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Old 10-03-2006
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Crimping tools and Shrink tube source

In my second career, I am a water well driller. I use alot of sta-con fittings and shrink tube. The best crimpers, in my experience are KLEIN pliers. Klein makes other hand tools, bit like Channel lock is known for their first and best. They do not strip, but they crimp both insulated and non-insulated fitting. They have excellent leverage and do a far better job than any crimper that is part of a stripping tool. Home Depot has 'em. On submersible pump cable, I use sta-cons. They are a continuous, or non-split barrel. Over that I use shrink tube with the adhesive in it. The shrink tube comes in various thicknesses and is good to 600 volts. I like the black, it's thicker. The clear is easier to center, not as thick, and easier to burn through. Both of these products are used for continuous submergence (30 yrs+) and work very well. Look for a water well/pump supplier in your area for them, or a driller would probably sell you some. I do not favor the plastic sheathed crimp fitting as the barrel is split on them and the plastic just holds water. Also, if you use good shrink tube over them, the heat rqrd to shrink the tubing melts the plastic also. The shrink tube, when cooled, does add some stiffness to the joint. While you're at the well supply house, pick up some Scotch 88 tape. It's the best, at about 5-7 dollars a roll, and is the only stuff that I've found that works in freezing temps. We used to use it before we went to shrink tube, and some guys still do. 3 wraps with the tape, over the sta-con, overlapping 1" on each wrap. Shrinks easier and faster. I rewired my Cal 21 last winter, and I ran everything in plastic conduit. Eliminates chafing in limber holes, you can stow gear on top of the conduit, and it keeps what wiring still in the bilges dry. Not that hard to do if you're doing the whole boat anyway.
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