G'day; I use anodised knitting pins. Cut them down to
whatever is a suitable length, make a little hacksaw cut across a
blunt end. (enlarge it with a magneto file if necessary) Put it
in your SLOW speed drill or use an eggbeater type hand drill in
your bench vise. Tuck the end of the annealed wire in the slot,
make a few turns, grip the knitting pin and wire lightly between
two little bits of thin ply (or leather) held in your fingers,
and wind away.
I too hated cutting down the length of the coil (like all the
books tell you) and used naughty words when the saw broke
(frequently) So I got a Dremel and flex shaft, using those ultra
thin 'separating discs' which are 0.5mm x 25mm grinding wheels.
They work, but one needs to hold the coil gently at each end in a
little vice - I use my drill vice. Gets quicker with practice.
Knitting pins aren't very costly, can often be obtained at garage
sales etc, and come in a good - and close - variety of sizes.
Especially useful for those who want to make graduated chains -
including Idiot's Delight chains (PhD). El Cheepo mandrels!
/ / John Burgess,
/ //\ @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \
/ (___) \