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Pliers advice needed


dwasifar

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My wife makes teddy bears with jointed limbs.  They go together with cotter pins and fiber discs, like this:

 

cotterpinjoint.jpg

 

One disc is in the limb and the other is in the body; the cotter pin keeps pressure between them to provide friction for the joint.  She curls up the ends of the pin, as shown, with a needle nose pliers, twisting until she gets the correct tension.  She uses fairly firm pins so that the joints don't loosen with time.

 

The problem is that this is really hard on pliers.  It takes a fair amount of force to curl those pins, and needle nose plier jaws are not designed to be torqued that way.  She's already broken two pairs of Husky needle nose pliers doing this.  I bought her a Greenlee plier, which is holding up better, but it's still difficult for her.

 

I'm considering getting her a small pair of long nose locking pliers for this:

 

pliers.png

 

The nose is still too blunt, though; not pointy enough to make the tight curl required.  So I would have to grind it down a bit, and I'm not sure it would hold up.

 

The obvious solution is to not use cotter pins.  Screws and nylon-insert locknuts do work, but they're cost-prohibitive; the margins on the bears are already slim.

 

So, throwing it open.  Any suggestions, guys?  Different tool, different hardware?

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18 minutes ago, dwasifar said:

My wife makes teddy bears with jointed limbs.  They go together with cotter pins and fiber discs, like this:

 

cotterpinjoint.jpg

 

One disc is in the limb and the other is in the body; the cotter pin keeps pressure between them to provide friction for the joint.  She curls up the ends of the pin, as shown, with a needle nose pliers, twisting until she gets the correct tension.  She uses fairly firm pins so that the joints don't loosen with time.

 

The problem is that this is really hard on pliers.  It takes a fair amount of force to curl those pins, and needle nose plier jaws are not designed to be torqued that way.  She's already broken two pairs of Husky needle nose pliers doing this.  I bought her a Greenlee plier, which is holding up better, but it's still difficult for her.

 

I'm considering getting her a small pair of long nose locking pliers for this:

 

pliers.png

 

The nose is still too blunt, though; not pointy enough to make the tight curl required.  So I would have to grind it down a bit, and I'm not sure it would hold up.

 

The obvious solution is to not use cotter pins.  Screws and nylon-insert locknuts do work, but they're cost-prohibitive; the margins on the bears are already slim.

 

So, throwing it open.  Any suggestions, guys?  Different tool, different hardware?

How tight is the curve ?  Do you mean one cotter pin for all or two 

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4 minutes ago, CATERPILLAR said:

How tight is the curve ?  Do you mean one cotter pin for all or two 

I'm not sure I understand the second part of your question, but as for the first part, it's just like you see in the first photo. The curls are made by gripping the cotter pin with the very tips of the needle nose, so they're pretty tight.  The fiber discs in the picture are maybe half-dollar sized, which should give you an idea of the scale.

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Have you thought about using rivets? Place a steel washer on the outsides and use a nylon washer in the center as a buffer. You could then experiment with rivet types to get the tension you need.

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1 minute ago, JMG said:

Have you thought about using rivets? Place a steel washer on the outsides and use a nylon washer in the center as a buffer. You could then experiment with rivet types to get the tension you need.

 

Pop rivets?  That's actually a pretty good idea.  She already uses steel washers over the fiber ones.  (Didn't mention that before because I didn't want to add confusion.)

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1 hour ago, BMack37 said:

 

I agree that pop rivets might be the best solution. If that doesn't pan out, and she opts to stay with pliers, a larger plier such these Knipex or the Channellock 3017 would provide more leverage.

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My wife makes teddy bears with jointed limbs.  They go together with cotter pins and fiber discs, like this:

 

cotterpinjoint.jpg

 

One disc is in the limb and the other is in the body; the cotter pin keeps pressure between them to provide friction for the joint.  She curls up the ends of the pin, as shown, with a needle nose pliers, twisting until she gets the correct tension.  She uses fairly firm pins so that the joints don't loosen with time.

 

The problem is that this is really hard on pliers.  It takes a fair amount of force to curl those pins, and needle nose plier jaws are not designed to be torqued that way.  She's already broken two pairs of Husky needle nose pliers doing this.  I bought her a Greenlee plier, which is holding up better, but it's still difficult for her.

 

I'm considering getting her a small pair of long nose locking pliers for this:

 

pliers.png

 

The nose is still too blunt, though; not pointy enough to make the tight curl required.  So I would have to grind it down a bit, and I'm not sure it would hold up.

 

The obvious solution is to not use cotter pins.  Screws and nylon-insert locknuts do work, but they're cost-prohibitive; the margins on the bears are already slim.

 

So, throwing it open.  Any suggestions, guys?  Different tool, different hardware?



If she knows the materials she uses now works best, I would get a pair of Kobalt wire strippers which has the holes to make the curl and use the tips to pin both sides close together. Plus lifetime warranty on wire strippers so your only out the initial cost which is Farley cheap and durable.


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18 minutes ago, KobaltFan1 said:

 


If she knows the materials she uses now works best, I would get a pair of Kobalt wire strippers which has the holes to make the curl and use the tips to pin both sides close together. Plus lifetime warranty on wire strippers so your only out the initial cost which is Farley cheap and durable.


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My only hesitation about wire strippers is that they don't tend to deal with torque very well or have the capability of making a tight curl.

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1 hour ago, Conductor562 said:

 

I agree that pop rivets might be the best solution. If that doesn't pan out, and she opts to stay with pliers, a larger plier such these Knipex or the Channellock 3017 would provide more leverage.

 

I'd lean towards the Knipex because of the short jaws, more beef at the base then taper down.

 

They also make a duckbill pair but these would allow for very tight turns. I can share better pics of these pliers if you'd like.

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15 minutes ago, BMack37 said:

 

I'd lean towards the Knipex because of the short jaws, more beef at the base then taper down.

 

They also make a duckbill pair but these would allow for very tight turns. I can share better pics of these pliers if you'd like.

 

Oh I agree with you, I was just offering the 3017's as a budget friendly option more or less. 

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Don't get me wrong, Knipex are great tools, and I have nothing against them whatsoever, in most cases they are probably the superior tool, but they are made in America and can be had at a price that I don't feel the need to baby them. 

 

At $20 I'm not terribly upset if I lose or screw them up, at $40 or $50 a pair it's a whole different ball game. 

 

I grew up with Channellock, guess it just stuck with me.

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The aforementioned Knipex are spendy but damn those look strong. Proper business end for the task required, and piles of leverage.

 

I'm partial to Knipex but at their price point I recommend Channellock every time. Made in a first world country, and reasonable quality at a great price. They still represent what Craftsman used to be. 

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I grew up with channellocks. It's one of the only tool brands my father made sure I didn't lose as a kid. He would get upset if they were missing lol. I was rough on his stuff as a kid.

Random information... I live about 30 miles from the channellock factory.


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