Wire Wrapping Skills Put To Use For Sign Making

We don’t see many wire wrapped circuits these days, and you could be forgiven for thinking it was nearly a lost art at this point. But that doesn’t mean the technique can’t be applied elsewhere. [MiHu-Works] recently wrote in to share a sign they recently made for a client’s restaurant that looks an awful lot like the back panel of a homebrew computer to us.

Before you get a chance to scroll down and complain about it in the comments, we admit this one is fairly deep into the crafts side of the spectrum. But it’s also a gorgeous piece that we’d be happy to hang up in the hackerspace, so we don’t care. There might not be any angry pixies zipping around through all that lovingly wrapped copper wire, but it certainly feels like you’re looking at the internals of some complex machine.

To make it, [MiHu-Works] first printed out the lettering on paper and put it on the wood to serve as a guide. Roofing nails were then driven into the wood to create the outline of the text. A simple tool made from a forked piece of wood was placed under the head of each nail as it was hammered in to make sure the depth was consistent. It also made sure there was adequate room underneath to wrap the copper wires through them. Then it was time for the wrapping…so much wrapping. (Who is going to come through with the robot to do this?)

A few years back we asked the Hackaday readers if they thought the days of wire wrapped circuits were over. It generated a lot of discussion and interesting ideas, but looking at projects like this, perhaps we were asking the wrong question.

20 thoughts on “Wire Wrapping Skills Put To Use For Sign Making

    1. Negative Nancy right here ^

      For real though, this is a hack; things being reused creatively with new function. Better than the “look at this new product” type “hacks”.

      1. The wood decays until even the fastenings fail, the sign falls off it’s wall, neatly hitting a city inspector who just happened to be sitting there trying to get over the latest fight with his wife, getting the restaurant closed down for weeks during the safety audit and putting a heavy financial stress on the restaurant that it simply bear stand..

        1. But that is just shortly before a horde of mutated Corona-Virus zombies appear which the inspector trys to fight with the debris of the fallen off sign. He loses the fight like everyone else did. The world is over. We are all doomed.

          1. And then the sign maker will question why he ever had to have a man-bun. If only he made better decisions in life then things wouldn’t have ended up this way.

        2. The sudden jolt of the sign brings him back to reality and reminds the city inspector that his wife is no longer with him, nor his job, nor the city. He constantly comes back to this place, to see this sign to remind himself of the intricate webs that we used to weave. Things are simpler now that the city has fallen to COVID-19.

    2. With copper, the spiders will probably die from heavy metal poisoning. It’s safe to handle but without a layer of clothing to protect you from copper dust, long term exposure is very unhealthy.

  1. I’d like to see this done and then the nails removed, leaving just the copper..
    Maybe use steel nails, brush everything with some solder paste mixed with extra flux(As you only need enough to make a bond), maybe brushed down to only keep solder in the gaps and then reflowed with a hot air gun..

    1. And how do you want to remove the soldered nails? I think even if you use stainless steel or some difficult to solder metal, in that dimensions I think you could not remove them, even if the solder does not really wet the steel.
      Perhaps you could use Teflon sleeves on the nails.
      But anyway, if you solder with tin, you loose the nice copper color.

      1. Stainless and steel are hard to solder to, even more so if they are dirty. I do like the teflon idea however, you can get ptfe heatshrink or kapton tape. That can handle the heat. More work but cleaner result. You only need to heat enough to reflow to the copper, no higher.
        As for the effect. If you brush/whipe off as much as you can, the you’ll get silvery solder in the gaps/joints and copper on the bare wires and the result should be strong enough to hit with a buffing pad on a dremel or similar to get rid of the worst and then hit the whole thing with varnish to keep the shine.
        Wish I had the artistic skill to pull off something like that.

  2. This looks so much like the middle school wood shop class projects we did back in the 1970’s.
    The usual choice was the sailing ship made from cut wooden shapes that were then nailed to a fabric covered board. The back boards were usually about the size of a large school desk.
    all of the wooden parts were pre-drilled as otherwise the great number of (brass) nails would split the wood.
    The string used was either a gold or silver covered elastic of about the diameter (un-stretched) of a pencil lead.
    Again, with it being the 70’s we were prone to using Velvet for the board cover fabric.
    Upon thinking about it, I believe I still have one lurking in a closet somewhere….
    I should look for it and perhaps (if not moth eaten) hang it again. x^P

  3. It doesn’t look like there’s any sort of rhyme or reason to the wrapping. It’s just enameled copper wire haphazardly strung around a bunch of nails – nothing to do with wire-wrapping circuits or skill. This is not even a hack – it’s just a regular crafts project.

    1. I was hoping to see a novel use of a wire wrap tool… yeah this is just making a tangle with wires.

      FWIW I do like the sign and like seeing this arts+crafts technique on a sign. I wonder how it will weather. Hipster style I can get behind.

  4. Are all these comments because none of you have an artistic bone in your bodies or if you have.. jealousy because you can’t come up with a concept??? Give the guy his due, if it was as bad as all of you seem to think, his client would have said a definite NO.. but.. they didnt and there it sits, up in front of a Restaurant for all to see. What all of you don’t seem to realise is.. you have all given this guy FREE Advertising, which as Artists we all need.
    You go my son, bloody well done 😁👍🏻

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