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Ferrules: Sleeves and Stops

2. Ferrules (Aluminum and Copper Cable Sleeves and Stops)

There are 4 material types of Sleeves and Stops:

Aluminum

Plain Copper

Zinc Plated Copper

Stainless Steel

Plain Copper Sleeves

Plain Copper Sleeves

Zinc Plated Copper Sleeves

Zinc Plated Copper Sleeves

Aluminum Sleeves
Stainless Steel Sleeves

Stainless Steel Sleeves

Aluminum Stops

Aluminum Stops

Copper Stops

There are many different types and sizes of hand swaging tools.

Bench-Mounted vs. Hand-Type Swaging Tools

Bench-mounted swaging tools and hand-type swaging tools serve the same purpose of permanently connecting ferrules to cables using compression. However, they differ in their design and how they are operated:

Bench Type Swaging Tool
Hand Type Swaging Tool
Bench-Mounted Swaging Tools: Hand-Type Swaging Tools:
  • Fixed in place on a workbench or sturdy surface
  • Typically larger and more heavy-duty compared to hand swaging tools
  • Often used for high-volume or industrial applications where precision and consistency are crucial
  • Operated by pulling a lever to apply force to compress the swage fittings onto the cable
  • Portable and operated by hand
  • Generally smaller and more lightweight compared to bench-mounted tools
  • Suitable for smaller-scale projects or fieldwork where mobility is important
  • Requires more manual effort to compress the swage fittings onto the cable
  • Some tools can swage multiple sizes of cable ferrules (called a multi-cavity) while others can can only swage one size of ferrule (called a single cavity).

Advantage Sales carries a wide selection of Hand Swaging Tools. Many are fitted with multiple cavities to cover a range of cable sizes. Download the Advantage Sales Catalog page on Swage Fittings and Hand Swaging Tools(opens in a new tab) below.

AdvantageCatalog-SwageFitting-Tools.pdf
2.2 MB

Let’s take an in depth look at Hand Swaging Sleeves and Stops in the next two sections. 

Ferrules PT2 - Cable Sleeves

Ferrules PT2 - Cable Sleeves

Shaped like an hourglass, Cable Sleeves are generally used to make an eye by feeding the cable end through one side of the sleeve and then back through the other side. The Sleeve is then crimped with a hand swaging tool. 

Ferrules PT2 - Cable Sleeves

How to Apply Cable Sleeves

How to Apply Cable Sleeves

These instructions are for hand swaging small cable assemblies in the field. Hand swaged cables are for light duty applications and are NOT approved for overhead lifting. For this example we will be building a Thimbled Eye with 3/16″ Cable.

STEP 1

Refer to the Advantage Sales Catalog

Refer to the Advantage Sales Catalog

Refer to the Advantage Sales Catalog for size, stock number, and number of crimps per sleeve for use with your application.

STEP 2

Gather Materials

Gather Materials

  • The Advantage Sales Catalog
  • 3/16″ Cable at your desired length
  •  3/16″ Wire Rope Thimble
  • 3/16″ Aluminum Sleeve
  • A Hand Swager and the Swage Gauge included with the Swager (for this guide, we will be using a Bench Mounted Swager – Stock # HSC-600BENCH)

STEP 3

Find the Number of Crimps, and Sequence in the Advantage Sales Catalog

Find the Number of Crimps, and Sequence in the Advantage Sales Catalog

For each sleeve size, there is a specific number of crimps required. Refer to the Advantage Sales Catalog for crimp requirements. For 3/16″ cable, four crimps are required.

When applying ferrules using a hand swager, always make the first swage in the middle of the ferrule. Next, swage the unswaged portion closest to the termination end. Finally, swage the portion closest to the tail end of the cable. For larger cables with more than 3 crimps, use this image as your guide for

STEP 4

Insert Cable into Sleeve

Insert the cable into one side of the hourglass shaped sleeve. Note that mechanically cut cable may begin to fray at the cut end. Feed the cable through the sleeve gently to prevent stands from fraying.

STEP 5

Form the Eye

Turn the cable back and feed it through the other side of the sleeve to form an eye.

STEP 6

Place the Thimble into the Eye

Place the wire rope thimble into the eye, and manuever the cable tightly against the thimble. To prevent the thimble from falling out, push the sleeve tightly up against the base of the thimble.

