Here are the instructions to make a small guide from wood to be used
when coiling square wire. The dimensions aren’t really critical, so
they can be adjusted to suit the available wood supply. That’s
provided you don’t go so large as to make the tool cumbersome. 1/4
inch thick lattice or large paint stirring paddles work well.
1. Cut a piece of wood 6 x 1 1/2 x 1/4".
2. Cut a piece of wood 3 x 1 1/2 x 1/4".
3. Mark a center line the long way on the 3 " piece.
4. Place a mark on the center line 3/8 " from each end.
5. Cut a notch centered in the end of the handle about 1/8" wide x 1/4" deep.
6. Place the 3" piece over the 6" piece with 1 end flush with 1 end of the 6" piece.
7. Tape the 2 pieces together with masking tape. Don't cover the 2 marks.
8. Drill a 3/16" hole through the 2 pieces at the marks.
9. Insert a suitably sized machine screw (8-32 or 10-32 x 1") through the 2 holes.
Insert it so the screw head is against the 6" piece.
10. Secure the screws with a wing nut to facilitate tightening & loosening.
11. Sand all wood edges to remove any splinters. If desired, the expose end of the
6" piece can be shaped into handle to make it easier to hold.
Place the wire to be coiled between the 2 pieces of wood so it
passes to the right of the front screw, to the left of the rear screw
& through the slot in the handle.
Depending on the shape of the wire, square, 1/2 round or
triangular, and the desired position of the flat side in the coil,
place a flat side against the appropriate part of the tool. Adjust the
wire so about 1" protrudes from the front of the tool.
Tighten the wing nuts loosely, to keep the wire in the selected
Attach the end of the wire to the mandrel.
Slowly turn the mandrel until the wire guide contacts the mandrel.
Leaving an edge of the guide in contact with the mandrel while
wrapping the coil facilitates any required adjustments.
Watch the lay of the wire while coiling. If the wire begins to
twist, Rotate the wire guide in the opposite direction to correct the
If several wraps have twisted before the error is noticed, uncoil
those wraps by reversing the mandrel direction & holding the uncoiling
wire taut with the guide.
Re-wrap the wire by carefully guiding it onto the mandrel until
the guide again is in contact with the mandrel.
Holding the tool so the handle is on the bottom allows the wire
supply to pass between the heel of the hand & the handle. With the
tool in this position, it’s easy to adjust the wing nuts if more or
less tension is required while winding.
When tightening the wing nuts, the tendency is to over tighten. This
makes it difficult to wind even coils. A little experimentation will
help determine the correct adjustment. Generally, the rear wing nut
can be a little looser than the front.
If the edges of the tool become worn through repeated use, turning
the pieces over will expose an unworn surface.
If you want to make the tool from metal, a thin piece of leather can
cemented to the working sides of the guide to prevent marring the