like printed circuit boards have done away with many wires, cable harnessing still has its place today. Here is a short how-to on how to lace cables from a 1962 document, thoughtfully made available on the web by [Gary Allsebrook] and [Jeff Dairiki].

It’s a short resource that is to the point in all the ways we love to see. The diagrams are very clear and the descriptions are concise, and everything is done for a reason. The knots are self-locking, ensuring that things stay put without being overly tight or constrictive.

According to the document, the ideal material for lacing cables is a ribbon-like nylon cord (which reduces the possibility of biting into wire insulation compared to a cord with a round profile) but the knots and techniques apply to whatever material one may wish to use.

Cable lacing can be done ad-hoc, but back in the day cable assemblies were made separately and electrically tested on jigs prior to installation. In a way, such assemblies served a similar purpose to traces on a circuit board today.

Neatly wrapping cables really has its place, and while doing so by hand can be satisfying, we’ve also seen custom-made tools for neatly wrapping cables with PTFE tape.

Auto Tape Wrapping Machine Is Amazing For Cable Management

If you’ve dived under the hood of any car built in the last 40 years, you’ve likely noticed the bundles of neatly-wrapped cables making up the car’s wiring loom. [The Q] has built a tool for handling jobs like this yourself.

The build starts with a pair of sprockets linked up with bicycle chain, and mounted to a wooden frame. A motor drives the smaller sprocket, which turns the larger sprocket in turn. The larger sprocket itself is mounted on a series of internal rollers, while it mounts a carrier for a roll of tape. As the larger sprocket turns, it will happily wrap whatever you feed through the central hole in tape in a neat and tidy manner.

For those working with automotive looms, large robot cable runs, or PC builds, a tool like this can be of great utility. [The Q} even demonstrates it put to oddball tasks, like wrapping bicycle handlebars or pipe threads. We’ve seen similar builds before, too. Video after the break.

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