Introduction: Wire Clamp Making Tool
Second Prize in the
Metal Contest 2017
My first instructable, so be gentle :)
It was about time to make a good old mechanical project, to take a break from all the electronics I usualy do. So, I decided to make myself a Clamptite replica.
It is a tool used to make all sorts of clamps from a simple piece of wire. Clamp is stronger than traditional screw clamp, and it has much lower profile and no sharp edges. People even used this tool to fix stuff in submarines! You can also use it to fix broken hammer handle, bind together random stuff and much more!
The tool is nowhere near the exact dimensions of the real deal. I just used the materials and tools that I had in the workshop and made it look good and proportional. The tool works very well. You can clamp a hose to the inlet, you can fix broken handles, fix your car... With just a wire. Just look on the internet what it can do.
Here is a quick video of its making, or you can follow the steps in this instructable to make one!
Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed
I used lathe, CNC router, angle grinder, inner and outer thread cutters and some basic tools, like drills, sandpaper and files.
But you can also get by without using all those expensive tools like CNC router and lathe. It can be done, it just requires more manual labour.
- Aluminium tube 10mm outer diameter and 6mm inner diameter (you can use other dimensions and scale other parts accordingly, just make sure that the tube has thick enough walls so it will be sturdy enough for use
- 10mm diameter brass rod for the handle
- steel rod 10mm in diameter - for the tip of the tool
- 3mm diameter hardened rods. I used some from an old CD-ROM drive. They are nice and smooth and VERY hard, so they don't scratch or bend and they are perfect for this tool.
- 10cm M6 screw
- plastic washer
Step 2: Make the Body
Start with the tube that is longer than needed. We will cut it to length later. Make it at least 15cm long.
Then start making the slot.
This is probably the trickiest part of the build. The slot is just wide enough so that hardened rods froim the CD drive fit in nicely. I made the slot 3.2mm wide and 6cm long. I made it with the router, but you can just drill the holes along the tube with the drill and use a file to make it nice. The problem I had with the routing was that the tube material was soft alumiinium, and it wasn't milling nicely. It clogged the routing bit one time and it broke.
Make the slot in the middle of the rod, you will shorten the ends as needed later.
Step 3: Making the Tip Part 1
For the tip I used a steel rof 10mm in diameter (outer diameter of the tube).
I narrowed one end wit the lathe and cut the M8 thread.
Also cut the M8 thread in one side of the tube, so that the tip can screw in nicely.
I think I overcomplicated this step. If I would be making it again, I would (instead of making threads) probably just pressed the tip into the tube and add some superglue to hold it in place.
Do not start to shape the tip yet.
Step 4: Making the Tip Part 2
After you screwed the tip into the body, drill a hole for the 3mm hardened rod from CD drive in line with the slot. It is much easier to drill it now when the tip is not shaped yet.
Then start shaping the tip.
I did it quick and dirty. I spun the thing on the lathe and used an angle grinder to shape the tip, since I didn't bother adjusting the lathe. You can mount it in the drill press and do the same. It is quick and it works.
Also make the slot for the wire. I marked it with a file, but then I used a cutting disk on the angle grinder to make it quicker.
Step 5: Make the Threaded Rod
For the threaded rod, I used a regular 10cm M6 screw. It should fit in the tube nicely. I lengthened the thread by hand, because I couldn't find the "perfect" screw.
Leave at least 10mm of unthreaded body at the end . There you should drill a hole for another hardened rod. If the thread is there, the part becomes too weak.
Step 6: Make the Handle
I used 10mm brass rod for the handle, because it looks nice and it is easy to work with.
The rod needs to be 5cm long.
Drill a 5mm hole in the middle and cut M6 inner thread so it can be screwed onto the M6 screw.
Step 7: Polish
Polish the body and the tip with sandpaper, so it looks nice. It is much easier to do it now.
I spun the thing in a lather and used a sandpaper. You can also do it in the drill press. BUT BE CAREFUL!
It is much safer just to sand it by hand.
Step 8: Assemble
Cut the 3mm rods from CD drive to the length (25mm and 45mm) and hammer
them in place. I used a drop of superglue to fix them in place. Dont forget to insert the threaded M6 rod beforehand! Else you will not be able to assemble it.
Put a plastic washer under the handle, and put a cap on the end of the thread.
The tool is now done!
Step 9: Summary
Here you can watch my video of the tool in the making.You can see some extra steps of the build.
There is also a demonstration on how to use the tool around 6:47 mark.
Now make some clamps!
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Please be positive and constructive.