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.
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...
The old and new --
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.
The finished cable end
Monday, June 20, 2011
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.