Introduction: Heavy Cable Connection
I needed to replace the connection between an SMAW stinger and a 1/0 lead but didn't have a connector of the proper size; so this is what I did instead.
Step 1: Something From Nothing.
Using a bit of 1" [ ] copper water pipe; I used a bandsaw to cut an angle into the end of the pipe. This will end up being the part that will fit up inside the stinger.
Step 2: Forming the Lug.
It's easier to make most of the forming cuts before parting from the rest of the pipe.That said, after the lug part is cut away and just below the bottom, make another cut about 3/4" through the pipe. Be sure to make it close to the outside wall but not so close as it makes it weak & flimsy. The weight of the cable will be on that small uncut portion so be mindful of what you are doing at this point.
Step 3: Making the Clamp.
Once you have the forward end cut, you can grab it with a pair of pliers - I used a set of channel locks for a better viewing angle on the sawblade - and make a single slit on the top; this will become the clampy part the wraps around the cable. You may wish to verify the length of clamps you'll need vs. the amount of bare cable hanging out, I ended up having to make another a bit longer than the first.
Step 4: I Hate It When That Happens!
A word to the wise. When I went to drill a hole in the end for the lug nut, I should have used the drill press vise. Naturally, as soon as the bit broke through it grabbed and flipped the piece out of my hand and cut my finger in the blink of an eye.
Step 5: Making the Connection.
Using the channel locks, I positioned the connector over the bare wire and bent down each 'flap' so that one overlay the other. Mind you, the cable may well slip out of the connector at this point. I propped it up and using rosin core solder and a small torch, soldered the two together. Once the job was done and had a moment for the solder to get where it needed to, I quenched the whole thing with cool water to keep it from melting the insulation on the cable.. the whole process took about two to three minutes.
Step 6: Squeeze Play.
I used two pieces of shrink tubing; a 1" and a 3/4" piece, each about five inches long. The one inch piece will fit over the back half of the stinger but will not shrink down small enough to bite into the 1/0 welding cable hence the 3/4" piece. Then one was tucked under the other before heating up the smaller piece of shrink tubing. This part came out really nice and almost seems a shame to be covered up!
Harbor Freight sells three foot rolls in a five pack of different sizes that made this job look really nice.
Step 7: Clean As You Go.
Since the stinger itself had been fully disassembled by now, I made it a point to get happy with some sandpaper and wire brush. After removing a couple of screws, the electrode pads came out pretty easily. Using a belt sander was the easiest way to level the copper pad. This gave a better 'bite' on the electrodes - when the grooves were deeper, a smaller electrode [like a 3/32"] could be a little loose.
Step 8: That's a Wrap Folks!
Once everything had been reassembled, I wrapped a triple layer of good quality electrician's tape around the stinger handle; there is a steel screw on the bottom that holds the black insulating handle on the rest of the stinger & if left uncovered, it can easily ground out at the most inopportune time.. like between your ring finger and the work piece which would instantly melt it on your finger. Not even welding but just rearranging things on the bench and *POW*!!
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