I recently purchased a small winch, and mounted it on the headache rack of my truck. I think it will come in very handy for loading large, heavy loads into my truck. Unfortunately, the cabling required to reach the battery wasn’t included with the winch. So, I went off to the local welding supply shop for some #2 welding cable. They had the cable, but no ends. Perfect! Time to try out an idea that War had offered some time ago- making your own cabling ends.
Start off with a small piece of copper plate. We’re going to wrap it around a piece of metal roughly the same size as the exterior diameter of the wire cable. (Note that the wire itself is nowhere near as large around as the wire and it’s sheathing!) Place the plate and the rod in the vice, with a very small bit of the plate extending below the bottom of the rod. Tighten.
Start the wrapping by bending down. Continue the process by repositioning in the vice as required, and bending more.
Once you have a “U” of metal around the rod, it’s time to cut off the extra. Note that it’s a LOT easier to cut (with right handed shears) if you have the flat portion up, with the rod to the right as pictured.
Back to the vise, and using a punch slowly work the metal around the rod as tightly as you can. You may have to reposition from time to time. Continue until you’ve made a tube of copper around the rod. If you do it right, you’ll have to “unscrew” the rod from the copper!
Cut approximately one inch of insulation from around your wire, and place the wire end into the copper tube. Tighten the vice just until the copper tube closes on the wire.
Place the wire in the vice, with the copper tube vertical. Seconds after this pic was taken, there was a torch heating the bottom third of the copper tube (not enough hands for the pic!). Heat until the solder runs free. I used about twelve inches of solder to hold the wire firmly. I probably used too much, but this is new to me and I wanted to be sure!
The wire should now be secure in the copper tube. Flatten the last half in the vice, then pound it very flat.
Time to make the mounting hole. As always, make sure that you mount the work securely!
Finished product! Note: I also learned to start drilling by punching the work!
You now have a perfectly serviceable end to your cable, good for most any application- be it a winch, alternate power, fixing battery or welding cables…the list is endless.
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