Crimping large cable lugs without a crimper

I will soon need to crimp many terminals on many short, but thick, 1 gauge or 0 gauge cables.

Crimpers are just too expensive.

Is there some way to get acceptable crimps without a crimper.

I guess, also, that I could buy one on ebay and later sell it, but I would prefer to avoid that.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus25589
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I know, but I still lust after those Hydraulic Thomas&Betts crimpers :-). Circa $1000 for the crimper and a single set of dies.

Not really. But check the local tool rental places and you may find both the crimper and dies available for a reasonable daily cost.

You can likely rearrange your design such that you don't need a crimper and instead use Cadwelds.

Tim.

Reply to
Tim Shoppa

I suppose you could make some appropriate dies for use in a press or *large* vise, but that would qualify as a crimper.

You can buy crimpless lugs - hammer type or screw type, but they're not as good as a real crimp, IMO.

Or use heavy copper straps with holes in the ends as short jumpers. Stacked up strips of copper roof flashing would work, and be fairly easy to work with.

Ned Simmons

Reply to
Ned Simmons

No.

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

Sure there is. Buy an inexpensive pair of Chinkalloy bolt cutters, and grind the profile you need into the blades. You can probably have the tool for $12.00 and a half-hour's work.

LLoyd

Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

Solder

Reply to
Tom Gardner

Have you seen what the proper T&B dies for this sort of application look like?

They are *not* just your cheap crimper scaled up-- the barrel of the lug is *swaged* down on the leadwire with interleaved fingers on the die set, not just collapsed inward in a small section. That's why they don't come loose.

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

For very, very low values of "acceptable". ;-)

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

Could you use parts-store battery cables? Even WalMart sells a considerable variety of lengths for not much more than the cost of the wire.

jw

Reply to
jim.wilkins

Yes, I've seen them, and I've done a lot of it for electrical and weight-bearing equipment -- both with the right Thomas & Betts and AMP crimpers and with makeshift tools. You can make up in technique a lot of what the right tool would do automatically. Crimps aren't magic. Put the right profile in the jaws, and you can "step" the crimp down the barrel as required.

When anyone tells me I can't do a workman-like job with tools I've done it with, it kinda leave me thinking they don't have much imagination. Stretch your mind a bit.

LLoyd

Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

Soldering, correctly done, is probably the best method for electrical conductance, but solder isn't an acceptable mechanical joint. In many code jurisdictions, soldering is prohibited -- mostly because many people won't or can't do it well, but also because of the mechanical weakness of the joint.

They always taught us in electronics schools, "Make a secure mechanical-wrap before soldering; solder isn't glue."

LLoyd

Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

I like that and I also like Lloyd's suggestion of grinding a bolt cutter. I would try to make triangular notches in the bolt cutter, if I did that.

As far as soldering. I guess for larger cables I need to use a propane torch. Is that right?

I also wonder if I could use my welding machine somehow.

Thanks guys. A $150 tool is out of question. Maybe I would rent one, but rental prices also are quite steep.

I am thinking of a welded contraption made from steel angle, that I would insert in a vise. Ascii art follows

Top side: A piece of a T formed rolled steel.

U U =========

Bottom side in cross section:

| | ___| |___ =========

Bottom side seen "from the side":

|~~~~| |~~~~| |XXXX| |XXXX| |XXXX|-|XXXX| ==============

Top piece would be inserted between the sides of the bottom piece and compressed with a vice. The lug would be placed into the opening of bottom piece. It will be compressed from top to bottom, while being restricted from the sides.

Looks like a nice evening welding project. I have all parts for it.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus25589

No, they are too long.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus25589

Reply to
Eric R Snow

Yes I have seen them considering that I have a T&B crimper hanging in the shop. I don't see anything to them that couldn't be duplicated in a pair of cheap bolt cutters of the right size. I would want to know the size of the opening (easily done since they're hanging right there for me to measure) but other than that definitely doable for one or two sizes of wire.

Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX

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Reply to
Wayne Cook

I don't see any pictures of the bench toggle-action type on eBay-- just the hand-held type. Is that the kind you're talking about?

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

If you're crimping welding cables, have a look at those crimping "jigs" that you hit with a hammer. They are under $20 and can be found on ebay and on the web. These were specifically designed for welding cables.

Reply to
AL

Oddly this is actually incorrect. Yep, they taught the wrong thing, but it is so widely accepted nobody ever questions the mil-spec 'wrap three times before soldering' approach.

To convince yourself otherwise, make a simple lap joint using stranded wire, with the lap being only two or three wire diameters. Copper wire of course.

Then tension the joint until it fails by pulling on the wire ends.

The joint does not come apart, even with standard 60/40 lead tin solder.

Jim

Reply to
jim rozen

Or O/A. The trap here is that as you try to solder the joint, the solder simply wicks up the stranded wire and leaves you with a dry joint and effectively solid wire.

The trick is to mechanically compress the sranded wire so capillary action cannot wick the solder up the line.

For smaller stuff I use a stainless hemostat.

Jim

Reply to
jim rozen

I am thinking about cables that would serve inside a welding machine, and see relatively little tugging and bending after installation. These, I think, I can crimp myself.

For actual welding cables, I decided to pay a professional to crimp them properly, as they see plenty of abuse.

i

Reply to
Ignoramus25589

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