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.
Groove cut into Vice Grips:
Vice Grips closed: I cut on the outside face to help me align the cuts on each jaw.
Tip wire is inserted inserted into rod prior to crimping and will be trimmed afterwards.
Tube now crimped. It may not be pretty, but it's holding.
Checking for fit. This will work!
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.