The second article I wrote for Practical Sailor was a 1-year salt environment chamber test of anti-corrosion greases and sprays, terminal blocks, wire types, and crimp connections. Over 300 crimps and 200 screw connections made for the test without a single failure or increase in resistance with time (some quick-connects failed). Credit goes to proper tools; ratchet crimpers make reliable connections time-after-time because they do not release until a preset compression is met. And tired hands.
Today I faced a home repair task; an oven with a fried selector switch. After 40 years there was also some failed wire and connectors, so a dozen crimps would be required. I keep my good crimpers on the boat, so I pulled out a pair of cheap ones I've thrown away and then recovered from the can a few times. I've been meaning to pitch them for years, but I'm cheap and good ratchet crimpers cost. And squeeze as I might, I couldn't make a crimp that wouldn't pull of the wire if given a good forceful yank by a helper. Not good enough.
Gone for good this time.
Their very existence should violate the electrical code.
Home Depot and Lowes don't carry ratchet crimpers, only the plier-type, which I dislike very much. Electrical supply houses do, but they're not open after five. Advance Auto Parts carries a perfectly acceptable pair for $29.00, which is quite an acceptable price when you're heading out of town and your wife would like to have her kitchen put back together. They also get thumbs-up for quality, whatever that's worth. Not quite as nice as my Ancor crimpers (for 2.6 times the price) but very, very close.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Over at Sail Delmarva, Drew holds forth on a tool that should be in every boater's toolbox: