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Old 30-04-2013, 15:02   #46
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Bash,

I certainly hope this was not aimed at me as in "some of our commercial members here have once again lost the perspective of the boat owner" . I am a boat owner, who actually works on boats. Being that I am no longer a highly paid white collar guy I need to watch my boat bucks more carefully than I once used to.

I try my hardest to bring as much "value" to fellow boaters as possible and save them money when ever I can. The FTZ crimper I recommended to Alchemy, over the HFT tool, is a very good knock off of a tool that a costs about 1.5k - 2k.... For the up charge over the HFT it does a great job and makes a crimp very comparable to a four figure tool. In a lug crimper that price, along with the durability of the tool, is very tough to beat.

Personally I use a $1200.00 crimp tool for red & blue insulated terminals and a $600.00 tool for yellow terminals and I have never once advised anyone buy these tools for DIY level work. I never would either.

Instead I usually offer up significantly less expensive alternatives that perform exceptionally well for the money. I search out these tools because I am often the guy fixing the boat and handing the owner a bill because he did not want to spend the money on the right tool, and instead I have to hand him a bill for $300.00.. From my perspective, tools are always free in the long haul, even good ones. I also do my own testing of any tool I recommend to be sure it is a "good value'......

The tool I was discussing with Alchemy does not even do #8. The best advice I can give on #8 is to jump to #6...... You can also use an uninsulated #8 in a crimp die made for insulated #10 but it is still not the "right fit" and you could damage your tool doing so....

That said Pro's Kit sells some inexpensive crimp handles and you can then pick and choose your dies. They are not "top shelf" but a darn good tool & value for the money. Dies run $15.00 - $25.00 (most are in the $15.00 range) and the crimp frames $25.00 - $40.00, for ratcheting frames. Rather than buy multiple tools you buy one or two frames and a bunch of dies. A pretty darn good value that takes up a lot less space.

Even I don't stock much #8. It is a rare instance when I really "need" to use #8 where a #6 would not serve me better.
I feel obligated to defend MaineSail a little here. Although he has done so himself very well.

As a DIY boat owner preparing to cruise, I can honestly say that MaineSail has personally saved me thousands of dollars based on all of the free advice he gives. His advice has always been practical and, IMO, he has never lost sight of the fact that he is typically dealing with DIYers who don't want to blow too much money on tools. He has even gone through the personal expense of buying tools he doesn't need so he can test them and tell us where the good buys are.

I think Bash's comments were out of line. Especially considering that Bash has given some of the most dangerous advice on this thread as I have ever seen on any sailing forum. I hope no one takes his advice and ends up with a boat fire.

Hopefully Bash will see clear to do the right thing here.

Jesse
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:13   #47
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

Make your own crimper. A pair of cheap bolt cutters work pretty well. Use a die grinder and cut off wheel to form the crimp shape in the jaws.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:20   #48
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I try my hardest to bring as much "value" to fellow boaters as possible and save them money when ever I can.
I think you've more than outdone yourself, MS. Over the ten or so years since your handle has surfaced on Sailnet, Anything-Sailing.com and now here on CF (and maybe others I don't patronize), you've consistently rendered excellent advice that, if ignored, would lead to unnecessary expense and even danger for the DIY boater...for which I heartily thank you and own you many pints.

I was going to ask this in a PM, but ask we are on the topic, honking big lug crimpers are not items that ship cheaply, and therefore I'm going to pay the "Canadian tax" and buy locally. I have the opportunity to buy the FTZ 94840 lug crimper and the Quick Cable Quick Crimp 250 for about $20 less. I will never crimp in a lifetime what you do in a week, but I have a few dozen 6 AWG to 4/0 AWGs to do over the summer, so I guess if I follow your advice of using tinned power lugs for these crimps, is there any difference in quality between the FTZ crimp and the "hex crimp" made by the Quick Cable? Are tinned power lugs interchangeable between crimpers, or must I purchase the lugs from the crimper makers?

Thank you for your opinion. The fellow who could sell either to me, who does a load of industrial, solar and marine installations, said he actually preferred the hex-style crimp over the FTZ, and I am trying to understand if this is just personal taste or some functional difference.

