Crosbys/Cable Clips/U bolts



I just hate rigging things to our fly system because it just takes so long to get those little crosbys on and off the cables! It feels quite akward to be fiddling with those little nuts on the small u-bolts with a huge crecent wrench.

Does anybody make little socket wrenches or something to that effect for working with these crosbys? How do you guys go about tightening and loosening them when rigging stuff to the fly system?

Actually, at the Playhouse weu also use big crescent wrenches. They so make small sockets, and that would probably work fairly well. I bet there is a really small battery powered driil you could put a socket on. That would definitely spped things up a bit!
They make tools for just about every occasion now and whilst I am not familiar with the system that you are refering to I would suggest looking for a tool to better suit your application.

Check out the tool section at McMaster-Carr ( and look at the combination, box, and socket wrenches and well as the sockets and nut drivers.

My advice would be to look at what other techs use and recommend (and wait for those to respond to this post) and look at the common sizes that you are likely to use on a regular basis. This should be the starting point for putting together a tool kit.

Crecent wrenches are very handy but can round the nut/bolt. It is much better to use a wrench that is sized for the job. Box wrenches are my preference but sometimes you cannot get the swing and need to use an open ended wrench. For this reason, I tend to buy combination wrenches and carry two of the most common sizes which here are 10mm, 13mm, 15mm and 17mm (3/8", 1/2" 9/16" and 11/16").

Be sure to mark them as your own and be very careful if you lend them out. Tools are only expensive if you lose them!

Isn't 1/2" 12mm...
If you do the math 1/2" is 12.7mm (1" = 25.4mm)

As no one produces a 12.7mm tool, 13mm is the closest and works very well as 0.15mm clearance on each face is minimal.

We use to use imperial measurements before metric was introducted. I need to carry both as one of my cars uses imperial and the other metric.
hmm.. rather than start a new pointless thread for this one simple question, I'll post it here. I've noticed some people use the term "AP" when referring to lights and the catwalks. (e.g. "Third zoom on the second AP"), so uh... what does AP stand for?

Regards, Matt
Ok - not my area of expertise (or knowledge for that matter) but I THINK that A/P means "anti procenium"

Probably worth doing a quick search on the forums here as I would have picked up this from reading posts here.

They make sets of sockets that fit over the magnetic posts that pop right in your screw gun's bit holder. Just take a crosby to the hardware store and find something that fits. It will make the whole job incomparably easier.
we have a socket that we use, the problem is we only have one so rigging stuff still takes a while. The problem with some croosbys is that the nuts are too close so that even the thin walled sockets cant get around the bolts.
Socket wrenches for a Crosby Clip? How labor intensive, get a nut driver.
1/8" is 5/16", 11/32", or 3/8" and make sure the flat side of the wire rope clip nyt is towards the center or you might not be able to adjust the second nut. -the normal problem Otherwise, 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2" are normal. Having a good 9/16" nut driver plus 5/8" around is also useful. Plus the 1/4" ones.

Also "Never Saddle A Dead Horse." If you don't know what this means you should not be using wire rope clips. No offense, just safety.

Anyway when I played rigger, I quickly learned that a nut driver was the best method for tightening Crosby Clips. Just like a screw driver only it won't need as much downward pressure to ensure it's not stripping. Started with some Stanley nut drivers, they gave me blisters. Instead I invested in the Klien nut drivers - much better though many companies even Craftsman offer a version of it’s cushion grip that would be fine. Never a problem since, though Klien just introduced magnetic versions of this to hold the nut.

If at very least you might invest in a 3/8" drive and 1/4" drive ratchet set which would be useful for the little screws. Craftsman usually sells something like a 50pc combination set cheap and it’s quality gear. Speed wrenches/ratcheting box wrenches are not going to fit even if useful elsewhere. Open End/Box Wrenches are useful but labor intensive. Get a mini wrench set plus the normal and metric ones. Never enough wrenches. But for rigging with cable clamps, limited value.

Note also that if a Crosby Clip, your clamp will be drop forged which is the rigging norm - as opposed to Ace Hardware - what’s called malleable. The drop forged clips are rated at 80% of the wire rope load verses malleable ones are for if rated for load 60% of the load. Crosby if the brand used will be 80%. A Nicropress type oval sleeve is 100% efficient but you can’t adjust it.

As for using metric wrenches on Imperial bolts - Crosby uses Imperial, strip your nuts out how you want but I go for the proper tool for the proper job. This includes not using powertools for hand tightening operations - even on a plug unless either that tool has a blade lock I can manually tighten the screw with or I grab a hand tool to verify tension. On any power tool, the torque when properly set is very dependant upon charge in the battery and proper angle to the fastener. If either is off either in juice or angle, your clutch will snap before the pre-set tension is achieved. You can use power tools to install screws but on any terminal you are best verifying the 1/4 turn past hand tight tension is there and always there no matter the drill’s battery charge remaining.

