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For years this curiously-shaped block was bolted to my dad’s workbench. I’d never seen him use it and had no idea what it was for. When I managed to drop a bolt down a Y-pipe in my teens, he busted out a wire hanger and began twisting it around to form a bolt grabber using the pegs and shapes on this little jig. I felt like a door had just been opened.

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Just unwind a hanger and start winding it through the forms and pegs to create almost whatever shape you’re looking for. The straight channels let you make bends to any degree up to 90, and the pegs allow you to create intricate curves. The two forms on the end create corners and half moons which can be compounded to form other shapes entirely.

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Later on I came to view hangers as tools in the making. As long as you had a bender handy there was little limit to the things you could make from this golden wire. They did twist the wire into hangers after all; my concoctions were just as valid.

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All this thanks to a $5 little bender that bolts to the bench. The only complaint my father ever had was it was next to impossible to keep wire hangers in the house after that day.

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WIre Bender [Duluth]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

17 Responses to Wire Bending, The Easy Way

  1. paganwonder says:

    Nothing better than a tool that makes tools!

  2. BG says:

    The drawing and the image of the device are different, I don’t see the gentle arc type bending area on the picture.

  3. roger says:

    i think all the same bends are there despite the two forms being different. You would bend around the end of it for a curve and use both V forms to make a square end.

  4. Sean O'Hara says:

    Yes they are just two different styles. Depending on which you preffered. Personally I couldn’t imagine one without the half moon, but that’s just me.

  5. russ says:

    Maybe they use the half moon at each end (of the pictured tool) and then place the half moon over the triangle and bend it bend it even further?

    I saw this tool not long ago on the inet, was it on the website before?

  6. mr. man says:

    Never used the one I’ve had for 25 years. Don’t think I’m the crafty type.

  7. Toolhearty says:

    russ Says:
    …I saw this tool not long ago on the inet, was it on the website before?

    Yep.

    http://toolmonger.com/2008/01/14/wire-bending-jigs/

  8. bajajoaquin says:

    Looks to me like they are pictures of two different products. The one offered by Duluth (which is, I think, the same company as Aerostich motorcycle gear-a great company) is similar to the one offered by Lee Valley, and the picture is a different tool offered by others.

  9. Pezdad says:

    Very useful – you can make those one-of-a-kind tools and fixtures very easily out of wire hangers you were going to throw away anyhow. I don’t need it often, but about every other year it really comes through. I have made wire hanging units to suspend the amplifier for my surround system (kept it in the TV unit nice and neat, and great airiflow around it), replacement parts, kid’s projects, etc.

    And one will last a lifetime (I got mine from Lee Vally for around $5 15 years ago).

  10. Pezdad says:

    Also, no need to bolt it to the bench – I keep it in a toolbox with other rarely used tools, and just secure it in the bench vise when needed.

  11. russ says:

    If you click on the link Toolhearty gave me and then click on Street Price you will see the two different models.

  12. Eric Dykstra says:

    Hmm, Odd that.

  13. area_educator says:

    “Duluth (which is, I think, the same company as Aerostich motorcycle gear-a great company”
    This got me intrigued. Other than both being out of Duluth, MN I can’t find any link beyond this:
    http://www.kollathdesign.com/about.php
    Kollath did illustrations first for Aerostich and then for Duluth Trading Co.

    However, I wouldn’t be shocked to find that Andy Goldfine– Mr. ‘Stich himself– were involved somehow in Duluth Trading Co.

    And, yes– Aerostich is a great company.

  14. Geoff says:

    I’ve had one attached to the doorjamb of my work area for years, right about chest-high. Keep a bunch of coat hangers around and a pair of lineman’s pliers handy, and you’ve got a recipe for all sorts of one-of-a-kind tools, jigs & gizmos. I even used it to form a cookie cutter out of a tin can for my wife for the holidays.

    Right on, Paganwonder. “Metatools” are the best kind of tool ever…

  15. X says:

    I hate it when shipping cost is more than the price of the actual item.

  16. Jonathan Moore says:

    Wire gear gieg for the serous.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0UNz-ayzrE

  17. Tony Doyle says:

    Joe you can buy this jig from a UK company
    Cooksongold on line I have just bought one now

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