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Old 30-04-2013, 15:29   #49
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

Haven't seen it mentioned on this thread (but maybe it's covered on a link, like Maine Sail's excellent site), but thought I should mention a best-practice step in any wire crimping, large gauge or small:
The key to beating corrosion with properly crimped connections of any kind is to use some No-Ox, or equivalent, in the crimping process (doing this would even help improperly crimped connections to function slightly longer).
No terminal on a boat should be made without treating the bare wire end with a dab of anti-corrosion jelly like No-Ox before the crimp is made. Then apply heat shrink sleeve over the terminal and wire joint and it may never corrode.

The No-Ox I use is in a tube (comes in small paint-type cans too, IIRC). If the wire will fit I just push the stripped bare wire end into the nozzle of the tube, then with my fingers (or a bit of plastic film to stay cleaner) massage the No-Ox into the wire strands a bit, insert into the terminal and crimp away (yes, I have a full suite of pro crimp tools).
The force of crimping will redistribute the stuff all within the crimped area and into the wire upstream a bit (and as far as I know will not affect making a proper crimp metal cold-flow). This was/is SOP in a former pro life :] .
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:34   #50
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Make your own crimper. A pair of cheap bolt cutters work pretty well. Use a die grinder and cut off wheel to form the crimp shape in the jaws.
You know, I've used threaded bolts and pieces of lumber and a couple of box wrenches to make a serviceable prop puller. I use and admire DIY solutions. I don't lightly prise open my wallet because expensive tools make me feel more butch. But electricity will kill or sink or burn you and your boat if you screw it up or half-ass your methodology.

Let me rephrase your suggestion as it seemed to me:

"Make your own scalpel. Take your cheap folding pocket knife, Dremel off the goo and rust spots, lay on an edge and you can remove a toxic appendix."

The funny thing is that I would actually do this in an emergency and in the absence of anything else. But I don't like to wire up my boat under emergency conditions, particularly emergencies rooted in not doing it properly in the first place.

I just finished wiring a bilge pump for a boat that had an entirely new drive train installed after being out of the water for years. I had no evidence I might not have serious ingress once launched...I didn't because I was paranoid and checked every sub-WL fitting and clamp and hose I had. So you can bet I used VERY carefully wired float switches and power leads...because I might have needed them immediately at launch.

Your crimper may vary. I prefer to leave the bolt cutters for bolt cutting.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:41   #51
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Re: How do you crimp #8 AWG terminals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post

I think Bash's comments were out of line. Especially considering that Bash has given some of the most dangerous advice on this thread as I have ever seen on any sailing forum. I hope no one takes his advice and ends up with a boat fire.

Hopefully Bash will see clear to do the right thing here.

Jesse
Bash may not have directed his comments at me, hopefully not, and it could have been another member, so I will reserve judgement on his comments until "some commercial members" either officially rules me in, or out......
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:51   #52
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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Old 30-04-2013, 16:02   #53
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

S/V Alchemy: Perhaps you should inspect a pair of calibrated crimpers sometime. You might notice that jaws are a simple shape of a certin size and they have greal leverage. I could make a knotch in a pair of boat cutters that would pass any calibration test in about 10 minutes.
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:55   #54
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
........................
But posts that advice to use screwdrivers, hammers, vice-grips etc., none of which can crimp a terminal, should be removed. Next time we hear about a couple of kids died in a boat fire because daddy used vice-grips to crimp the starter cable after reading that here. Completely unacceptable................
I doubt the moderators of this forum know enough about every subject to go through and eliminate bad advice.

Unfortunately, anyone can join and post to Internet forums. Some folks know what they are talking about, many do not. The advice you get on Internet forums is worth what you pay for it. It's up to the readers to somehow figure out who is right and who is wrong.

Sometimes the advice is well meaning but wrong, sometimes people post just to post even though they have nothing constructive to add, and I suspect there are some folks who get some sort of satisfaction from posting bad information and then seeing if anyone follows it.

In this case, I suspect some people have standards that are so low that the hammer/screwdriver approach to attaching cables to terminals would match many of the other repairs they have done to their boats. If I were looking at a boat to buy and saw evidence of such half a$$ed repairs, I would walk away quickly.

For the folks who say that the proper tools aren't always available, true, sometimes that might be the case. If I were anchored in the middle of nowhere and for some reason found myself needing to attach a cable to a lug and didn't have the correct tool with me, I would probably use the vice grip approach, but as soon as I returned home, I would get my proper tool and a new lug and make a proper repair.

