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'[OT] Lead clipper?'
2006\04\13@212704 by Picdude

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Hi all,

I've got to clip the leads on many, many LEDs, and wondering if there any such thing as a lead clipper?  Regular cutters/nippers are taking a long time, but something as simple as a cutter with a built-in provision or stop to position the cutter-blade at the correct distance would be really helpful.  Any thoughts?

Thanks,
-Neil.

2006\04\13@215841 by Mike Hord

picon face
Perhaps the wire cutter on a pair of pliers?  If you find the right
pair of pliers, you can put the leads through the deeper side of
the clipper.

I've seen devices for cutting and bending leads, but they depend
on the components in question being on a tape of some sort.

Perhaps a piece of foamcore or styrofoam?  Push the leads
through then just run along and snip them even with the surface
on the other side?

Mike H.

On 4/13/06, Picdude <spam_OUTpicdudeTakeThisOuTspamnarwani.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I've got to clip the leads on many, many LEDs, and wondering if there any such thing as a lead clipper?  Regular cutters/nippers are taking a long time, but something as simple as a cutter with a built-in provision or stop to position the cutter-blade at the correct distance would be really helpful.  Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks,
> -Neil.
>
> -

2006\04\13@224339 by Jinx

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> I've got to clip the leads on many, many LEDs, and wondering if there
> any such thing as a lead clipper?  Regular cutters/nippers are taking a
> long time, but something as simple as a cutter with a built-in provision
> or stop to position the cutter-blade at the correct distance would be
> really helpful.  Any thoughts?

I had to do this for some LED displays and tried several methods. All
worked to get length, but pre-clipping as (1) and (2) were experiments
only

1) as Mike Hord suggested, using a piece of drilled mdf

2) glue a piece of mdf to one of the jaws of the cutters. You can cut
with the right hand as you position the bottom of the LED body agin
the mdf. Excess lead is between the jaws

3) insert LEDs with unclipped leads, then flip the board and suspend it
so that LEDs drop to the right length lead. Solder, clip

2006\04\13@230156 by Marcel Duchamp

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Picdude wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I've got to clip the leads on many, many LEDs, and wondering if there any such thing as a lead clipper?  Regular cutters/nippers are taking a long time, but something as simple as a cutter with a built-in provision or stop to position the cutter-blade at the correct distance would be really helpful.  Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks,
> -Neil.
>  

Back in the old days of through hole components (oh god won't they ever
come back?) before the evils of smd, we used to have a small garage shop
(really: in a garage of a house) assembly shop do our board stuffing.  I
once asked the owner how she managed to get the leads trimmed so very
short and nice.  She showed me a small tool with about a 4 inch circular
blade she used to trim the leads after soldering. Zing, zing, zang!
Leads-b-gone.  Right down to the solder mask.  I have no idea where the
tool came from and she is now apparently out of business.

2006\04\13@234016 by Bob Axtell

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Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Yes, there are commercial lead clippers. They are a very high-speed
cutter, sometimes diamond-tipped,
spinning at very high speeds. The PCB is installed into a very rigid jig
which prevents the PCB from being
bent. The back of the PCB is shaved in about 2 seconds.

--Bob


2006\04\13@234730 by Picdude

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The LEDs are all bulk packed, which is the only way they come.  I'd think foram would get destroyed pretty fast (couple thousand LEDs), but perhaps I could use a scrap piece of acrylic of alum...?  Instead of holes though, I think it should be faster to insert the leads from the side into a slot rather than lining up two holes.

I've got a really nice sharp pair of nippers (Klein Tools), and thought about ways to glue a small block of wood or alum to it with a slot in the appropriate place to slip the leads in, but the pointed tip is so small.

But I'm out of town now and have minimal tools to do any creationizing, so I'm still hoping there is a tool specifically for this.

Cheers,
-Neil.




> ---{Original Message removed}

2006\04\13@235817 by Picdude

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> I had to do this for some LED displays and tried several methods. All
> worked to get length, but pre-clipping as (1) and (2) were experiments
> only
>
> 1) as Mike Hord suggested, using a piece of drilled mdf

Possibly.  But ...


> 2) glue a piece of mdf to one of the jaws of the cutters. You can cut
> with the right hand as you position the bottom of the LED body agin
> the mdf. Excess lead is between the jaws

That's sort of what I was thinking too, but the jaws on the cutters I have are so small, that it's difficult to glue anything onto it.


