Wire Bending Tool A 15 year project finished.

  • Advertise with us
Project by horologist posted 05-12-2014 12:34 AM 2703 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A local tool collector of note had an 18th century lathe set up in a custom trailer, a nice mobile shop of tools from the mid 1700’s. His “have lathe will travel” exhibit. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the lathe.

We drove it to a local chapter meeting of clock and watch collectors, spent about an hour removing the walls and top from the trailer and getting everything set up. Sadly, only three people came out for about 5 minutes to see the demonstration, no one wanted to try the lathe. Using a treadle lathe is an interesting exercise in coordination. I was having so much fun that Ted suggested we just stay there and I made shavings for about an hour. This handle was the result, after I finished and we packed everything up, he said ordinarily he would let me keep the handle but with the price of exotic wood etc. that he needed to keep it in the trailer. He gave me the handle on the next visit he made to our house with the copper ferrule fitted. I believe he made it from some copper tubing.

The handle sat in my bench drawer for over ten years until I decided to use it for a wire bending tool. At the time I finished it with some polyurethane varnish and have hated the way the finish looked and felt. Like plastic.
Today I sanded off the mess and applied Liberon Woodturners’ Lathe Polish and am considering this project to at last be finished.

In clock repair you periodically need to make slight adjustments by bending wires in difficult to reach places. This is especially true should you be unfortunate enough to have a cuckoo clock on your bench.
Traditionally, most people make these tools from old screwdrivers.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

5 comments so far

View R_Stad's profile


428 posts in 2645 days

#1 posted 05-12-2014 02:25 AM

Nice tool and nice story. Thanks for sharing it. Got a kick out of your mini madness stuff in your previous projects.

-- Rod - Oregon

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 4403 days

#2 posted 05-12-2014 05:04 AM

Love the shape of that handle. ‘Tis a beautiful form.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View Schwieb's profile


1900 posts in 4264 days

#3 posted 05-12-2014 10:32 AM

Nice story and a beautiful handle. I can’t help but wonder what it was that motivated you to work on it now after seeing it in a drawer for many years? I recently completed some projects that like yours, I have looked at, moved around for years, and finally just decided to do something about it.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View horologist's profile


105 posts in 4542 days

#4 posted 05-13-2014 12:04 AM

Thanks for the kind words. I modeled it after some of the handles of the tools I was using at the time.

That’s about it. Just a case of the time, motivation, and inspiration all lining up. There are many more such projects, now to get some free time.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View drbyte's profile


844 posts in 4864 days

#5 posted 05-14-2014 02:36 PM

Great story! Homemade tools are great to make and use! Very nice job no the handle!!

-- Dennis, WV

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics