I have sung the praises of Brion Toss' splicing wand before, so I won't repeat that here. Of course I have one. But sadly, I am a clumsy oaf.
|Sheath, inner brass rod, and snare at the tip of the rod.|
Now here's my mistake: I picked the tool up by the "needle" part instead of the handle. This would have been OK except that I hadn't tightened the thumbscrew. As a consequence, the stainless sheath - the part I was holding - slid right off of the brass rod, leaving me holding just the sheath. The rest of the tool fell to the cabin sole, hard. When I picked it up, I found that the tip of the brass rod had broken off, ruining the tool.
I was dismayed. Splicing wands are not cheap, and no replacement parts are available.
But then I realized that this was an opportunity for another zero-cost experiment! Attempting to repair the tool would cost nothing. Ah, but if it succeeded!
Now having a good workshop is a critical part of this - I don't think you could do this with hand tools, at least the third step anyway. Here's what I did:
- I ground off the ruined end of the brass rod, back to straight unbent metal. With the broken off end, this meant that I had lost about 1/2" of length of the rod. This is not critical - if necessary, I could just make a longer snare.
- Center punched the end of the rod. I really wanted to get this in the very center of the rod - it's only 1/8" in diameter and I could tolerate only a little eccentricity.
- Mounted the rod in my drill press vice vertically, extending it from beneath the table up into the vice.
- Drill a 1/16" pilot hole 1/2" deep in the end of the rod. Pause and withdraw the bit frequently to clear chips.
- Over drill with a 5/64" bit.
- Now using a Dremmel tool with a small grinding bit, cut away enough of the sidewall to expose the drilled channel and to make a relief cavity for the knot at the end of the snare. Of course I didn't get the hole exactly in the center (tho it was awfully close...), so I chose the thinner side to cut away, leaving more meat on the other side. In fact, I had a lot more meat than the original tip had.
|Sorry it's blurry - my phone camera won't focus this close|
|Finished, snare installed|