Introduction: Electronic Component Lead Bending Tool

When assembling a circuit it is pretty common to hook up a resistor or other component to span a distance on your board. This is true with PCB builds, but especially with perfboards. In order to get a clean, well built looking final product it is important to size the leads for these resistors so that they fit flush with the board and do not have excess lead slack. This can a tricky to do by hand and can easily lead to kinked up leads. Instead you can make one of the simple lean bending tools and make the bends perfect every time!

Step 1: Mark Your Piece of Perfboard

Get a piece of scrap perfboard, stripboard, or whatever. All that matters is that the board be drilled with the normal 0.1" spaced holes. Take a marker and put a dot on the holes you plan to use. I suggest a slope of 1/3 as I have shown here. In other words, pick the first place you want to measure a resistor, probably 4 or 5 holes, then move over three and up one. Make a mark on that spot and kept moving over 3 and up 1, marking holes, until you reach the longest bend you will ever want to make. Once you have the desired holes marked, connect them with a line.

Step 2: Cut Along the Line and Grind Slots

Take a rotary tool, or whatever you have, and cut the board along the line like I have shown. Since we cut along the line with our desired holes, there should be little grooves at each place where you will bend your resistor. If you have accidentally cut one to close or have a flat edge to one part of your board then you can use a file or rotary tool to grind some deeper slots. In the one I show I have done a little grinding on both sides at each hole mark and used a marker to label the length of each spot.

Step 3: Bend Your Leads and Be Merry

Now that your tool is complete you can start bending components. For a resistor I hold the component in the center of the tool and bend the leads over the edge. When you slip the component off it will fit perfectly into your board.

Comments

author
shebbron (author)2013-06-22

Nice one!
My Local electronics shop wants about $20 for one of these tools.

author
DrRhodes (author)shebbron2013-06-23

Wow, that is just insane!

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Mvtnns (author)2013-06-20

You're a genius :) Thanks for this brilliant idea!

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shooper3 (author)2015-01-27

Great idea my bread board always looks bad, so simple. Thanks

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andrew_h (author)2013-08-04

Genius!!!

author
barista (author)2013-06-21

Thanks for this. I recently soldered a bunch of LEDs to veroboard to make a video light and used wire jumpers to carry current from one column to the next and it was a real pain making multiple jumpers all the same size. I blew a load of the LEDs due to a current fault and so I'll be making another one. This tool will make the job much less tedious. Well done.

author
DrRhodes (author)barista2013-06-23

Cool, I'd love to see what you build when you get it put together.

author
GyroGearLoose47 (author)2013-06-23

Thanks for a do able ible. Should save solderers some bucks and time. Wish I had this way back when I assembled a 27 in. Heath Kit TV. Looking forward for some more of your efforts.

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Suraj Grewal (author)2013-06-20

Great Idea Sir,This is going to be my next "new tool".,Simple but brilliant and easy to make.Thank you

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corporatelab (author)2013-06-20

Wow. I am so impressed. Thank you for your service.

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wobbler (author)2013-06-20

Simple and brilliant at the same time!

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pdrg (author)2013-06-20

The simplest ideas are often the best, nice elegant solution geezer!

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DrRhodes (author)pdrg2013-06-20

Thanks! Those are my sentiments exactly. When in doubt, KISS.

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Granzeier (author)2013-06-14

Fantastic idea here! Simple and yet extremely useful. I had one of these when I was a kid, working in a fab house making timer PCBs for water conditioners. That one was made out of plastic and I have been keeping my eyes out for one ever since I started making my own boards.

I will be making one of these pretty soon. Thanks for the great idea.

author
DrRhodes (author)Granzeier2013-06-15

Awesome! I'm glad I could help. It has certainly made my boards cleaner looking.

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