STEP 7

Note: Keep a Tail at the Dead End of the Eye

Note: Keep a Tail at the Dead End of the Eye

Note that properly installed sleeves have a remaining tail formed from the cut end of the cable sticking out at the base of the sleeve. This allows for full contact of the sleeve with the cable, as the sleeve expands during swaging. The length of this remaining tail should be equal to the cable’s diameter.

Now that our thimble eye is created, it’s time to swage the sleeve onto the cable by crimping it with the swaging tool.

STEP 8

Optional: Mark the Sleeve with the Crimping Order

Optional: Mark the Sleeve with the Crimping Order

It can be helpful to mark the sleeve in the order you are crimping, shown here.

STEP 9

Select the Right Cavity for your Sleeve

Using the provided Swage Gauge that is included with your Hand Swaging tool, confirm the proper cavity to use for your sleeve size.  Sleeves should stand vertically in one cavity and fit uniformly.

STEP 10

Crimp The Sleeve

Position the Sleeve into the proper cavity of the Hand Swager, standing the sleeve VERTICALLY. Align the sleeve to first crimp mark. Compress the sleeve fully. Move the assembly to the next position and repeat the compression, leaving a space between each crimp. Repeat until the sleeve is fully crimped.

Summary

Hand Swaged Ferrules must be properly installed using the correct size fittings and tools, using the proper crimping technique, and the correct number of crimps.

WARNING

  • Sleeves are NOT for overhead lifting. Do not use assemblies made with sleeves for overhead lifting purposes.
  • Failure to carefully read and adhere to these guidelines could result in severe injuries or death.
  • Prior to installing sleeves, thoroughly review and comprehend these instructions.
  • Ensure that sleeves are paired with cable of the same size.
  • Follow the sleeves end termination procedures precisely as directed.
  • DO NOT install cable sleeves on top of the coating. Instead, remove the coating where sleeves will be swaged.
  • Before usage, apply an initial load test to the assembly. This load should match or exceed anticipated operating loads.

Ferrules PT3 - Cable Stops

Cable Stops are used at the very end of a Cable to stop the Cable from going through a hole or keyhole. 

Example: 1/4″ Winch Cable with a Stop on one end and an eye with a hook on the other end. In the drum winch, you would place the Stop End into a keyhole slot in the drum winch and then reeve (wind) the cable onto the drum. It’d be much harder to keep the cable in place if there were no Stops holding that cable inside of the drum/keyhole.

Ferrules PT3 - Cable Stops
Ferrules PT3 - Cable Stops

Learn to Properly Assemble Cable Stops

Below is a step-by-step guide to applying Cable Stops. Before we begin, It’s important to understand that Cable Stops applied with Hand Swaging Tools may need to use two separate size cavities on the swaging tool to achieve the proper after-swage dimensions. Begin swaging in the same-size cavity as your cable diameter. If the maximum after-swage dimensions are not met, size-down to the next smallest cavity and re-swage the stop until proper after-swage dimensions are achieved.

For the example below, we are using 1/8″ Aircraft Cable and a 1/8″ Aluminum Stop, which does not meet maximum after-swage dimensions in the 1/8″ cavity alone. Follow along in the guide below. 

How to Install Cable Stops

How to Install Cable Stops

These instructions are for hand swaging small cable assemblies in the field. Hand swaged cables are for light duty applications and are NOT approved for overhead lifting. For this example, we will be swaging 1/8″ GAC with a Aluminum Cable Stop End Termination

STEP 1

Gather Materials

Gather Materials

You’ll need the following pieces to create your assembly.

STEP 2

Insert Cable Stop onto Cable

Leave a tail length equivalent to twice the diameter of cable (1/4″ for this example), as the Stop will expand during swaging: this will ensure full contact with the cable.  

STEP 3

Insert the Stop and Cable into Same-Size Cavity

Insert the Stop and Cable into Same-Size Cavity

On this bench mounted hand swaging tool, there are 5 cavities (1/16″; 3/32″; 1/8″; 5/32″; 3/16″)

Insert the Stop into the 1/8″ cavity, and center the stop in the cavity. Confirm that the tail remains in place.

STEP 4

Swage the Stop onto the Cable in the Same-Size Cavity

Swage the Stop onto the cable by fully compressing the swaging tool.

