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Thread: Making straight rods: Round & square ones?

  1. #1
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    Question Making straight rods: Round & square ones?

    I would like to add to my repertoire of pendants and make some bars/rods. I would like to make round ones as well as square. I have an ingot mould to make the bars and was thinking of buying a draw bench and various square and round drawplates. Would the resultant bars/rods be straight or would they require further work? Any tips on how I might make these otherwise? As a rough guide I would like them to be about 5mm in diameter and 18mm in length.

    As always, thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    when I had a drawbench the wires drawn through drawplates were quite straight, I also used my drawbench to straighten shop bought wire lengths. The only down side is that you need about 15mm. of pointed length that is gripped in the drawbench pliers that will become useless waste.

    James

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    If you anneal wire evenly and stretch it by clamping one end and pulling with serrated DIY pliers it will become perfectly straight, but thinner by a fraction.

    However, wire thicker than about 1.50 mm is too heavy for most of us, and will need a draw bench with gears. That said, commercially available draw benches do not have a convenient way of clamping one end, so I have this home made one, using a smooth carpenters vice at one end for gripping and a small boat winch for pulling.

    As James has said, there will be a certain amount of wire mangled in the process and therefore wasted.

    An alternative is to use round or square tubing, which comes already straight and is stronger than wire of the same size. The downside is that it will have to be kept vented once quenched or pickled, if it is to be heated further, or you will experience the power of exploding steam.

    My second picture shows tubing used for the straight parts of this pepper and salt set, before I had my draw bench.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Drawbench.jpg   Test Tube Pepper And Salt.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    using a smooth carpenters vice at one end for gripping and a small boat winch for pulling.
    Genius! I'm off to the chandlers

  5. #5
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    If you are really interested Paul, then get me to list the crucial components and dimensions, which have been tried and tested by me for twenty years. At today's prices you will still be spending about 150, excluding the surface to mount it on.

    Also you will be accumulating at least two draw plates, one large and one small for each profile (round, square, rectangular, oval, D-shaped and triangular.) Dennis

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb Great minds...

    @James: Thanks, it's good to know I can get it straight.

    @Dennis: Thanks for the tip. I had *exactly* the same idea of making my own draw bench using a winch like you have done. Now that I see it in practice I will try making my own. What is the gear ratio of the winch and does it require much effort to draw wire through the plates? I was thinking of using vice grips instead of tongs(?) : http://www.screwfix.com/p/irwin-vise...pliers-4/5181k

    P.S: Your pepper and salt set is superb, but I'm thinking about making pendants that are slightly smaller and easier on the neck.

  7. #7
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    I dont know the ratio, as there was no choice for the smallest size boat winch, but drawing wire upto, 4.0 mm or so requires little effort, but frequent annealing until you get down to say 2.0mm when it can be passed four or five times between anneals.

    You also need a non stretch rope for speed of working. Don't get a belt as that is slower.

    Also get hand draw tongs with one hook and a stainless steel ring for the rope, because what you want is speed so that you can quickly return the tongs and quickly release them.

    My experience with commercial benches and self closing tongs is that they are much slower in use and often slip off the wire. Also the draw plates are propped up in an unsatisfactory way, very slow to arrange. Dennis.

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    Hand operated boat winches generally come in two ratio's 3:1 or 5:1, the one I used is a old cast locally made unit it is 3:1
    The heaviest I have put through at this stage is 3 mm silver did not have any problem with this.

  9. #9
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    Thank you, Bob. I've looked it up now.
    Mine is a Dutton Lainson DL600a. Ratio 3.2::1

    Oh and I have about 75cm between the vice and the pulley.

    It is also worth mentioning that a large pickle pot is useful if you are straightening wires.
    The wire is clamped upright, bent down horizontal into a slight groove in the edge of the vice, to prevent it tearing and pulled. This only works if you anneal first. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 10-02-2018 at 11:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    Cheers Dennis, next time my sailing friends drag me round a boaters boot sale for entertainment, I'll know what to look for ... and thank you for the warning of the impending investment in decent draw plates!
    Last edited by Paul Kay; 10-02-2018 at 01:59 PM.

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