swaging marine eyes to 3/32 and 1/8" cable
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  1. #1
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    Default swaging marine eyes to 3/32 and 1/8" cable

    I bought a tiny Laser 2 sailing dingy and I am replacing most of the standing rigging.
    It's a mix of 3/32" and 1/8" wire rope. Currently uses nicopress sleeves and thimbles everywhere but I want to use marine eyelets.

    Problem is, an eyelet hand roll-swaging machine is $5,000

    I know I can order the cables made to length but I have some anti-chafing plastic tubing and such hardware that needs to be installed in the middle of the cable and I can't put it on after swaging.

    I am also a hopeless do-it-your-selfer.

    Do you think I can swage them successfully in a hydraulic press with a simple grooved die of slightly less than the reduced size and a couple of hits? I know that you run the eyes through the hand roll swaging machine twice to press out the seam from the first pass so it seems likely it can be worked at least twice.

    I need to reduce the 1/8" fitting from .250 to .219 and the 3/32 fitting from .219 to .190 They are pretty small fittings.

    Thanks

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    DMC tool makes a different tool to do those swages, looks to be an air hammer
    in a "C" frame press.
    Daniels Manufacturing Corporation

    Reading the instructions, it appears like you "hammer & rotate" between your fingers as
    the hammer does it's thing.

    I'll bet you could DYI it.

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    Theoretically, from the limited knowledge I have, most swaged eyes reach maximum strength after two hits in the
    press--with the part rotated 90 degrees between hits. The dies are sized so that the sleeve isn't over-compressed so
    you should be able to tap it 2 or 3 times more to smooth it up without altering the strength. If you can make a pair
    of dies that reduce the sleeve to the correct size it shouldn't matter how you compress it...

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    Is there a West Marine nearby? Last I saw they (or you) could do it in-store.

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    several hours away. I called a local marina supply in Peoria and they do not. They just mail order whatever you ask for.

    I have 2 fittings arriving today to test. I only have a 10 ton cylinder on my press at the moment so I'll have to see if that's got the oomph.

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    You're talking about safety here. These swaging machines put far more pressure on the swage than you could ever muster manually. The simple answer is no, do not attempt to swage these ends without the proper tools. These swagers pressure weld the fitting to the wire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    You're talking about safety here. These swaging machines put far more pressure on the swage than you could ever muster manually. The simple answer is no, do not attempt to swage these ends without the proper tools. These swagers pressure weld the fitting to the wire.
    um.... I'm not squeezing it "manually" I'm not sure what your saying here. I'm not biting it in my teeth. Hell, the manual $5,000 roll swagers do operate by hand. I'm talking about making a couple of use die sets and using them in my standard hydraulic press, and squeezing it until I get to the swaged dimension spec.

    my question really related to how many hits can I take to get it down to spec and has anyone here had success doing same.

    I only worry about hitting it too many times and cracking the fitting or making a mess of it or such.

    It's my 14' toy sailboat. I would like to improve on the aesthetics and snag points of the original nicopress thimble loops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsergison View Post
    ...It's my 14' toy sailboat. I would like to improve on the aesthetics and snag points of the original nicopress thimble loops.
    Have you looked at the Sta-Loc or Norseman fittings? It's a little more money for the fittings, but they are DIY, they work good and are re-usable, just buy new cones.

    You can make up the stay or shroud and get your length just right with all the turnbuckles and toggles in place, then make your final cut and assemble. Adjust your turnbuckles to 3/4 open before you measure so you have room to take up the stretch in the new wire and still have plenty of adjustment.

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  12. #9
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    "... I'm not biting it in my teeth. "

    Heck. Back in the day, real machinists bit those with their teeth.....

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    You should look into Heatset Spectra spliced eye to eye with stainless steel sailmaker thimbles if you are looking for a cleaner termination on the standing rigging. Many smaller boats go synthetic away from stainless wire. Lighter and cleaner than the nico eyes.
    Loos and co. Sells a go/ no-go gauge for checking specs on Kearney style swayed terminals.
    I ran a rotary hammer swage machine for years and it would be the closest to “squeezing “ the Marine eye onto the wire. It runs a large flywheel at a good clip , rotating and hammering two dies together around the perimeter of the swage fitting.
    Smooth finish and no flashing along the sides, no banana like the Kearney style.
    On a side note, give it a go if you want but the idea of shroud rollers and chafe sleeves over wire as you describe just trap dirt and moisture accelerating the corrosion. I’d skip those one way or another.
    Also for those interested, each style swage machine and terminal fitting and size has a growth factor.
    When swaging to exact length, slide the wire into the swage fitting. Make a mark with sharpie where it exits the bury. This will ensure no slip out during swaging resulting in less than full bury due to operator error.
    Then make a mark at one foot from the center of the eye, pre- swaged. Swage the wire and then measure previous one foot distance. This will likely grow in length, small but measurable in race boat tuning.
    The opposite end of the wire can then be measured and cut taking into account the swage bury and growth factor.
    I have access to many kind and sizes of wire swaging machines and dies. Ask away if you need something....or I’ll make them for you