NOTE: You will notice here that the 1/8″ Stop, even when fully engaged with the swager, does not fully compress onto the cable in the 1/8″ cavity. The stop is still loose on the cable. If measured with the caliper, it will be larger than the indicated after-swage dimension requirement.

This indicates that we need to size-down to a smaller cavity and continue swaging. (Again, the same-size cavity may be sufficient to achieve proper after-swage dimensions depending on your cable and stop size.)

This first round of compressions in the same-size cavity does compress the Stop slightly, allowing it to fit better into the next cavity, so this step is not wasted. It is still recommended to start in the same-size cavity for all sizes.

STEP 5

Size Down the Cavity and Re-crimp the Stop

Now that the Stop is partially swaged in the same-size cavity, but not fully swaged, remove the assembly and reinsert into the next size down: 3/32″.

Swage the Stop again, then rotate it 90 degrees. You’ll notice that the stop is now fully crimped into the cable.

Repeat crimping progressively until you’ve crimped 360 degrees around the Stop.

NOTE: In addition to rotating crimps around the diameter of the Stop, slightly move the fitting to the left and right within the cavity. This will widen the overall crimped space for a smoother and more secure assembly.

STEP 6

Confirm Proper After-Swage Dimensions

Confirm Proper After-Swage Dimensions

Refer to the Advantage Sales Catalog to find proper after-swage dimensions. 

STEP 7

Measure the Swaged Stop with a Caliper

Measure the Swaged Stop with a Caliper

Using a measuring tool, like this digital caliper included with this bench mounted swager, measure the Stop on all sides by rotating the stop 360 degrees in the caliper.

If any sides of the stop measure above the maximum threshold, re-crimp to the proper value, ensuring the swager is closed fully for maximum compression.

When all dimensions measure under the maximum after-swage dimension found in the Advantage Sales Catalog, proper installation is complete.

Summary

Hand Swaged Stops must be applied with a hand swaging tool, crimped 360 degrees around the diameter, and using the correct cavity or cavities to achieve the proper after-swage dimension.

WARNING

  • Stops are NOT for overhead lifting. Do not use assemblies made with stops for overhead lifting purposes.
  • Failure to carefully read and adhere to these guidelines could result in severe injuries or death.
  • Prior to installing sleeves, thoroughly review and comprehend these instructions.
  • Ensure that stops are paired with cable of the same size.
  • Follow the stops end termination procedures precisely as directed.
  • Do not use stops above cable coated in plastic. Instead, remove the coating where sleeves will be swaged.
  • Before usage, apply an initial load test to the assembly. This load should match or exceed anticipated operating loads.

Ferrules PT4 - General Info

8 General Facts about Stops & Sleeves

FACT 1

Fact 1

Aluminum is most commonly used on Galvanized Aircraft Cable. It is the most cost-effective type of Ferrule.

FACT 2

Fact 2

Sleeves and stops made from Stainless Steel, Plain Copper and Zinc Plated Copper materials are the only ferrules approved for use with Stainless Steel Aircraft Cable.

FACT 3

Fact 3

Due to being dissimilar metals, do not use Aluminum ferrules and Stainless Steel cable together. The use of Aluminum Sleeves on Stainless Cable is NOT safe.

FACT 4

Fact 4

Copper and Zinc Plated Copper Ferrules ARE able to be used with Galvanized Aircraft Cable. Some people prefer Copper Sleeves because they say that the Copper flows better into the cable. Our testing shows that if applied properly, both Aluminum and Copper Sleeves are safe.

FACT 5

Fact 5

When applying an Aluminum or Copper ferrule using a hand swager, always follow the guide picture above for hand swaging sequence.

FACT 6

Fact 6

Zinc Plated Copper is used in applications where the end user doesn’t want to see the Copper Ferrule turn green. Zinc plating doesn’t last forever, but it does offer some corrosion resistance.

FACT 7

Fact 7

Because Aluminum and Copper are both very soft metals, they can be applied in the field using a Hand Swaging Tool. There are several tools that are used to cover the entire size range.

FACT 8

Fact 8

Although Stainless Steel Sleeves are rarely used, they are still available from Advantage Sales. They need to be applied by a qualified sling making professional who has the proper hydraulic equipment and swaging dies. Please call an Advantage Sales team member for more information.