Box stitch for large-gauge cable bundling

This week’s Lost Knowledge column on cable lacing has generated a lot of great discussion, in the comments to the piece, and on Boing Boing. There’s a dearth of info on the subject online, and almost no video on it. We’d LOVE it if someone who knows how to do it could do a how-to, post it to YouTube, and send us the link. Here’s one of the few video resources, a telco tech showing how to do a box stitch for bundling large gauge cables.

Lost Knowledge: Cable lacing

10 thoughts on “Box stitch for large-gauge cable bundling

  1. Steve Roberts says:

    Ah, that brings back memories of long hours crawling on cable racks in telephone switching offices on Army bases… back in 1973, I was installing Autovon equipment under contract, and spent much of my time with a lacing needle (which I still have!). The wax twine is wonderful stuff, and I prefer it to zip ties for many applications; the result is tighter and smoother.


  2. Gareth Branwyn says:

    … I didn’t mention the tools in my column. You can get the lacing needles and lacing twine (waxed nylon) here:

    They also have a much-linked-to how-to page. The images are missing, but you can see these knots on the other how-tos I link to in the column:

  3. Rick says:

    I also learned to lace cables in the 70’s in the RAF. These days if your short on waxed string try using dental floss. You can get it easily and it works almost as well as the real stuff

  4. Steve P. says:

    …but not quite the way I learned it. The starting knot is OK, but the “box” stitch wouldn’t fly in my end of the telco world, circa 1980-1990. The version we learned lassoed the crossbar, then brought the doubled cord across the cable *once*. A hitch stitch on the other side of the cable anchored to the bar, then finishing off was just like the tech showed in the vid.

  5. bluetoothnotanaccessory says:

    Is this guy SO important that he couldn’t take his stupid bluetooth earpiece off for the 2:29 that it took to film this HOWTO?

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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