Twisting stranded wire with your fingers in preparation for tinning and/or soldering is almost a reflex for folks making electronic assemblies. But what if the wires are too close to get your fingers around, or you have the fingers of a sumo wresters? Well [DIYDSP] has a solution for you (see video below the break) that’s easy to make from a shish kebab skewer that’s probably rolling around your kitchen drawer. The reason that [DIYDSP] wanted to twist such closely spaced wires was to solder a length of 0.1 in O.C. stranded ribbon cable directly onto a PCB pin header pattern.
The method is very simple. Drill a long hole in the factory-cut flat end, followed by using a countersink bit to give a conical taper to guide the wires in. [DIYDSP] found that a 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) drill bit was a bit too large to grip the types of wires he was using, and finally settled on a 0.6 mm bit. If you are using larger wires, you should experiment to get the right size, or just build a handful of these of differing diameters since they’re so easy to make — just mark them clearly so you don’t accidentally grill shish kebabs with them on the BBQ.
The resulting tool is not unlike the business end of a hand-held wire-wrap tool, but works different principle and is a fraction of the cost. If you do any amount of interconnect wiring with stranded wires, then you should check out this video and whip up a couple of these to throw in your tool box.