In this post I describe a simple way to join sections of loc-line hose with just a bit of wire. Loc-line make an amazing product. It is a hose composed of short sections connecting with ball and socket joints. The hose can be bent into the shape you need and it will stay there. It is great for making your own gorillapod for example. Connecting the sections with your bare hands is very hard so Loc-line sell a special tool for joining the sections. But you don’t need to buy that – read on and use my easy wire method instead.
I bought a couple of sections of 1/4 inch loc-line for my eye tracking project. Google suggested that I could get away with just using brute force to connect the sections. Firstly I tried just pushing one section into another. It was impossible. Next I broke out two pairs of needle nose pliers. After about 10 minutes of trying I was able to get the sections to join. It took a lot of effort and the pliers cut into the plastic sections making the join really stiff (and maybe risking leaks if I were using the tube for a fluid).Â In my earlier attempts I had managed to split one of my two sections in half – exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do – so I had to make another join. By now I had worn myself out so I tried to come up with an easier way. After a several attempts I hit on using wire.
you will need…
- 20cm strong metal wire (I used 1mm thick copper wire I had hanging around).
- safety gear – goggle, gloves, etc (the wire could snap and take your eye out!)
(I had no trouble using this method, but there is the risk of injury with any sort of d.i.y. Be careful and don’t sue me).
Fold the middle of the wire around the neck of the socket piece of loc-line. Twist the ends together to tightly hold the neck. Keep twisting the wires round until the twisted part reaches the mouth of the socket.
Spread the wires apart and wrap them around the neck of the piece of loc-line you want to attach to the socket. Twist the remaining wire together to tightly hold the second piece. Make sure that there is only just enough wire between the two pieces for the ‘ball’ end to touch the rim of the socket.
Hold the free ends of the two sections of loc-line and separate them, folding them away from the wire and moving the ball into the socket.
Keep folding the sections away from the wire join. Use the free loc-line as two levers pushing the ball into the socket. You will hear a satisfying pop as the pieces connect. Then you just need to remove the wire and you are done.