Instructables
Picture of How To Straighten Heavy Copper Wire
You need to straighten heavy solid copper wire before you can precisely bend it into shapes for building your own Gray-Hoverman TV antenna. Rather than straighten the wire in bulk, I deal with only each short length as needed, and it takes just a few minutes of hand work. This is one of several of my Instructables related to building this antenna. To see the others and my related Instructables, click on unclesam in the INFO box at right and repeatedly click NEXT to page through them all. To receive automatic notice about my future antenna construction postings, you can click in the INFO box to subscribe to me. In the final step I include links within Digitalhome.ca that further describe the antenna.
 
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Step 1: Material and Tools

Picture of Material and Tools
The Wire
Copper wire, solid, uninsulated usually #6 (0.162 inch diameter), but other sizes are sometimes specified. This wire is sold in hardware stores by the foot, cut in the store from a reel. I have each piece cut to the length I need for each part of the antenna, to the next foot, so I can easily carry it out the store in sticks. The part pictured in this Instructable called for a piece just over 34 inches long, so I had three feet cut off for it. Doing that requires me to do less straightening before then bending it to the required shape and dimensions.
Tools
Hammer
Wood block
Small clamp
Bench top or board, flat

Squidyman4 months ago

Thanks for the tutorial! Using this to make a yagi wifi antenna but need to strighten out 14ga wire. This did the trick!

NickOftime4 years ago
Why Not just put One end of the Wire in a vise, clamp a pair of vice grips/pliers to the other end, and pull the wire taunt and hit the vice grips with a hammer. The section of wire between clamping sections will be straight...
Yes, this is easiest and fastest. I don't like the idea of spinning it. It would do internal damage. Why hit the pliers at the end though?
Laral1 year ago
I really like this and your other articles about the GH antenna, especially the bending jig. One way I learned to straighten copper wire from a guy I worked with is by stretching. You can grip short lengths between two pairs of pliers or clamp one end in a vise and the other end in pliers. You don't need to stretch much, about 1-5%. You COULD anneal the wire afterwards by using a welder's trick. Build up a layer of carbon on the wire with a butane lighter and then heat the wire with a propane torch until the carbon is completely consumed. That way you know it is hot enough to anneal the wire.
crc603 years ago
The unpatented Gray-Hoverman antenna designs are available for anyone to use be they commercial or otherwise.
dmonday3 years ago
You can also straighten the wire by clamping one end in a vice, and connect the other end up with a drill. Pull the wire tight, and turn on drill. Wire will turn, become straight after a few turns. Works great for #6 wire and smaller, Saves time, rolling, and provides more strength for the wire.
rimar20004 years ago
microman1714 years ago
My favourite way is to clamp one end in the vise, and the spin it with the drill. Straightens wire out quickly and easily.