Utility Line Stringing Tool 2015-10-26

Make your own stringing tool for utility lines

  1. gary60s
    Here are pics, sketches, and a template for making your own utility line stringing tool.

    Materials:
    1 foot of #14 solid copper house wire (building supply)
    .011 thick clear acrylic plastic scrap to make a 1 1/2" triangle (hardware store)
    1 #66 plastic bobbin (sewing store)
    3/8" long piece of Plastruct #90202 3/16" square tube (lhs)
    1 alligator clip (Radio shack)
    The first sketch is not a template, it just shows the dimensions for cutting and bending of the #14 wire. Eyelets
    and bends can be done with needle nosed pliers.

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    Once you have the triangle cut (see PDF), holes drilled, and wires cut to length, follow the directions below, referring to pics listed.
    Pic a shows all materials ready for assembly.
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    Before inserting wire legs into holes, one end of the legs should be filed or sanded round, and the other end crimped. This allows the legs to fit into the leg holes, but are stopped by the crimped end. Pic b shows one leg inserted and pulled down to the crimped end. Repeat for other 2 legs.
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    Pic c shows 3 legs bent 90 degrees.
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    Pic d shows alligator clip attached to long wire by bending lugs around wire, and set in vice for soldering.
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    Pic e shows alligator clip soldered in place.
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    Pic f shows long wire bent to shape. Bends are not critical, but bottom short leg should be cut to 3/8" in length.
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    Pic g shows bobbin support arm inserted into base (tight fit, but easily twisted in). Glue bobbin insert into bobbin with plastic solvent cement. Slide bobbin onto arm and then slide piece of #14 insulation onto arm end. Make sure bobbin rotates freely.
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    Pic h shows bobbin eyelet twisted into base.
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    Pic i shows alligator clip arm twisted into base.
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    Pic j shows leg ends bent down slightly.
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    Pic k shows bobbin wound with EZline and threaded through bobbin eyelet, then to alligator clip, then through end eyelet.
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    Line stringing is easy if you remember that you are moving backwards. To use, move the tool up to the 2nd to the last pole in your pole line, release line from alligator clip and pull line up over that pole, then to the last pole in line. Glue the free end of the line to the last pole, place the line on top of the 2nd to the last pole, attach the aligator clip to the line and then move the tool back a touch to get the right amount of tension between the poles (it looks better with a little sag). Glue line to the 2nd to the last pole, release alligator clip, and you are ready for the 3rd to the last pole in line. I've tried many types of line, from thread to fishing line. None of it looks as good or is easier to work with than EZline from an advertiser here.
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