I 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...