Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Let's twist again, like we did last summer

I was never 100pc happy with the crimped traces I made last winter. I didn't have one fail on me - possibly not surprising, bearing in mind my pitiful tally of bigger fish. I just couldn't find quite the right-sized crimps, it looked a mess passing the wire through three times, you need a sleeve, then you worry whether the wire's OK under the sleeve, etc.

Twisting had its drawbacks too. I know there are people in the Fens with 11 fingers, but most of us only have two pairs of hands.That means it's a faff trying to keep the turns neat as you twist and maintain the right tension in the wire to twist without unravelling or kinking it.

Easy answer..? Make a jig. I don't know why I didn't think of that years ago. It could be as simple as an anchorage point in a block of wood, which you clamp to a workbench or table top, or you could go for a full-on base, with different lengths marked on it.

The anchorage has to be secure. It also needs to turn under tension to get the twists right. Easy way of doing that..? Ball bearing swivel and an old coastlock. Screw it in as shown.

To start off, tie an overhand loop in the wire, cut to length and twist on the bottom hook. Do this by forming a lark's head hitch and heating the end of the wire to anneal (soften) it first.

Take the wire out of the coastlock, cut the loop off and tie the top hook in. Then stick the top hook in the coastlock, while you twist on the swivel at the other end.

Simple or what..?

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