Wire Bending Tool A 15 year project finished.

Editor's Choice - May 12, 2014

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

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6 Comments

lanwater ...

This is a great story. Too bad you don’t have any picture of the event. It would have been nice to see.
The handle looks fantastic.

Thanks for sharing.

MsDebbieP ...

ditto what Ianwater said!!!

HorizontalMike ...

Boy! That sure beats a pair of needle-nosed pliers! Mikey likes it! 8-)

Horologist ...

That makes three of us. I do wish I spent more time over there when I had the chance. He is gone now and all the tools have found new homes. I’m not sure where the lathe ended up.

Mike, Never fear I have plenty of odd needle nose pliers as well.

a1jim ...

Pretty darn fancy.

David A Sylvester ...

Very nice

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Wire Bending Tool  A 15 year project finished.