DIY Ethernet Cables

February 25, 2013

Parts Express – WBT Audio Connectors

The step by step process to make your own premium ethernet cables.

DIY Ethernet Cables


DIY Ethernet Cables

Gather the tools and parts

DIY Ethernet Cables


  • RJ45 Crimp Tool
  • Wire Stripper
  • RJ45 Tester
  • Scissors
  • Lighter


  • Desired length of Cat 5e cable
  • Desired length of 1/4in braided sleeving
  • 2 RJ45 crimp connectors
  • 2 RJ45 boots
  • Scotch tape

Measure out the Cat5e Cable

DIY Ethernet Cables

This step is as easy as it sounds, simply measure out the Cat5e cable to the length you desire. If you are measuring a custom length in order to connect two components, make sure to leave room for errors. Cut the cable to length.

Apply the braided sleeve

DIY Ethernet Cables

Again, very easy, simply slide the braided sleeving over the ethernet cable. Make sure you slide the sleeving on the entire length and leave an inch or so off each end. Cut the sleeving with the scissors and use the lighter to slightly melt each end in order to prevent fraying.

Trim The Ethernet Cable Sheath

DIY Ethernet Cables Using the wire stripper cut the sheath off of the cable about 2 inches or so from the end of the wires. Be careful not to nick the wires in the process. It is important to leave at least 2 inches so you have room to slide the sleeve and still crimp the connector.

Tape Down the Braided Sleeve

DIY Ethernet Cables

Slide the braided sleeve just past the point where the sheath begins. Use the scotch tape to secure the end of the braid to the actual wires so it will not slide when you slip the boot on. If you melted the sleeving too much you may need to trim it and melt it less so as to not cause bumps.

Slide the Boot Back Over the Taped Section of the Sleeve

Slide the boot on the cable small end first. Make sure to gently slide it past the portion of the braided sleeve that is taped and on to the thick, sheath covered part of the cable.

Crimp the Connnector

  • You don’t need to strip any of the wires. Just spread the wires apart, un-twist them down to the sheath and put them in the order they’ll go in the connector.
  • Straighten each of the wires and pull them together so they’re flat and in the right order.
  • Cut the wires across the tips so that they are flat across the end. Use a smaller wire cutter so that each wire will stay in the right shape. (If they get distorted, they might not fit into the connector very well)
  • Slide them into the plug until the ends of the wires are touching the far end of the connector. You might want to compare the end to a pre-made cable to double check everything before crimping. The picture below shows one way to align the individual strands, but as long as they are the same on both side it will not matter.(If you want a crossover cable it will, you will need to google the correct layout)
  • Insert the connector and wire into your crimping tool. Crimp the connector and use plenty of force to get solid connections.

DIY Ethernet Cables

DIY Ethernet Cables

Slide the boot

DIY Ethernet Cables

Simply slide the boot up to cover the connector and the area of exposed cable and you are done!

DIY Ethernet Cables

Here are some pictures of a new ethernet cable using no-fray braided sleeving. I also made a CATV cable so they match.

DIY Ethernet Cables

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  1. Robert says: March 7, 2013

    Very nice work. I like the idea of using the braided sleeve.

    • scoyne2 says: March 7, 2013

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Techpart Cat5e Ireland says: April 22, 2013

    I was looking for an Ethernet cable and I got to know that Cat5e and Cat6 are the best for non commercial purposes. I feel that Cat5e is a better option among the two as it comparatively cheaper and they will run up to 1 Gig. What is your opinion?

  3. Brandon Rome says: December 4, 2013

    Simple & to the point. And the braided sleeve adds a polished look.


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