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    There are Nicopress hand tools that do a factory spec swage and are only a couple hundred bucks. we had a similar one at a prior employer, and I have set them up, done the swage measuring to verify , and done plenty of swaging of the sleeves for cable ends over thimbles.

    this is not a cheap knockoff, it is an official tool.

    51-MJ NICOPRESS TOOL FOR OVAL & STOPS WITH M OR J

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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsergison View Post
    I would like to improve on the aesthetics and snag points of the original nicopress thimble loops.
    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    There are Nicopress hand tools that do a factory spec swage and are only a couple hundred bucks. we had a similar one at a prior employer, and I have set them up, done the swage measuring to verify , and done plenty of swaging of the sleeves for cable ends over thimbles.

    this is not a cheap knockoff, it is an official tool.

    51-MJ NICOPRESS TOOL FOR OVAL & STOPS WITH M OR J
    Wow ! just Wow !

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    While structural, nicosleeves pale in comparison to Marine eye swages for clean terminations.
    Nico press sleeves leave the bitter end of the wire somewhat exposed unless heat shrink or the like is skillfully applied and even so , not as clean.
    A MAJOR difference being the wire is 1x19 stranded . Unlike 7x7 or 7x19 wire the small radius bend around the thimble is very tricky to do as it doesn’t like to turn that small of a radius without unlaying or looking like shit.

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    If you are comparing the single wire-tube cable eyes to thimble and sleeve ends, sure, there is a difference. Maybe I read it wrong, but the OP said it was using sleeves and thimbles now, AND it is a little boat (under 200 lb hull) that you can pretty much pick up with two people. And, he is located a long way from saltwater.

    This is not an ocean yacht. best idea if the thing needs re-rigged is to either get the rigging kit, or make new with the same materials originally used. If it's a case of "I want to set this up differently", that's fine, but the sticker shock on that seems to have already hit.

    That boat just does not need the full Monte.

    Enough with the "WOW" stuff.

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    He was using nico sleeves as it came stock. Strength in a proper nico sleeve or marine eye swage terminal are all more than overkill as far as strength is concerned. Racing sailboats small and large all take windage, silly as it may sound seriously. A marine eye is more streamlined and thus provides less windage.
    It also provides a more streamlined connection to the chainplates, less shit to snag. I can’t honestly say I have seen even a cotter pin on a race boat over 40’ in the last few years. Shrouds pin at or below decks with Clevis pins secured with tapped and socket head cap screws with finish washers. Think barrel bolts. No snagging on cotterpins with sheets etc. All custom fasteners essentially. I can name a hundred different ways I have seen pins and hardware secured on masts and boats that are not exactly unique but goes a few steps beyond a utilitarian solution....and people with race yachts pay machinists to make this shit. . It’s all generally custom.
    It may be hard to explain but what is seemingly a decent solution with a nicopress thimble is far from high end and clean although way more than adequate.

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    You can install a Nicopress sleeve with the end of the cable flush with the end of the sleeve with no reduction in strength. No snag point.

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    check you pm

  24. #18
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    Here's my dingy. It has a couple broken strands on several wires. And bad looking and snaggy fittings.
    It's about 20 years old. Freshwater.
    Last edited by dsergison; 07-12-2018 at 09:26 AM.

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  26. #19
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    To keep the snagging down, you can slip heatshrink over the cable before doing the crimp, the slide it down and shrink over the tail. Don't know that I'd recommend that, seems like it would trap water that will wick and bake out of a regular crimp, but it would stop the snagging.

    You can also do a proper old time marine job and apply a whipping of fine line over the sleeve and loose end of the cable. Looks nice, works. In fact it looks pretty cool if done right.

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    BOSUN SUPPLIES - Stainless Steel Anchors Deck Hardware Chain Shackles Hooks Clips Rigging Fasteners Tools Suncor Microstar wire rope marine hardware can make you anything you want. They've made rigging for my catamaran, as well as a stainless steel safety line for my water well, etc.


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