Introduction: Using a Bench Vise to Easily Straighten and Strip Wire
Effortlessly straighten a project's wire using your shop vise with no hammer, pliers, drills or muscles needed. Depending on how your workshop bench vise (vice) is mounted- a swivel base is very handy-, using it's exposed beam end as a drawbar will greatly aid you in working out kinks in reasonable lengths of utility or electrical wire. This method will efficiently do profile variations as well as round shapes
Step 1: Improve the Vise
My bench vise has an external exposed beam, and I can use this to my advantage with a simple modification by drilling and tapping 1/4- 20 (M6 x 1) holes near the tail. These allow various fixtures to be mounted, or items to be clamped onto it.
Step 2: Adjust End Block Clamp to Suit
Close up the vise jaws first to fully extend the beam. Don't forget to allow some wire loss due to clamping needs using this method, so if you want specific lengths, cut to an overlong size. A simple lag screw driven into wood scrap will suffice as an end block anchor point; clamp to the benchtop as necessary. Form a hook on both wire ends, insert, and tighten down both clamp screws.
Step 3: Begin the Draw
Open the vise jaws, moving the beam away from the end block and watch the wire as it straightens
Step 4: Do the "Twang" Thing
As tension increases, pluck the wire. It will react just like any stringed instrument will, increasing in pitch. I suspect at a certain tone it may be indicative of a desired conclusion, but I wanted to push the envelope of this idea so I really cranked it up. Note the employment of a professional hand model called er, "Betty", to aid in the illustration of this Instructable
Step 5: Let's Strip!
Now it becomes very easy to strip the insulation from electrical wire if needed. Slip a utility knife blade under the insulation at an angle, and simply draw it down the length. The top is thus freed, and the bottom peels right off.
Step 6: Checking the Results
The wire I used was #12 A.W.G. Romex electrical, with a diameter of 0.0808" (2.052mm). The ending dimension was .080"(2.032mm), yielding a diametric reduction of less than .001" (.0254mm).
Step 7: Possible Uses
- Jewelry; Perhaps Also Use With Drawplates For Custom Profiles
- Bullet Making
- Lead Caming Preparation
- Antenna Fabrication
- Model Building, Both Ship And Airplane
- Wireform Artwork
Step 8: Parting Thoughts
Not having to purchase additional tooling to accomplish a new task is it's own reward in itself, so I hope this fills a need for someone out there looking for an easy and inexpensive wire preparation method. If your vise (vice) is the enclosed type, perhaps drilling and tapping the outer moveable jaw's upper section can achieve the same result