When starting to do rigging, it might be very advisable to follow the torque setting on the crosby clip with an actual torque wrench. New Crosby clips come with a chart for what the proper torque is - thats’ why you pay for such a specification grade cable clip. McMaster Carr has a lot of torque wrenches including nut driver types that take a socket. Otherwise 1/4 turn past hand tight is the norm. Hand tight being the operable term - have someone with respect and experience verify that your hand tight is the same as theirs.

Above that, I like the both magnetic and locking bit holders. Just replaced my DeWalt version tonight, since the one before was missing it’s magnet. Home Depot had this #DW2050 which is very similar to other brands of it. Othewise normal magnetic bit holders tend to get stuck into them any 2" or normal screw driver bit inserted. That locking quick release in addition to magnetic system does both the retaining and magnetic part. Still verify the tension by hand - people’s lives depend upon you doing your job not just efficiently but safely. Don’t trust cordless screw drivers or drills to ensure the tension. Or should I say never trust such a things on electrical connections, much less and especially rigging points. Not good practice at all. Sorry - my soap box on safety and I hope it is useful to you in taking those extra moments in verifying your tension. Very important.
When i actually use crosbys i use a nut driver, but also an important thing to do with them is to get the right torque on them. they are not really efficient or safe if you don't torque them to the manufactures specifications. i know when i get crosbies from crosby group the package says all the information on it like turn back, number of clips, and torque. for the most part i use nicos which are much safere once you learn how to properly do it and technically the coupper has a 99% holding capacity and aluminum only has a 95% holding capacity. now that is if you get the right penetration on the swage. please rember to check your work either with a go no go guage for nicos and a torque wrench for crosbies and fist grips.
Just tried my first Stainless Steel Nico Sleeves. No wonder the go-no go gauge says it is no good for testing them. 1/16" cable, 1/16" setting and I pulled the wire right out of them.

Didn't know that about aluminum, thought they were the same as copper, but I don't do a huge amount of rigging any more. Thanks, added to my memory. Most books say 100% efficient on the copper but your figure is more reasonably safe.

Way back when, using a torque wrench was unheard of by those that trained me. Instead they checked my tension. But you are very much correct - especially on something that's arbor or perminant install to verify tension by a properly set torque wrench. Not something everyone can afford.

I would add to your good advice that if the school can afford a fly system, make them invest in a torque Socket Head screw driver.

In the end I do stand corrected in that the torque wrench is the proper way of doing this stuff. I was given a National Telephone swag tool a number of years ago, nice thing to have at the bottom of a road box. Highly recommended brand name.

Good call on the go no-go gauge also to check settings on the tool. There is some amount of adjustment you can do. I normally use mine every few months but than again that's about how much use the stuff gets.
Stainlesss Steel Wire Rope

One problem with stainless steel swaging sleeves is that they are only recommended for use with stainless cable (USITT standards). This is usually found at boating supply houses. If you mix the two you might have problems. Galvanized cable can be used with standard aluminum sleeves or copper (NiCo).
Swaging tools should be periodically sent off to the manufacturer to be callibrated and tested. I have never had a properly terminated cable pull out. The pros tend to use copper sleeves. Something to due with the different process to make the aluminum vs. the copper.
Aluminum swage crimps are frouned upon at the moment due to them being more brittle than copper.
In my case, I was doing stainless steel wire rope for an out doors install. This week I made more safety cables for it and while in a few years there no doubt will be a exposure problem with the copper swage fittings used instead, at that point I'll be more than happy to replace the safety cable.

Send them in for inspection ha? Should probably check into that. Between the shop tools, and mine, I have already had one tool get wet in a bad way, the bench mount break it's set screw, and mine that was once used for a bolt cutter in breaking off the 3/16" jaw. While all after service check out on the go-no go gauge, it is a safety thing. Thanks for reminding me that this would be the best way to do it.

Of interest also is that I recently bought a 1/32" to 1/16" crimp tool. Even if you press really hard, it still won't make a proper crimp on 1/16" wire rope. It's a shame I still have to get out the big crimp tool for this. All the little hand held one is good for is setting up the crimp for the big tool.

Have to check my purchase order for it, perhaps it's designed for S.Steel given it otherwise won't do a proper job on copper crimps. So much to do, little time to get it all done in a day. In this case given it is a safety thing, I will make time for it. thanks for bringing it up.

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