Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wire Dispenser for Wrapping Cable Splices

 I wanted a way to hold the loose coil of 22 gauge wire while wrapping the splice so that I didn't need to cut a piece of wire and risk getting my eyeball scratched again.  The end of a piece of safety wire got around my safety glasses when I was in the Air Force.  I still have a scratch.  I wanted a spool but couldn't figure out how to wind it.  I also liked the packaging of the 20 gauge wire with it's slit on the side to dispense the wire as the coil spins inside.  I figured I could duplicate their idea.

 At the hardware store I bought a 2" PVC cap and a 1/2" coupler.   The coupler has a ledge in the middle so you don't push either pipe in too far.  This made a perfect ledge to set some washers on for a nut on the bolt to hold the coupler in the middle of the cap.  This post helps keep the coil from getting tangled.
 I want the wire to feed out at the edge of the cap so I ground off the raised lettering with the belt sander.  Spin it on the table while holding it lightly against the belt.

 This all leaves a nice square edge.  A few turns of the de-burring tool put a smooth radius on the inside, wire feed, corner.

 A 1/4" diameter hole was located in the center of the cap.

 Some guide lines helped for filing a nice square hole to pocket the carriage bolt which hold everything together.  The carriage bolt assures The cover nut is easy to get off and makes it all a little smoother in the hand.

 You can see how the washers and nut work to hold the center post in place.  I started with a short bolt so I can grind the post to length.  We need a gap of no more than the thickness of the wire.

 I used a thin ruler to use as a thickness gauge drawing a guide line for grinding.

Hold the cap on the table of the belt sander while gently rolling the cap and grinding down the post.  This keeps the top end parallel to the edge of the cap so the cover will have an even gap for the wire.

 I used a hole saw to gently cut out a cover.  The hole saw has a 1/4" drill in the center which is why I used a 1/4" bolt.

To clean up the edge I held the cover on the table with a piece of 1/4" rod and spun it to keep it nice and round.  A little clean up on the edge with a file removed the last burrs and left a smooth edge.

 You need to make sure you have the end where they started winding on the inside and the end where they finished winding coming out the gap under the cover.

I'll look for a nice knob to replace the nut to make loading even easier.  It fits my hand perfectly.

Time to wind some more splices.

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