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Tie One On – Cables1

Those cable ties that are most commonly used by electricians are also handy gadgets with multiple uses around the house and yard.  We’ve used them to temporarily secure kitchen cabinet doors when impromptu guests drop by with little ones.

In the basement, you can thread heavy duty ties through the slotted holes of adjacent, metal shelving units to provide additional stability. Hangers for tools can be made by looping the fasteners through holes in pegboard. They make great hangers on the ends of plastic storage baskets on shelves too. They’re just right for holding a pair of scissors within easy reach.

For outdoor use, they’re my favorite for working with vinyl coated hardware cloth. Marauding cat visitors to the garden can take advantage of tender catnip plants, leaving nothing but stubby clumps of mashed pulp and fur balls.  Or, a clever garder with cable ties can make a simple cage in no time by cutting wire to fit snugly around the plant and fastening the fabric with cable ties.

Another project for hardware cloth and fasteners is making suet baskets for feeding woodpeckers.  Cut the pieces out of the hardware cloth and secure the sides and bottoms with the cable ties. For the tops, two cables can work as hinges by securing them to one side slightly looser and attaching a clip to the other side to hold it closed.

The more flexible cable ties work well for attaching woody vines like bougainvillea to a trellis. They’re less likely to cut into a growing vine than other fasteners.

There are as many different uses for cable ties as there are types and colors. Here’s a sculptural art piece made with cable ties.   

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanislav_roudavski/4837304416/

Fun or functional?   Tell us in the comments below how you tie one on!

text and first two photos by Ann D. Travers

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Comments / Discussion

  1. D.R. Young
    When you use these tough plastic cable ties make sure that you: 1. don't cut off the excess or 2. trim the excess even with the clamp part of the cable tie. The tough plastic cable tie if cut as shown around the plant and stake becomes a very sharp blade that can seriously cut any flesh part of your body.
    March 8, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink
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