Soldering DIY control cables

After yesterdays clutch cable failure I needed to repair it urgently for a trip tomorrow. The failure was due to the nipple I soldered on a year or so ago pulling off the cable, so a fix would be to just solder on a new one, however I wanted to do a better job this time.

The proper way to do this is to produce a ‘birdcage’ on the cable end for which Venhill sell a tool costing £160! Fortunately Google found me a random forum post about making a DIY tool that looked straight forward. Sure enough, and hour or so later I had made a nice practice birdcage.

The tool itself is two small bits of aluminium sheet which are clamped together and two concentric holes are drilled down the join. For my 2.5mm cable a smaller 2mm hole is a channel for the cable to be clamped in. and the bigger 5mm hole at the top is the gap to form the birdcage in.

(I took 2 attempts getting this right, first one had bigger small hole which didn’t clamp cable properly.)

To make the birdcage you need a punch with a concave tip to fit over cable end. I made this from a 6mm bolt that I filed the threads off to get a 5mm diameter bit of steel, then I put a dimple in the end with the tip of a 4mm drill bit.

With the cable end clamped in a vice between the bits of aluminium so that 5mm was protruding into the wider hole, a couple of firm taps with the puch made a nice birdcage :smiley:

From my efforts last year I already had some flux that was meant for stainless steel as well as a solder pot from Amazon. So I was good to go.

(Note, my workshop is the conservatory, which also doubles up as Mrs Mouse’s greenhouse, hence the drying garlic in shot :slight_smile: )


Looks like a good job: I can’t see that nipple coming off anytime soon. And the garlic would keep the vampires away while you were doing it.

Very clever! :+1::+1:

I think the plumes of rosin fumes would do that too!

That pic is after the fumes have started to die down. I needed to evacuate conservatory after adding a top-up of flux cored solder to the already molten stuff.


Thats a tidy looking job :grinning:

Proper job :clap: :clap: :+1:

well done!