Pricker rod tool

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JimL
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Pricker rod tool

#1

Post by JimL »

Looking for an easier way for me to make pricker rods, I had an idea that I thought worth pursuing. First, I wanted to get my hands on a pair of Vice Grips that I was willing to sacrifice if this didn’t work, and second, the jaws needed to close pretty evenly. A lot of the brands and styles don't.

Well, I got my hands on a pair and went to work. Tools used for this were the pair vice grips and a Dremel with a cutting wheel. It isn’t perfect, but with patience, it works!

I used the Dremel with cutting wheel to slice into both sides of the jaw. This gave me a groove that is smaller than the diameter of the brass rod, and also tight enough to hold the pricker wire. My first use of this tool was to make a new pricker rod for a fairly new 201 generator that I managed to trash the tip wire.

If I did this again, I would at least have the Vice Grips held in a vice rather than free handing the whole process.

The Dremel with cutting wheel.
Dremel.jpg

Groove cut into Vice Grips:
Groove.jpg

Vice Grips closed: I cut on the outside face to help me align the cuts on each jaw.Hole in tool.jpg

Tip wire is inserted inserted into rod prior to crimping and will be trimmed afterwards.
Before crimping.jpg


Tube now crimped. It may not be pretty, but it's holding.
Crimped.jpg


Checking for fit. This will work!
Inserted in tip.jpg


If you go this route, a couple of things I learned that you will want to keep in mind are that you need to slowly crimp a little and keep turning the rod as you go to keep it round, or will spend a lot of time afterwards bringing it back to round. Second, I suggest a second crimp back from the tip after you insert the rod into the spring. If you just give it one good crimp before inserting into the spring, you may ave difficulty getting that crimp through the spring. This second crimp is just extra security to hold the wire in the rod and may not be necessary.

Thanks for looking and hope this helps someone.

-Jim

I threw a boomerang a couple years ago; I now live in constant fear.

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stoves1234
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Pricker rod tool

#2

Post by stoves1234 »

Jim, I have some pricker wire with which I've made pricker rods with mixed results. Dean generously sent it to me. I'll have to try your method, because I've found that the hardest part of making a pricker rod is crimping or swaging the rod end so that it will fit in the gen tip. Thanks for the help.
Jim
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mnhogrider
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Pricker rod tool

#3

Post by mnhogrider »

That looks like a good way to go, Jim. I’ve tried the drill chuck method and tapping the end with a small hammer with little luck. I’ll have to give it a try.
It would be interesting to see the crimping machine/tool that Coleman used.
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Gasman64
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Pricker rod tool

#4

Post by Gasman64 »

Very nifty , Jim, and I think those pliers can still be of service in other uses.
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JimL
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Pricker rod tool

#5

Post by JimL »

Yes Steve, the Vice Grips are still fully functional. I wanted to use a pair I was willing to sacrifice in case it didn't go well.
-Jim

I threw a boomerang a couple years ago; I now live in constant fear.

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?
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holliswood
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Pricker rod tool

#6

Post by holliswood »

@JimL
I like your setup. This is one issue I’d like to take a swing at as well.

My question is where is this wire found?

-Fred

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Dmacp
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Pricker rod tool

#7

Post by Dmacp »

I got mine from Dave (eel). Hope he's still lurking out there somewhere.
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holliswood
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Pricker rod tool

#8

Post by holliswood »

[QUOTE username=Dmacp userid=1045442 postid=1311258205]I got mine from Dave (eel). Hope he's still lurking out there somewhere.
Thank you Dan.
-Fred

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Tigerfans2
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#9

Post by Tigerfans2 »

I like this..wondering if you could clamp one handle in the Wilton, hold the Mototool perpendicular between the jaws and close the other handle slowly to make the matching cut?
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Tigerfans2
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Pricker rod tool

#10

Post by Tigerfans2 »

[QUOTE username=holliswood userid=6536654 postid=1311258197]

@JimL
I like your setup. This is one issue I’d like to take a swing at as well.

My question is where is this wire found?

[/QUOTE] I got mine here
https://www.fortepiano.com/index.php/products-menu-item/wire-menu-item/high-carbon-menu-item/roeslau-music-menu-item
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Chucker
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Pricker rod tool

#11

Post by Chucker »

Good one Jim. '

I'm always looking for a better crimping idea.
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JimL
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Pricker rod tool

#12

Post by JimL »

Matching the cut on both sides wasn't an issue since I put a cut on the jaw face as a guide. I could have controlled the depth of cut a little better, but I don't know that would have helped. I went and made a second set of cuts that day, but it was unnecessary. What is shown in the pics is what I used.

I don't know what a Wilton is, but cutting while closing the jaws seems riskier to me in that these cutting wheels are pretty fragile, and not like the fiberglass impregnated wheels. These wheels just love to shatter. Speaking of which, I would hope folks here know to use eye protection and not have a face or other valuable body parts over the work when cutting, or using any other Dremel accessory.
-Jim

I threw a boomerang a couple years ago; I now live in constant fear.

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?
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D421
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#13

Post by D421 »

Great idea. Just wanted to add an idea. Rather than cut the jaws with a Drexel what about closing the jaws and use a drill bit to drill down into the jaws from the tip. If set up properly half the hole would be on on each jaw.

Two different size wholes could be done to crimp in two stages.
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Gunhippie
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Pricker rod tool

#14

Post by Gunhippie »

Nice! Best of all, this doesn't prevent the Vice-Grips from being used as they were meant to be--like a replacement inside door handle for a Vanagon!
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holliswood
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Pricker rod tool

#15

Post by holliswood »

@Tigerfans2
Thank you for the link👍🏻 I’ll check on it after I get off work later today.

-Fred

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Deanofid
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Pricker rod tool

#16

Post by Deanofid »

Nice thinking, Jim. Crimping pricker wires is one of the least fun things I do along with having to turn them down so they fit up in a tip.
A few months back I bought a tiny porta-power type unit that is meant for crimping battery and wire cables for automotive use. I'm working on it to get it to crimp prickers in a way that looks factory. So far still working out the bugs.
Keep up the good work!
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JimL
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Pricker rod tool

#17

Post by JimL »

Thanks @Deanofid

I must admit, I was inspired by your efforts to find a method we could all use. This isn't perfect, but it works. I too dread making pricker rods, and having to make one for a 201 generator prodded me to go ahead and try this idea.

I don't have .005" wire for the 201's tip, so I used the .006" wire I got from you in the past, and then used a sanding block to shave it down until it went smoothly into the 201's tip. I just kept my finger on the wire and drew it across the stone several times while turning it. ?
-Jim

I threw a boomerang a couple years ago; I now live in constant fear.

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?
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