Crimping and arthritis

Page 1 of 3  
One of the hardest things to do these days is to use my spade lug crimper. I sometimes can put the crimpers on a hard surface and lean down on them with my body weight. But most times I make bad crimps because I no longer have the hand strength to squeeze them with the force that's required.
Today I tried a pair of Robogrips to squeeze the handles of the crimpers and that sort of worked but it's awkward. I am going to hunt down some clamps and see if I can't make some grooved slip-over jaws for them. I would be afraid that a c-clamp or even a vise-grip type plier would slip off the crimper handles.
I see that there are crimpers that use different forms of leverage to make them easier to use. I am just wondering if anyone owns a pair of such crimpers or can recommend a way to use the one I have now more effectively.
Thanks in advance for any input.
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/17/2014 06:39 PM, Robert Green wrote:

If you are using one of those cheapies, something with more leverage may be better.
This is the kind I've used for 40 years
http://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKUp039936
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

crimper.

longer

and

clamps

be

make

effectively.

Very similar to these which might do the trick:
https://www.channellock.com/909-THE-CRIMPER-Crimping-Tool.aspx
Otherwise I am thinking of welding or bolting threaded rod to one handle and then feeding it through a hole in the other handle. Then I can use a huge wingnut or a large hex nut with a socket wrench to tighten it. Rube Goldberg would be proud.
Thanks for your input, Philo.
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/18/2014 12:09 PM, Robert Green wrote:

The one you found looks like a goods one and is less expensive that the link I had posted. Should be better than the Rube Goldberg method
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<stuff snipped>

and

huge

I bought a ratcheting crimper from Amazon for $20 (free shipping!)
S&G Tool Aid 18900 Professional Ratcheting Terminal Crimper $19.88
But I am already having buyer's remorse because I think with weak hands longer handles trump a ratcheting mechanism. The Channel Lock style crimpers have a cutter on the end and I can always use another cutter, especially with superlong handles. We'll see. If the S&G doesn't work out, I'll go for the Channel Locks. I came across what I thought was a Vise-grip style crimper - really the ideal solution because of the force they can apply, but it was made by them but not like a pair of Vise-grip pliers.
FWIW, your post led me one level up to a page listing of all sorts of crimpers which eventually led to the Channel Locks (and the S&G unit I ended up buying, so thanks!
PS. My wife was reading over my shoulder and asked me what I would do when my Rube Goldberg threaded rod solution snapped the handle off my cheap crimper and embedded a fragment of it in my skull. Note to DD: wives ARE getting smarter!
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/18/2014 04:12 PM, Robert Green wrote:

d

X
Hope it works for you. It looks like it should to the trick.
Even though I Rube Goldberg everything, I get the best tools I can afford. It's worth it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<stuff snipped>

As I get older and do less and less "stuff" I find I am reluctant to buy a tool for longevity if I can buy one that will do. I crimp stuff so infrequently now that $20 is just what I want to spend - but if it doesn't even do the job in the short run I'll return it and spring for a unit with much longer handles.
--
Bobby G.




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/18/2014 06:50 PM, Robert Green wrote:

X
Maybe I was lucky.
My arthritis was in my knees and they just put new ones in.
I don't know what I'd do if I lost the ability to use my crimper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/18/2014 07:50 PM, Robert Green wrote:

You can't take it with ya.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/18/2014 1:09 PM, Robert Green wrote:

Ball peen hammer, and anvil?
C-clamp?
--
.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Green wrote:

What size lugs? Some of the hydraulic crimpers are down in the $50 range. The supplied dies go down to about 4mm but you might be able to adapt something. Then it would just be pumping like a Greenlee hydraulic chassis punch.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You just reminded me! We used to have a pneumatically powered crimper in Production! like using an automatic stapler, insert, thing senses the insertion and stomps, done.
With all the manufacturing moving offshore, bet you can pick one up somewhere.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

range.

I've seen some pretty hefty crimpers but a pneumatic one, while intriguing, might be a little too bulky. I will search Ebay however. I want one that's articulated like bolt cutters so that a large movement of the handles results in a tiny but very powerful movement of the crimping jaws. But I suspect I am going to go with the kind that Ralph M. suggested.
[time passes]
In fact, I just bought:
S&G Tool Aid 18900 Professional Ratcheting Terminal Crimper for $19.88 from Amazon because they're pretty good about returning things. I hope that a ratchet mechanism will compensate for my weakened hands but it's also possible I'll need one with longer handles for greater leverage. The ones I've found so far are in the $60 range. However, if the S&G unit doesn't work, I'll spend the money since a bad crimp can be a real problem.
Thanks for your input, Robert.
- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Green wrote:

