I wanted an accessory cable to lock up my front wheel yesterday and didn't want to pay $10 for a 2.5 foot Kryptonite cable in 3/16" diameter. So I went to Home Depot and made my own.
(1) Bought 4 feet of 3/16" twisted steel cable ($1.56)
(2) Bought set of 2 ferrules to make loops in the ends of the cable ($1.29)
(3) Used in-store tool to swage ferrules. Basically you take a gigantic pair of pliers that crush the ferrule until it holds the ferrule against the cable.
(4) Went home and wrapped the whole thing in black electrical tape. This makes a nice smooth covering but unfortunately it's hard to get the ends to stick down. I had to use masking tape.
So, for about $3, I made myself a 4 foot cable. Has anyone tried this before? I don't doubt that anyone with a pair of bolt cutters can slice this thing off in short order, but I doubt the Kryptonite cable is any better.
I'm kind of proud of this thing, but have a few questions about how to improve on it:
(1) Does anybody have a suggestion for a smooth covering that won't come unstuck at the ends like electrical tape?
(2) Is the braided cable used by Kryptonite all that much tougher than the twisted cable?
(3) Home Depot only sells ferrules and tools to swage cable of diameter <= 3/16", although they sold cable up to 1/4". Is there a good source for ferrules/swaging tools for 3/8" diameter, like Kryptonite uses for their cheapest cable?
(4) Any other threads on homemade cables?