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Making a Wooden Wire Jenny
Article © MAIL User: affinityofmist

You may need to use a table saw in this project, so please be careful. There is a step that can be unsafe if you are careless.

Tools/materials required:

Safety Glasses
Ruler or tape measure
Table saw (you can use a hand miter saw)
1” wood chisel (if you only have a handsaw a chisel may be needed to nock the notch out of the 2x4” or use a router for that matter)
Drill press or hand drill
1/4” drill bit
3/8” drill bit
5/16” drill bit
Screwdriver or socket set depending on the type of bolt you use.

1 – 12” long 2x4”
1 – 4” long 2x4”
4 – 1/4” diameter wooden dowels about 4” long (you can use steel rods instead)
1 – 3/8” machine thread bolt about 2.5” long
1 – heavy-duty spring that fits over the bolt threads. About 1/2” to 3/4” long
3 – washers that fit over the bolt threads to sandwich the spring between and to put between the wood pieces.
4 or so 1.25” drywall screws

The only hard part about making this wire jenny is ripping the 2x4” in half and cutting the notch in it. The rest should be pretty straight forward.

For the following steps, look at the first picture for reference.

Image: figure1.jpg

Step 1 – Take the 12” 2x4” and cut/rip it right down the center with a table saw. You can use a hand saw for this step but it will take a lot longer to cut. This gives you two pieces of wood that are close to 1.5”x1.5” square. You can trim them so they are closer to 1.5”x1.5” but it’s not a big deal. Also, cut the 4” 2x4” down the center. Discard one side of the 4” piece, you’ll only use one.

Step 2 – Drill 5 - 1/4” holes spaced 1” apart from each side of the wood. Drill down about 3/4” or 1”. Repeat for the other piece. Look at the above picture for reference. Using a drill press is best, but if you use a hand drill, just make sure your holes are straight. You can drill the 3/8” hole now, but if you wait until they are screwed together you won’t have to line them up.

Step 3 – Here is the hardest part. Cutting the slot. I measured the location for the slot and set the blade on my table saw to 3/4” high. I kept taking out wood with the saw until it was all even. Please be careful, this step can be dangerous. If you have a Dado saw blade you can make this step much safer and easier. You can even do it with a router or a hand saw and wood chisel if you want. If it comes out looking like the picture you’re good to go. After you are done with the first piece, take the next piece and cut the slot on the opposite side. If you don’t cut it in the opposite side you’ll have holes on the wrong side. Just make your pieces match the drawing and it will work.

Step 4 – Screw the pieces together to get an “X” (I like to use 2 wood screws on each side) and drill your 3/8” hole in the middle. Take the 5/16” drill bit and drill a hole in the end of the 4”piece of wood to about 1 inch deep. Make sure those holes are as centered as possible. The bolt will need to be forced into the wood to create its own threads so it fits nice and tight.

Step 5 – Screw the 3/8” bolt into the 4” piece of wood. It will be hard to start, but pine is soft and the bolt will make its own threads as you go. Screw until the bolt is about 1” deep. Take the bolt out and get ready to assemble the jenny.

Image: figure2.jpg

Step 6 – Assembly. Take your “X”, the 4” piece of wood, the bolt, spring and washers and assemble them on to the bolt in this order: Washer, spring, washer, “X”, washer, and 4” piece of wood. Make sure the bolt screws into the threads you made in the previous step. Tighten until the spring is compressed and you have a nice tight turning tension for your wire.

Step 7 – Place the 1/4” dowels in the holes where they best hold on to a coil of wire. Then mount the jenny in a bench vise or similar clamp and adjust the screw tension for perfect winding. You may want to use steel rods that are bent at the ends so the wire doesn’t fall off, but I just use it horizontally and I have no problems.

I hope this helps with some of the coil wire problems. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions.
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