From the Blogs: The Lost Art of Cable Lacing and What to To Do With an Altoids Tin

Here are a couple of items, one from the Make: blog and the other from a blog I hadn’t heard of before, The Art of Manliness…….Dan

Lost Knowledge: Cable Lacing
According to this blog post, “cable lacing is a technique that uses a series of knots and stitches in a continuous piece of wax impregnated cotton or twine to bundle cables together. It takes some practice, but it’ll outperform zipties in that it won’t crush the insulative jackets on wiring and that it’s not going to shift axially on you if it’s loose.”

I often use cable ties to create bundles, and unless you can get the really tight, the wires can slip. This promises to be a much better solution to making cable harnesses for home-brew projects. Now, where can I find the “wax-impregnated cotton or twine”?

22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin
We  all know that Altoids tins make nifty cases for small electronics projects, but this article suggests a number of other ways to reuse these handy tins. These include:

  • first aid kit,
  • pocket games chest,
  • survival kit,
  • emergency candle, and more.

Some of these other uses might even come in handy during Field Day


  1. Apparently you find wax string here:

    I remember using it for something as a kid, but I can’t place it.

  2. John Marra says:

    What you are looking for can probably be found at most marine supply stores. You can use whipping which is used to finish the ends of cut lines (rope) so they don’t unravel.

    John Marra
    S/V Sailor Dance

  3. Ron McKenzie says:

    Well, I bought the roll of lacing tape in the late 60’s at North American Salvage in Downey, CA. I used the tape when I built a replacement cable bundle for connecting my Mortola FM-5V to it’s control head.

    I notice that a number of telco vendor sell waxed lacing cord. Here are a few URLs:


  4. The Tandy Leather Factory carries waxed cord for stitching leather.
    Here’s a link:

  5. I would suggest a large roll of dental tape and a large-diameter curves sewing needle for fabricating harnesses. I was told that this was the material of choice for lacing harnesses when i worked at Heath Company many years ago. Makes sense to me. Buy it at Meijer for an occasional harness, or a dental wholesale supply house if you are going into production. Also great stuff for kite rigging, vine lacing and many other things.


  6. Mike WA6ARA says:

    What you want is Mil-T-43435. It is better than a cord, it is a flat weave tape, nylon, and waxed. It is made for cable lacing but is use now in the parachute industry as “super tack”. Item T1050 at

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