Cable lacing techniques

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Cable lacing techniques
Cable lacing is the zip tie's older cousin. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Cable lacing techniques were employed by telecommunications, aerospace and marine companies to secure wires and cables that traversed long distances before the advent of cable staple guns and zip ties. Cable lacing creates a bundle of wires or cables that won't crush or choke the cables, keeping them active and preventing the need for maintenance and repair.

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Marlin Hitch

Also known as a lock stitch and referred to as the "regulation cableman's knot" in rare cable lacing manuals, the marlin hitch bundles cables together by wrapping the cord around one end of the bundle, and then locking the wrap in place by making a loop around the cables, threading the cord over and through the loop and pulling it tight. This lock stitch is repeated every one-half inch along the length of the cable bundle.

Half Hitch

The half hitch is a knot that was used in cable lacing to more loosely secure the cables together, as it is a simpler knot. The half hitch is created by passing the working end of the cord around the cable bundle, and then over, under and through the remaining portion of cord. The half hitch is used in a running stitch because it is not a secure knot on its own.

Clove Hitch

The clove hitch is another type of knot used in a running stitch to secure a bundle of cables together in cable lacing. The clove hitch is actually two half hitch knots wound around the cable bundle in succession. The clove hitch has similar spacing to the running lock stitch. It is made by creating a loop around the cable bundle, keeping the working end of the cord on top. The working end is then wound around the cables until it crosses over itself, where it is passed underneath the cross and pulled to secure.

Flat Lacing Stitch

The flat lacing stitch is a complex cable lacing technique that binds three or more cables together by passing the cord under, over and through itself and then in between the cables. Both ends of the cord are wrapped around the cables in such a way that they come back to meet one another at one side of the cable bundle, where they can be pulled to tighten and knotted to keep in place. The flat lacing stitch is a standalone cable lacing technique that is not used in a running stitch.

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