Those Special Tools...

clamptite-toolI don't often succumb to those folks selling special tools at big shows - you know the folks that have special jewelry cleaner, or offer to clean your glasses with their miracle product (OK, I must admit, I bought some of that...) - but a few years back, I was intrigued by the folks in a little booth at Oshkosh selling the Clamptite tool - basically, a device that allows you to put clamps on hoses without actually using clamps. The little tool (and a little technique) uses safety wire to secure hose that is slipped over a barbed fitting – basically, anywhere that you might use a hose clamp.

Now most of the time, this little purchase sits in my “special tools” drawer – I haven’t gotten to the point where I make up aircraft fittings with it. Truth be told, most of the places where I use hose clamps, I like to take a take a little turn each annual to make up for things like hose softening or shrinkage. This device makes really cool clamps – but once you’ve done them, they’re done. And – it has to have room to swing in an arc to tighten the clamp, so it can’t be used in really tight quarters (like on engine rocker box drain-back hoses).

But I do use the thing, and today brought it out to put some ends on a shop air pressure hose. I had to replace the lien that feeds pressure to the gun in my sandblasting cabinet (the old one got rotten and ruptured). Because it is just a half-inch hose, a spiral clamp is pretty clunky, and doesn’t hold very well. But the Clamptite makes a really nice clamp that holds the hose n the barbed fitting, and the only way to remove it is with diagonal cutters. We’ve all got miles of safety wire in our hangars – so no problem with raw materials. I have to remember how to use it each time I bring it out of course, but frankly, it is a cool little tool.

Which reminds me about the Koul Tool - a little set of cubes used to make up Aeroquip AQP hoses. But….that’s another story...

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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