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  • straighten wire by stretching


    Ok, so I have an application where I need straight lines of copper wire to be laid down as parallel conductors. The application isn't important- the stretching of the copper wire to make it straight is what's interesting here.

    This wire is about #20, maybe #22. It was 5 conductor solid wire, so I stripped about a 4 ft length of it and removed all the insulation- then clamped each wire in the vise and gripped the other end with a vise grip. Pulling them about one inch longer took out all the kinks and left them straight- all except one piece which for about one foot would not come straight. That end of this one wire seems a little harder to bend than the rest of the length, so perhaps it didn't yield when I stretched it.

    Not a big deal, I just don't use that portion of it, but it's interesting that this happened. Perhaps something in manufacturing caused it to be like this?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    One end in a vise the other end in the chuck of your handy drill motor,,, pull hard and hit the switch for a second or two >>> straight wire

    Joe B

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    • #3
      I have used that method to straiten spooled welding wire to use with my TIG instead of my MIG setup. Worked well. JR

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      • #4
        Originally posted by darryl View Post
        Then clamped each wire in the vise and gripped the other end with a vise grip. Pulling them about one inch longer took out all the kinks and left them straight.
        I used that exact method (longer piece) to straighten .041 stainless safety wire for other applications.

        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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        • #5
          I've used the stretching method lots of times. For most copper I've been able to stretch it by hand, like I did today with this small gauge. For 14 ga copper I set up a 2x4 and use leverage. For steel wire, it's usually a heavier gauge I'm dealing with- then I'm using the van to pull with. When you could still buy rolls of steel wire that was 1/8 diameter, I used the Land Cruiser- in a parking lot with a cement casting to tie one end of the wire to.

          But I've never seen the phenomenon I did today, where a part of the wire refused to go straight. I played with this again, pitting the still crooked part of the wire against another section that took the straightening. I was surprised that one piece took significantly more force to bend than the other. Something about that part of the wire made it stronger than the rest of the length. This is what I was wondering about- how this could be.

          On a hunch I brought out a magnet to test it- but there was no attraction. I'm thinking that the copper alloy is not consistent- or the process of producing the wire is selectively hardening some portions of it.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #6
            Originally posted by darryl View Post
            On a hunch I brought out a magnet to test it- but there was no attraction. I'm thinking that the copper alloy is not consistent- or the process of producing the wire is selectively hardening some portions of it.
            After reading all that I was thinking the same thing, inclusions. Not possible with strict copper regulations.

            Was it heated at some point? JR

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            • #7
              Same process for straightening Lead cames in stained glass work.
              I just need one more tool,just one!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JRouche View Post
                I have used that method to straiten spooled welding wire to use with my TIG instead of my MIG setup. Worked well. JR
                worked well? i never tried it, but i thought you are not supposed to use mig wire for tig, its different.

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                • #9
                  Just to add a little somthing, Ali, brass and steel are also stretch straightened, when Ali is extruded it’s all shapes, it gets clamped between the jaws of a straightener, the headstock up by the press is fixed and the tailstock can move the length of the run out table (very hard work if you have to drag the tailstock up and down the runout table all day because of a bad die or crap press operator, (I had the pleasure of working on both ends for a “stretch”)
                  I often stretch thicker wire in the lathe, up to about 1/4 works well, I suppose making a draw bench wouldn’t be that hard, might be useful or at least educational
                  mark

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dian View Post

                    worked well? i never tried it, but i thought you are not supposed to use mig wire for tig, its different.
                    Stainless steel... JR

                    P.S.

                    I should have said it also takes a hydraulic pull back ram to straighten the SS wire.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Last edited by JRouche; 04-09-2020, 05:33 PM.

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                    • #11
                      About the simplest form of mechanized wire straightener-

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcELhCaFioY
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

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                      • #12
                        Click image for larger version

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                        Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                        About the simplest form of mechanized wire straightener-

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcELhCaFioY
                        That is cool. I bought some bearings and was gonna make the type where the rollers are inline and the wire travels between them. The rollers are on top and below the wire. Got lazy. JR
                        Last edited by JRouche; 04-11-2020, 10:02 PM.

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