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How to Build an Economical Draw Bench

After spending about two days without a draw bench after leaving school, I realized that pulling wire down by hand was just not for me. I set out to find a way to do it better, but not spend very much money.

My solution was very simple. I had noticed other production draw benches that incorporated the use of a winch to do the pulling. The winch was the key element. So I called a marine supply store and got the price on a small trailer winch. It was $30 total (basic winch, $20 and the nylon pull strap, $10). After purchasing that, I went to a hardware store and got a 3/8″ steel rod. You will also need a pair of draw tongs, that you should already have if you have spent hours drawing by hand. If not any jewelry supply catalog or store will have them (I suggest the expensive German kind, they are worth it, I promise). The last element is a small C-clamp. That is all you need.

The assembly is childís play. What you need to do:

  1. Remove the large hook from the end of the nylon pull strap on the boat winch. It should be cut with a band saw carefully, make sure you do not break the nylon hoop at the end of the strap because that is where the draw tongs will connect.
  2. Next, you will need to cut the steel rod into two 6″ pieces. The way I assembled this devise requires drilling into the table on which you are putting the drawing device. I drilled two 3/8″ holes about 3″ away from each other, then I hammered the 6″ steel rods into those holes. These rods will be the holders for the drawplates, just like on a big expensive draw bench.
  3. The next step is to place the winch. I set mine about 2-1/2 feet away from the drawplate posts. (Note: This does not take up much room, I am still able to use the space in between the parts of the draw bench).

That is the basic construction. Most, if not all, draw tongs have one “J” curve handle, this is where the draw tongs will connect to the loop at the end of the nylon strap.
The C-clamp is used to hold the jaws of the draw tongs closed during pulling.

That is all. I hope that you find this as easy to do as I did. I assure you that it is much easier than doing it by hand and much cheaper than purchasing a large draw bench.

Author: Clark Walker

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