The OP gave no indication that this was an emergency repair, the post read like he was working on the boat and needed to connect the cables and lugs. There's no point in doing it wrong, he should buy, borrow, or rent the appropriate tools and make a proper repair, one that is unlikely to fail at an inopportune time.
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:02   #55
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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Make your own crimper. A pair of cheap bolt cutters work pretty well. Use a die grinder and cut off wheel to form the crimp shape in the jaws.
But you'll have to buy a proper crimper so you can measure the depth and angle of the die you are trying to create.

As I posted above, Harbor Freight sells a cheaply made POS crimper that will make a proper crimp on several different sizes.

I say POS because I have used quality tools at work and at home and Ray Charles could tell the difference here instantly. Still, they work and would be fine for a boat owner doing occasional electrical work. A pro would want something better.
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:56   #56
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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. If I were anchored in the middle of nowhere and for some reason found myself needing to attach a cable to a lug and didn't have the correct tool with me, I would probably use the vice grip approach, but as soon as I returned home, I would get my proper tool and a new lug and make a proper repair.
I think it will be another 10 years+ before my boat returns home

Many cruising boats have appalling electrical systems. I shake my head and wonder where to begin, but they nevertheless manage, mostly, successfully.

The wonderfull precise work done by Mainesail et al, is to be applauded, but when I read some comments, made by others, like "replace all soldered connections" I wonder if people are spending too much time in harbour fixing imaginary problems.
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Old 30-04-2013, 18:00   #57
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I think posts that recommend to make crimps on high power cables such as AWG8 and bigger with a tool that is suitable, even if it isn't optimal, like the hydraulic crimper or the nicro crimper, is okay.

But posts that advice to use screwdrivers, hammers, vice-grips etc., none of which can crimp a terminal, should be removed. Next time we hear about a couple of kids died in a boat fire because daddy used vice-grips to crimp the starter cable after reading that here. Completely unacceptable.

If you can't afford the tool, borrow one, rent one or ask somebody with the tool to do it for you. Anybody who looks like I can trust them with it can come to me and borrow it. For free.
Great advice given here. At work I have a proper crimper (bolt cutter style ) with many different dies for all cable sizes. Before I crimp on a lug I first slide on a heavy wall piece of heat shrink, then crimp the connector and heat the shrink tube. Like most people have stated. Use the proper tools. My crimper was around $600.00 but dont expect the average boat owner to have anything quite as expensive. I also find it easier if possible to remove the cables when working on the ends.
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Old 30-04-2013, 18:15   #58
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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S/V Alchemy: Perhaps you should inspect a pair of calibrated crimpers sometime. You might notice that jaws are a simple shape of a certin size and they have greal leverage. I could make a knotch in a pair of boat cutters that would pass any calibration test in about 10 minutes.
If you have a background as a machinist or a millwright, I have no doubt you, a grinder and a micrometer could replicate exactly a range of dies for various gauges in the jaws of a bolt cutter. I do not have such a background, and so must resort to the proper tool.

I save my bolt cutters for the locks for which I've lost keys or combo numbers, and for the possibility that I might have to cut away the stays of a dismasted spar. Otherwise, those cutters stay oiled and wrapped in my "big tool" locker, along with the breaker bars and the 18-inch channel locks I use to access the standpipe.

I get what you're saying, however. I have 12-ton and 20-ton bottlejacks I used to level my boat in the cradle after it started to sink on wet ground. Either could, given something sufficiently inert to push against, could, with a pair of dies, do a reasonably accurate crimp. Unfortunately, finding that sufficiently inert surface would involve leaving the boat.
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Old 30-04-2013, 18:23   #59
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

I use a Greenlee crimper that goes #8 - 1/0.
Greenlee K05-1GL K-Series Crimping Tool, 8-1/0 AWG - Amazon.com

They aren't cheap. The terminals don't come off. I've used the cheap thing in boat shops that you hit with a hammer - it doesn't work well. To get a good crimp, you have to use a die. It compresses the metals together in a way that lesser tools can't do.
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Old 30-04-2013, 18:37   #60
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Re: How do you Crimp #8 AWG Terminals?

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.............. when I read some comments, made by others, like "replace all soldered connections" I wonder if people are spending too much time in harbour fixing imaginary problems.
Would you rather replace them in the harbor with proper tools and materials available or out on the water, drifting towards the rocks?

If you bought a boat with soldered electrical connections, replacing them with crimp connections should be part of your plan to make the boat safe and reliable.
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