Tutorial: Make Twisted Wire

  1. Sienna's Avatar
    Sienna Sienna is offline Multi-Core Processor
    How To, DIY

    Make Twisted Wire

    Estimated Time
    10 minutes
    Skills Required
    Basic knowledge of power tools
    Parts Required
    The wires you want to twist
    Tools Required
    Power Drill
    Today we are going to make some twisted cables. While I talk about servo cables today, this method really works for just about any cable bundle you want to use.

    I have some servo extension cables that I will be needing for my robot. Now, they are the regular, boring kind:
    Attachment 295

    So, lets spruce them up a little, shall we?

    First, you need to gently pry apart the cables that make up the bundle, if they are 'glued' together.
    Attachment 296

    Next, put one end of the wire bundle into the chuck of a portable drill. Lightly tighten it up, but don't crush it! Just enough force to keep it in.
    Attachment 297

    Hold the other end in your hand (or in a vise if you are twisting a long bunch of wire).
    Attachment 298

    Run the power drill until you start seeing the cable kink up. As you twist, make sure that you keep tension on wire, keep pulling it away from the drill. The amount of tension you apply is really up to you. Bare wire can wistand a lot more tension then wire that already has terminations on it (especially when you are holding the terminations themselves like in the picture). I generally stop twisting when I see kinks starting to form in the wire.
    Attachment 299

    After you start seeing the kinks, stop the drill. Keep the tension on the wire for a little bit, say thirty seconds or so. Then you can take the wire out of the drill and enjoy your new twisted cables!
    Attachment 300

    Sometimes, with these homebrew twisted cables, you might need to twist them up a couple of turns when installing them into your creations. If not properly tensioned, they have a tendancy to come a little loose during storage.
    Attached Files
    • Wire_Twist_1
    • Wire_Twist_2
    • Wire_Twist_3
    • Wire_Twist_4
    • Wire_Twist_5
    • Wire_Twist_6

Replies to Tutorial: Make Twisted Wire
  1. Re: Make Twisted Wire

    Bravo Sienna! Excellent work on this one.
    I can handle complexity. It's the simple things that confound me.
    Do everything in moderation, ESPECIALLY, moderation..
    Sometimes the only way to win, is not to play.. -- Stephen Falken

  2. Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Carol Stream, Illinois

    Re: Make Twisted Wire

    very cool work Sienna! I never thought of using a drill to do this. I've always used my good 'ol fingers, which took way longer and they always turned out like crap

    This so helps out

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

  3. Re: Make Twisted Wire

    One way to keep the wires from untwisting is to rub the shaft of a screwdriver up and down the length of the wires a few times while they are still under tension. It really helps the wires to take their new shape.


  4. Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Portland, OR

    Re: Make Twisted Wire

    You foiled my plans to make an "Aww girly hair braiding skills applied to robotics" comment by doing it the efficient way with a drill. Bah!

    Great writeup, had never thought of doing it that way and doing it by hand hurts after awhile.

  5. Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Make Twisted Wire

    Great tutorial Sienna! I used to make twisted pairs at work with that method... How d'you shoot the picture with the termination in one hand, drill in the other? Now that's skill!
    Sleep? You don't need sleep...


  6. Re: Make Twisted Wire

    I put the camera on a tripod, and put the remote shutter release between my teeth, and tried really hard!!!

    Nah, the drill is just sitting on the carpet :P

    And actually, the inspiration for this came from one of my former jobs. I saw them doing this to 25ft bundles of wire, and said "duh! So thats how they do it!"

  7. robot maker Guest

    Re: Make Twisted Wire

    very nice,i work at a company that makes hand held equipment and on the production line they started using a drill to make twisted wire,i make high end in house testers for checking boards after solder wave,and since i make production line testers,i design one little like that on using a dc motor with a wire grip and encoder with timer circuit so the you can set the time of the wires to twist on the other end depending on the length needed it is adjustable
    at home when making robots i use a drill

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