I don't know if the ratchet will be enough compensation but a well designed one guarantees a good crimp. They're also nice for positioning in tight places. I used to build panels and with a T&B crimper you could close the dies just enough to hold the terminal and get it in place without the juggling act of dropping the terminal if your grip relaxed a little.
I hope the S&G works out for you. A T&B ratchet is literally 10 times that price.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

designed

We'll see. It should arrive by Friday and I still have some crimping to do. Some of the nicer crimpers were $250 and above - a cost my low volume crimping could not justify. My only fear is that even with the ratchet, the handles are too short to develop the leverage I need. The articulated crimpers I saw for $60 only did large cables from 12 to 4 gauge. My work is with 22 to 12 gauge wires. Probably wouldn't work so well . . . (-:
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<stuff snipped>
Well, my S&G Tool Aid 18900 Professional Ratcheting Terminal Crimper ($19.88) from Amazon arrived after a few delivery issues were resolved.
The tool is hefty. The head is made out of laminations of black steel (5 layers inside 1/2" wide jaws) and appears to be very sturdy. It provides a very well-defined double crimping "bite" - clearly much better than the cheapies that come with kits of connectors.
I loaded it up, squeezed away and got the connector stuck in the jaws and couldn't free it. There's a tiny triangular tab on the ratchet that needs to be "popped" to release the jaws, but I couldn't reach it (it's between the handles). Turns out that my hands weren't quite strong enough to close the jaws tight enough to trigger the automatic ratchet release. The articulation of the outer handle provides a lot more leverage than the standard single-pivot point crimpers, but it isn't as much as I had hoped.
After playing with it for a while, I discovered I *could* squeeze the handles hard enough to make a good crimp. (Strangely it's not a question of force, but steady force over time - the mechanism operates best with a slow, steady squeeze.) The ratchet mechanism make a perfect crimp every time. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to make good crimps. The handles are shaped to allow 3/4" pipe to slip perfectly over them when I get to the point I need even more leverage than I get now. For $20 I am pretty happy. I can make much better crimps than before because of the dual "bite" of the laminated crimping jaws. Thanks to Ralph Mowrey who first pointed me to the ratcheting style of crimper on Ebay. I tend to buy stuff like this on Amazon because of their rating system. This tool had a high number of "perfect" marks and the few negatives weren't really deserved.
The fact that you can feel the ratchet lock release once a good crimp has been made makes it a lot easier to deal with than other crimpers. You don't end up applying too much force and hurting your hands. The crimper is also small enough to work in tight spaces, and that's important for the things I use crimpers for. It makes amazingly strong crimps. I was testing their strength by trying to pull a wire out of one and the wire broke instead of pulling out.
Good work folks, and thanks to all that contributed. The only thing I regret now is how long it took to buy the right darn tool for the job. I can't believe how many years I put up with those plier-type single pivot cheapies. I am comtemplating redoing all the crimped connections I have around the house with the new crimpers since they are that much better than my old arthritic attempts with the cheap tool.
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Green wrote:

Yup, that's why they're favored for production work. Your crew might be a little worse for wear on Monday morning but the crimps will be the same as always. Glad it worked for you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Glad the crimpers worked for you. They fource you to make a perfect crimp if you strip the wires correctly.
While I don't have trouble with the single piviot T&B tool and have used it to make many crimps, the ratching action does work beter for me.
--
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It still requires some attention to detail to get it right but it's so much more positive and less painful than the "squeeze until you think you squeezed enough" sort of crimpers. I have been trying to think of a similar tool where I would say to anyone looking for advice to "get the one with the magic" and that would be the ratchet in this case.
I think the weed burner (ice melter) is a good example. I should move it to the HF thread but . . .
I had a choice of a propane weedburner from HF for $20 but when I got to the store the one with a built-in piezo-electric lighter was on sale for $5 more. So I made the big leap to the higher priced unit. (I use it for clearing ice from the north-facing brick steps at which it excels.) Having a push button lighter built-in, especially when wearing gloves in windy wintry weather, is worth the $5 and then some. I wouldn't recommend anyone buy one without a built in "sparker." Or buy a non-ratchet crimper. All this talk is giving me a hankering to do more crimping!
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/28/2014 5:40 PM, Robert Green wrote:

I'd guess that trying to light the stupid thing in the cold would really make it clear that the sparker is worth the five bucks. Sadly, we on this list have been sternly told in ALL CAPS not to buy any thing at Harbor Freight. You're such a rebel, renegade, scofflaw. Last of the wild mustangs on the prarie, for sure.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.