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Discussion of diving methods and equipment available prior to the development of BCDs beyond the horse collar. This forum is dedicated to the pre-1970 diving.
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SurfLung
Master Diver
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First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
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Stainless Zip Ties

Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:04 pm

Stainless Zip Ties for Hose Clamps
- I found these stainless steel zip ties at Harbor Freight and thought I'd try them out as hose clamps for a double hose regulator. They'e beautifully shiney. And heaven knows being steel they're strong enough. The clamp part is low profile. They DO require a serious zip tie installation tool to get them tight enough. I put them on my Faux Voit Lung Single Stage and they seem to seal well.
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- This is my zip tie tool... It can squeeze regular plastic zip ties tight enough to break. It has a gripper and a cutter. For the stainless zip ties, the gripper needs a little help... It slips on the smooth stainless surface. So, I bend the zip tie over it so it can grip tight enough. And the cutter won't work for stainless, you'll dull it if you try. I just use metal wire clippers to cut off the ends.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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2THDIVR
Master Diver
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:01 pm
First Name: Scott
Location: Venice,FL

Re: Stainless Zip Ties

Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:48 pm

What is involved for removal? Any chance of hose damage?

Thanks
Scott

BigSwell
Skin Diver
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First Name: Kevin
Location: Comeoiwannalaya HI

Re: Stainless Zip Ties

Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:55 pm

I bought a sack of those at Harbor Freight a few years ago to wrap around some heat shielding on my plane, they didn't last long at all. Seems the inner parts aren't really as "stainless" as they would like you to believe and they rotted out within 6mo (and that was under a carbon fiber cowl). I'm sure everyone knows there are grades of stainless steel, the stuff from Harbor Freight is on the very low end of that scale, you get what you pay for at Harbor Freight. I'd use 316 worn-drive claps from HD before using these on any reg I have, hopefully you have better luck than I did. As a side note I use worm drive claps on my rebreathers, zero issues so far. Lap a fat (beach cruiser size) bicycle inner tube cut to double/triple the width of the clamp, slide it onto the hose, put the clamp on, tighten up, fold the inner tube back over the clap to cover the clamp and Bob's yer uncle. When you need to remove it a simple flathead does the job nicely.

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SurfLung
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Re: Stainless Zip Ties

Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:54 am

You make some valid points. I love harbor freight but I hate that everything they sell comes from China. You got me to thinking about zip ties versus actual hose clamps in general. I've been using low profile plastic zip ties for about 3 years now just because they're easier and quicker to install and look about the same as original USD/Voit plastic hose clamps. Whenever I change hoses, I just clip these off and install brand new ones with the hose change. And I suppose that's what I can do when these stainless ones start to show rust.

The bigger issue I've gotten to thinking about is this: Are zip ties likely to pop open sometime when I'm underwater? One thing about the screw type hose clamps is that they don't come off without unscrewing them! On the other hand, my low profile plastic hose clamps are not easy to remove without special tools. I have to clip the top band and then wedge a small flat head screw driver into the lock to break the lock thru the opening at the clip. I've been using these for 3 or more years now and have not had any of them come undone on its own.

The stainless zip ties have a similar lock. I have not tried to get one off yet. I wonder about slippage however... Since the stainless band has no teeth like the plastic zip tie bands. And as for rust... I figure if its a matter of appearance, just replace them when they start to show rust. But if the rust affects whether they stay locked or not, that's another matter. My original attraction was that the stainless is bright and shiny, much like the chrome plated Tinnerman clamps on the blue 50 Fathom regs.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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SurfLung
Master Diver
Posts: 1681
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:03 pm
First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
Contact: Website

Re: Stainless Zip Ties

Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:00 am

2THDIVR wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:48 pm
What is involved for removal? Any chance of hose damage?

Thanks
Scott
Hi Scott,
- I removed and re-installed the stainless zip ties several times last weekend. The gripper end contains a tiny ball bearing. As the smooth stainless band tightens, the ball rolls to let it in. But it locks down instead of allowing movement backwards. It actually looks like it might grip BETTER than plastic zip ties. The steel band and ball seem far less likely to deform under stress.
- Removal... There's a little guard tab that retains the ball bearing when the tie is loose. You bend that up and out of the way first. Then you slip a thin blade between the ball bearing and the strap. This allows the strap to slip backwards a little at a time. And it backs out completely to remove the zip tie.
- Hose Damage - I ran the edge of the stainless zip tie against my finger and it didn't cut me. (Duh... I'm glad of that). I don't think it is any more likely to damage the hose than the original Tinnerman Clamps.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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antique diver
Master Diver
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Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:50 pm
First Name: Bill
Location: North-Central Texas

Re: Stainless Zip Ties

Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:53 pm

Those look pretty good, and nice to know they are fairly easily removed. If concerned about corrosion could put one in a salt water solution for a couple of weeks and check on it occasionally to see results.
The older I get the better I was.

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Bryan
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Re: Stainless Zip Ties

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:38 pm

I searched the globe to find the ones that were exactly like the originals on the LaSpirotechnique regulators and came close but not quite it. I've had the same experiences with rust on the ones I could find. I really like this style clamp as well as the pinch to close hose clamps used on many European cars. i realize they are single use but I rarely take the mouthpiece end off to begin with and to most the aesthetics are not appealing so I never offered them.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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