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Plier Modifications - Jaw Shapes
Article © MAIL User: thexnihil

Here are some simple plier modifications that may be of use. You will need a grinder or something that removes metal for most of these. It is important to note that you will want to have a bucket of water handy, because if the jaws heat up, they will lose their temper. To know if the jaws are too hot, look at the oxidization that forms, I suggest quenching as soon as you see ANY color, but it is probably safe until they turn a dark brown. Also note that the shorter you make the jaws, the more force there will be applied.

Modification#1: for general use.
Image: pm1.jpg
These jaws are my personal 'general use' favorite. They work like a normal box jaw, except they have that hallowed area which allows you to get more of a feel for the ring without jeopardizing the grip. They also have a small point at the top of the hallow, which allows you to reach into some places a bit. In order to get this shape, I suggest starting with a pair of box jaw pliers and grinding out the negative area.

Modification#2: for general use.
Image: pm2.jpg
This is another type of needle nosed pliers that is good for those of us that like to use the entire length of the jaw to hold the ring. The angle allows you to hold your wrist at a more friendly angle while still getting a good grip on the entirety of the ring. To make these I suggest starting with a pair of needle nose pliers, cutting them down to about an inch jaw, or less, then grinding the angle in.

Modification#3: for general use.
Image: pm3.jpg
These pliers are great for working on small work, and for doing awkward reaching. They also work well on general work. To make these I suggest starting with box jaw pliers, then grinding the shape in.
Modification#4: for specialty closing.
Image: pm4.jpg
These pliers work very well for those people that like to stick the jaws through the ring and 'pull down' to close it. The rounded jaws give you more grip and less distortion while closing the ring. These specific pliers have a 1/4" radius on them, however, because the jaws are needle nose shaped they will close smaller rings than 1/4"id ones. To make these i suggest starting with needle nosed pliers, cutting the jaws to 1" or less, then grinding the radius in.

Another type of pliers: general use.
Image: pm5.jpg
These pliers are self closing pliers. The spring closing them can hold up to 7/32"id spring steel rings. These are not easily made, however, if you do have the tools, I suggest making them. The basic plier shape is in red. The two most critical things to take into account when making these are: the jaw shape: keep it very short so there is good pressure; the spring/leverage: you want the spring as far back as you can get it, so you have a lot of leverage. I suggest making the spring removable so you can adjust the pliers based on what metal you are using.

All of these pliers can be modified and made in a whole host of different ways. Be creative and experiment.
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