I cut crimped steel wire in an automatic machine of my design and construction. The lengths range from 5" to 9". The wire is "roped" to up to 600 strands then wound on a 20" wood reel. Some of these ropes get tangled between the pushing arm and the funnel at the cutting blades.
I have tried to use an expansion spring and I might just get that to work if I hit on the magic dimensions for the spring. I'm thinking of something like a telescoping tube that would range from 1" long to 9" long with an ID of 1" to 1-1/2". (Where is that Unobtanium and Dissapearium when I need it?)
Ever seen a telescoping tube like that?