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How to Splice Wire Rope

Updated February 21, 2017

Wire rope has a number of practical applications and almost all of them place the rope under a heavy amount of stress. Wire rope is used to cable off structures and act as a support, or it may be used to create a barrier designed to withstand high speeds of impact. If the wire rope you are using is damaged or too short for the span it needs to cover, you can splice wire rope together to make the length you need.

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  1. Take one end of the wire rope and make a loop around the thimble. Hold the tail of the wire rope (the dead end) tightly pressed to the rest of the rope (the live end), so that the wire rope fits into the channel of the thimble and the thimble does not fall out. You want at least 12 inches of dead end extending past the closed end of the thimble.

  2. Pinch the wire rope into the thimble channels tightly with your locking pliers. If need be, close the thimble a bit with pressure from the pliers to make sure the splice loop formed in the wire rope is solidly held by the thimble.

  3. Remove the nuts off the bottom ends of the Crosby Bulldog Shackle and take off the saddle. The saddle is the thick metal crosspiece that goes over the two ends of the U. Place the U piece of the shackle over your wire rope so both the live and dead end are inside the U. You want the bend of the U to rest on the dead end. Position this as close to the thimble as possible. Put the saddle back on the ends of the U (with the small, curved middle snug against the live end of the wire). Place the nuts back on the end of the U and tighten with a crescent wrench.

  4. Prepare another Crosby Shackle in the same manner and place it 4 inches away from the first shackle on the wire rope. Make sure that the bend of the U rests on the dead end only. Lock this shackle in place and install the third and last shackle near the end of the splice. Again, make sure the bend of the U rests on the dead end only.

  5. Take the screw bolt out of the shackle in the bottle neck screw. Hold your wire rope so the thimble loop is inside the shackle of the bottle neck screw. When you pass the bolt through, the thimble is "caught" on the bolt, and you cannot pull the wire rope free from the bottle neck screw. Tighten the bolt in the bottom shackle.

  6. Pass the wire rope you want to splice to through the upper eyelet of the bottle neck screw. This eyelet will replace the thimble in the splice loop of this next piece of wire rope. Attach three Crosby Bulldogs to complete the splice loop just as you did to the other piece of wire. Again, make sure that all the bends of the U rest on the dead end of the wire.

  7. Tip

    Cover the ends of the splice loop where the dead end stops with duct tape to prevent anyone being cut by the sharp wire ends and the wire from unravelling.


    Make sure all of your Crosbys sit on your wire rope in the same direction with the bend of the U resting on the dead end. Never alternate the direction of your Crosbys or you will increase the risk of the splice failing under load.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire Rope
  • Thimble
  • Locking Pliers
  • Crosby Bulldog Shackle
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Bottle Neck Screw

About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.

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