Lead Twister

 


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Make this "Lead Twister".  

This is used to create little curls or spring like loops on the ends of new parts (resistors, capacitors).  Once there are little spring like loops on the end of the new part it is easy to slip it over the cut ends of the old part. 

The parts needed to make up the Lead Twister are: 

1) An X-acto knife handle or dollar store equivalent.

2) Epoxy putty stick found at home building stores plumbing department like Home Depot or Lowe's. 

3) Medium sized safety pin.

4) Strong wire cutters to cut the safety pin.

 

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In the picture you can see the little hook looking part of the safety pin.  That is to be epoxied into the knife handle.

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Insert the cut pin with the loop into the knife blade holder.  Press the epoxy into the gap on the hook side of the pin.  Leave the other side free of epoxy.  Or push the epoxy into all spaces in the gap and clear one side out to receive the unbent end of the new component (to be twisted). 

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Tighten the handle real tight!  I over did it a bit and warped the handle.  But this will keep the little wire (from the safety pin) tight. 

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The new part lead goes into the side where you scraped out the glue. It has to go in about 1/8 to 3/16 inch or more.

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Shown it an old part clipped out of the circuit.  The lead wires have been clipped at the capacitor's body.  Get an "eye ball" idea of where the new coil loop are to end.  Or how far should you twist up the new lead wire.  

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Push the new lead wire into the tool.  

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Pull the part down at a right angle to the "winding pin" (the former safety pin). 

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Twist the wire a few times to form a spring or a few loops to slip over the old parts remaining lead wires.

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Try to keep the loops the same distance apart as the body of the old part.  

You can shorten up (wind more coils) if the old lead wires closer together.  You do not want to do this in position sensitive chassis like a Zenith Transoceanic RF/IF sections. 

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Trim the lead wires to make it neat looking.

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This is the capacitor shown above installed in a chassis.  It is a cathode bypass capacitor in parallel with a cathode resistor in this Saba Freiburg 14 Vollautomatic. 

 

The alternative to twisted leads are little hooks.  

Cut the the leads of the old part at the body of the part.  Form two little hooks on the old leads.  Form opposing hooks on the new part.  Engage the hooks, crimp them closed and solder. 

"Well", you say, "Paul, why don't you unsolder the part at the solder tab of the tube socket?  Besides it is the right way and better looking to totally replace the part!"  I used to do that until I broke a few tube sockets and brittle terminal strips.  It is very frustrating to acquire and replace a matching tube socket in a vintage radio.  I replaced a few in Zenith Transoceanic cramped chassis radios.  This "snip and replace" technique keeps the new part centered, in the position where the factory placed it (as in the aforementioned Transoceanic).  You never know when a components position is critical or not.  You do not want to go through al the work of replacing parts and come to find you induce hum in an amp, created cross-talk/feedback or detuned a critical RF, IF or oscillator circuit.  And, I don't mind saying, this way (or the hook method) is much, much quicker. 

I use this technique on PC board too.  Try and not lifting a copper trace off of the PC card while removing an original part, causing damage.  It is hard for me not to.  So I clip out the part, stand the led wire perpendicular to the PC board, slip the twisted lead wire over the old leads and solder.  I have not lifted a trace yet using this method. 

This Lead Twister may be the primary tool that I use for all restorations.

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