Monday, June 20, 2011

One stone, two birds

Please welcome new contributor s/v Peregrina! In one of those great but seemingly rare instances, we learn how a tool that you may (should?) have on board can serve an entirely different purpose.

I had one last cable to make up, but after three boats the tool had finally given up.  I had just got done with a job on relatively mall gauge battery cables on the venerable GAUCHO, and one of the threads on the tool had completely stripped out.  I was able to use my broken tool in the vise in my onboard workshop to make up one end of the 8 foot long 1/0 gauge cable that would run to the starter on PEREGRINA.  It was easier to run the cable without the other end made up, and I  was not sure of the actual cable length needed.

The old and new --  
I had one last end to make, and I wanted this tool that I have used for so long in the tool chest.  $30 later I have the new, replacement #2 size of the "swage-it tool" - but I have never used it as Nicropress intended - for swaging.  The catalog says - For nicropress copper oval sleeves only.  Do it yourself swaging! With just a wrench...  

This is a rigging tool to swage wire around thimbles, but it is perfect for attaching tinned copper lugs to battery and other large gauge cables - and yes, with just a wrench.

I had tried using Ancor's Heavy Duty Lug Crimper with a hammer and it never worked for me, but maybe I just needed a much heavier  hammer.  I sold this expensive tool I thought the Nicropress tool might just might work.  It did, and we have had a long relationship working on progressively bigger cables as the size of my boats increased - so much so that the internal threads on the tool gave out.

What is unique about this tool is you don't need a hammer, or a vise - you just need a wrench.   Turn the two bolts to evenly bring pressure on the lug - I keep going until It is very hard to turn - and you have a very strong crimp.  This means you can lead the cable as needed, cut to length, and without pulling the whole thing out - crimp on the lug.  

For this job I put in two crimps but one would have been enough.  The tool makes a nice job of it.  Add some heat shrink tubing to keep moisture out, and you have a professional cabling job - using a wrench!

The finished cable end

1 comment:

  1. I have the Anchor crimper. I found that it worked better when I squeezed the end in a vise.



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