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Make Your Own Large Copper Terminals For a Few Cents Each

March 17, 2012

If you’ve priced heavy copper terminals, you know they aren’t cheap. Most run a dollar or two and it adds up. One way to make a great woking terminal is to scrounge some scraps of copper. (Plumbers usually have short scraps they can’t use.) I bought a 15 foot long roll of 5/16″ soft tubing at the scrap yard for $3.00  and using a tubing cutter, cut the tubing a little longer than an inch. I used a vice to crimp one end and then put the flat in the vice and drilled it. We cranked out a dozen terminals in a matter of minutes. If you solder the wire in, they are absolutely as good or better than new ones because some are copper plated and these are solid. Next time you see a scrap of copper tube, throw it in the parts bin. Instead of having too many expensive terminals, or not enough, make your own and save some money.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. OmnivoreNZ permalink
    March 30, 2012 3:33 am

    A slight improvement – before you flatten the end of the tube, squash it at the half-way point between two round bars. This gives you a smooth transition from circular to flat and makes for a stronger result. Damned if I can remember where I saw this suggestion, but using copper pipe to make terminals is described on p188 of Sep 1945 of Popular Science 🙂

  2. March 31, 2014 11:36 am

    Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!

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