Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

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Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 11 May 2020, 00:46

Cam buckles find uses in many (self)bondage scenarios. For those not familiar with these devices, they are a one way buckle to allow you to pull a strap tight to secure a load. To release them you simply push on a lever. Here's a picture of a typical cam buckle:
buckle.png
buckle.png (95.99 KiB) Viewed 1279 times

These work great for securing bondage unless you can get to the buckle. If you can get the lever to depress (with your hands or even pushing it against a corner), you get released early, which is not a good thing.

I came up with an enclosure to prevent the buckle from being released. In most cases, the lever of the buckle will have to be partially cut / filed off so that it isn't being depressed by the enclosure itself. With the lever shortened, it's a bit harder to open, but not hard by any means with the buckles I used. If you bevel the edges of the lever you can even use a slightly curved piece of metal as a "key" to open the buckle; it's easier than undoing the nut on the top with pliers.

Diagram:
ZzzipStrap.png


The enclosure is constructed from C-channel metal bar stock. The bar's outside width should be about 3/8" thicker than the buckle is wide, the depth of the channel should be about the thickness of the buckle, and the metal should be about 1/8" thick so you can dent it with a hammer and large nail to make space for the lever. The two pieces of C-channel form a box for the buckle. Make sure to file down all edges so that you don't chafe the strap (or yourself).

The key is made out of 1/8" thick steel as shown in the diagram. The end should be beveled for easy insertion; you want it to slip above and depress the lever when you insert it. If you can't get the key to work, you can always use pliers to unscrew the top nut and depress the lever by hand. When you are setting up your release ALWAYS make sure you can get to pliers in case the key doesn't want to work.
To thread the end of the belt through the buckle, insert the key and wiggle the belt through. If the key won't go in, you need to bevel the edge of the lever and/or key more.

Once the buckle is complete and tested, use it as you would a great big zip tie. Just set up the straps, get in, pull them tight and you're :gag:
It it ain't inescapable... It ain't my kind of bondage.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby Shannon SteelSlave » 11 May 2020, 23:10

Welcome to Bound Anna, ZipMeUp, and thanks for sharing your idea.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby kinbaku » 12 May 2020, 15:28

Good idea, thank you ZipMeUp.
I have several clamshells, now I have to buy a c-channel bar that I can cut to size and some nuts and bolts and I am busy again during this Corona time. 8)
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 13 May 2020, 05:25

Good luck with your build. If you have any trouble I can help you fix it, getting the key to work can be a bit hard.
Once you make 1 successfully, I'd say build as many as you can. I have 4, it's far from enough, and I probably find a use for 20 if I had enough time. (Almost) as good as SEGUFIX IMO, even better because you can adjust (tighten) them once restrained.

Straps I used: https://www.ebay.com/itm/162934843707. They're cheap (<$3 a strap), 8 feet long, and the belt is good quality and not scratchy like some of the black ones.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby Dark_Lizerd » 14 May 2020, 01:52

The "key" may be easier done as a hole in the top and just push down on the release...
You could give the hole an odd shape so that just the right key would fit.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 14 May 2020, 04:47

That's a good idea if you want a reliable release without any chance of having to use pliers.. Only problem is that anything that fits in the hole and is sturdy enough would do it. For example, if you had a handcuff key sized hole, a small nail would also do the job.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 14 May 2020, 04:53

You naughty boy, you :lol: Why do you have to be so good at escaping?
Unfortunately, I have figured out a way to loosen these straps without using anything aside from my hands. I'm working on a new version of this design that will be (hopefully) truly inescapable.
Riddle for all you fellow escape artists out there: How would you escape using just your bare hands? If no one figures it out I'll post it (behind a spoiler) in a week.

Darn.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 17 May 2020, 05:36

I've figured out a way to make this device inescapable. By extending the clamshell about 1/2" past the end of the cam buckle, you can prevent the latch from being tampered with and the strap from being loosened. After making a prototype of the new version, I marked a dot on the strap and tried to loosen it for several minutes and could not get the strap to loosen even a fraction of an inch.
Here is a diagram:
ZzzipStrapSecure.png
ZzzipStrapSecure.png (19.83 KiB) Viewed 902 times

Only difference from the old version is the length of the clamshell, everything else is the same. To get the strap to fit and not rub I had to hammer a slight bulge into the bottom where the strap enters the buckle.

There is one disadvantage to this new "secure" one way Zip-strap. You can't thread the strap through the buckle without taking the clamshell apart. I'm working on a version 3 of this device that slides over the buckle instead of bolting on and secures with an internal spring metal latch, but it's probably going to require some welding.
It it ain't inescapable... It ain't my kind of bondage.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 22 May 2020, 18:55

Here's how I managed to loosen the first version of this device by hand.
Select the invisible text below to reveal the spoiler.

To loosen these is actually quite simple. Take the free end of the strap and pull on it at an angle such that the strap passing through the buckle is straight and taut. Twist the buckle back and forth, so that the angle of the strap going through the buckle changes. By gently pulling the buckle up at the same time, you can get the strap to gradually loosen.
This method works because as you twist, a portion of the strap is always travelling through the buckle in the 'tighten' direction and the teeth can't grip well.


I'm almost done with a workable third version of the device. Welding thin metal to thick metal is such a pain :evil:
It it ain't inescapable... It ain't my kind of bondage.
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby kinbaku » 25 May 2020, 10:33

I regret again that I don't have a 3D printer. :evil:
I am experimenting with other materials.
Thanks for the "invisible" tip. Must also take it into account. :worship:
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby Gregovic » 25 May 2020, 11:02

kinbaku wrote:I regret again that I don't have a 3D printer. :evil:
I am experimenting with other materials.
Thanks for the "invisible" tip. Must also take it into account. :worship:


I get the pain. Doubly so right now as I have a brand spanking new 3d printer downstairs waiting to be assembled, but the rollers of the table (Y axis) slide are damaged and the supplier is giving me the runaround instead of just sending me new rollers :evil:
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby kinbaku » 26 May 2020, 10:22

Gregovic wrote:Doubly so right now as I have a brand spanking new 3d printer downstairs waiting to be assembled, but the rollers of the table (Y axis) slide are damaged and the supplier is giving me the runaround instead of just sending me new rollers :evil:

Tantalus torment. :facepalm:
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby lj » 26 May 2020, 13:16

ZipMeUp wrote:Here's how I managed to loosen the first version of this device by hand.
Select the invisible text below to reveal the spoiler.


apologies for the sidetrack...

I received a letter from my bank quite a few years ago - apart from the letter-head and footer, there was no text on it at all. A couple of days later another identical letter arrived.

so I phoned the number on the letterhead and asked what was going on.

apparently someone originating or processing the letter had inadvertantly changed the typeface to white before printing... :rofl: (there were thousand of letters in the two batches!)
be a switch, double the fun :-)
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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby rmcingle » 26 May 2020, 18:26

I do self bondage and use cam buckles or a 'ratchet pulley' often to tighten down my bondage.

To avoid the early release I simply arrange it so that the buckle is out of reach! My 'go to' bondage straps are made of 3/4 inch wide nylon web straps with the cheap 'slip' buckles. One end has a loop sewn in (the strap doubled back and sewn to itself). Then there is about 6 feet of strap before it goes through the buckle. The other side of the buckle has a short length of strap, terminating in a snap hook.

As an example: If I want a tight "spread eagle' self bondage I will first arrange for a release mechanism that does not involve the unreachable buckles! Then the strap is threaded through the D ring of my wrist cuffs and through the end loop. The snap at the far end is fastened to something. Secure the feet, then start tightening the wrist straps by pulling on the free end that has passed through the buckle. The strap will easily pull in one direction, but not the other. When the strap tightens down the buckle is out of reach.

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Re: Metal clamshell to turn cam buckles into zip ties

Postby ZipMeUp » 04 Jun 2020, 04:20

One of my favorite bondage scenarios involves strapping myself to a chair with my hands free. With my hands free I find I can defeat A LOT of bondage, including the first version of my device. If I were to put the buckles where I couldn't reach them, the only way out would be scissors on an electromagnet (battery powered as always). If I was unable to reach the buckles there would be no way out other than cutting the straps that cost several $ each.

In a future scenario I might bind myself tight enough that I don't need so many clamshells. I'll probably just end up handcuffing myself to one of the straps with the key tied to the cuffs and frozen in a big chunk of ice in a bucket by my bondage chair.

LJ: Too bad that letter wasn't an email...
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