> 3) insert LEDs with unclipped leads, then flip the board and suspend it
> so that LEDs drop to the right length lead. Solder, clip

Sounds sooo cut and dry in theory.  :-)

Perhaps I should go shopping for a pair of cutters with a larger tip and then try to glue something to that.  But still hoping there's a tool I can purchase already made for this purpose.

Cheers,
-Neil.

2006\04\14@000425 by Picdude

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After experimenting with SOIC's about a year or so ago, I've since gone smaller and now regularly solder SSOPs , TQFP's and 0805's -- all with a regular conical-tip soldering iron.  So thru-hole components are the evil ones for me now, though they're obviously much easier for breadboarding.

Trimming after soldering is not an option here, since these LED's have a "bump" on the leads, preventing them from going thru all the way.  I'm specifically keeping the PCB holes for these small, so that it positions the LED's (they're rectangle) at specific angles.

Was this tool designed to cut at a specific distance from the body of the component?  Or are you saying that it cut close to the board since it was done after soldering?

Cheers,
-Neil.


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\04\14@000619 by Picdude

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Know of a manual one that can cut the leads to a specific length *before* it's inserted in the board?

Cheers,
-Neil.



> Yes, there are commercial lead clippers. They are a very high-speed
> cutter, sometimes diamond-tipped,
> spinning at very high speeds. The PCB is installed into a very rigid jig
> which prevents the PCB from being
> bent. The back of the PCB is shaved in about 2 seconds.
>
> --Bob

2006\04\14@004949 by Jinx

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> > 3) insert LEDs with unclipped leads, then flip the board and suspend it
> > so that LEDs drop to the right length lead. Solder, clip
>
> Sounds sooo cut and dry in theory.  :-)

What you have to make sure of is that the board doesn't sag. Otherwise
I found that the quickest way. Extra jigs can help. For example a piece
of card as a spacer so that LEDs are pretty much perpendicular to the
PCB. This ia helpful if you go column by column and have to solder on
the top side. Ideally you'd want a former under the board that has the final
positions of the LED bodies drilled into it. The depth of those holes isn't
important as the flange stops the LED going no further in than the body

For a short run, without jigs, there aren't too many time-savers

2006\04\14@090500 by M. Adam Davis

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Sounds like you'll end up making it yourself.  I think the autmated
method would be to get the LEDs in a tape reel and cut them off the
reel at the correct length.

-Adam

On 4/13/06, Picdude <picdudespamKILLspamnarwani.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I've got to clip the leads on many, many LEDs, and wondering if there any such thing as a lead clipper?  Regular cutters/nippers are taking a long time, but something as simple as a cutter with a built-in provision or stop to position the cutter-blade at the correct distance would be really helpful.  Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks,
> -Neil.
>
> -

2006\04\14@103813 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
Picdude wrote:
> Was this tool designed to cut at a specific distance from the body of the component?  Or are you saying that it cut close to the board since it was done after soldering?
>
> Cheers,
> -Neil.
>

The tool was a motor with shaft oriented vertically and mounted to an
arm with an elbow joint. The pcb was laid in an adjustable sized tray
with the pcb upside down.  The blade clearance was adjustable from zero
up a 1/10" or so.

Put in a board, grab the motor by hand and swing across the pcb.  Leads
fly off, board is smooth.  Once in a great while, she would take off a
tiny bit of solder mask here and there.

If you want to trim leads before soldering, there are machines that
accept through hole parts on tape and are often hand-cranked.  Check
around with assembly houses in your area.  If someone has one, they
probably would not charge much to take a reel of parts and chop them for
you.

2006\04\14@134403 by Peter

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On Thu, 13 Apr 2006, Picdude wrote:

> Know of a manual one that can cut the leads to a specific length
> *before* it's inserted in the board?

Some lead benders can do that. They look like a large office stapler.
When you punch down they bend and cut. I don't have a make name for you,
sorry. Probably Greenlee etc (the usual 'suspects') will have something.

Peter

2006\04\14@142937 by VULCAN20

picon face
Have you thought about using a dremel moto tool with an abrasive cut off
disk/  After they are soldered in of course?

Picdude wrote:

>>I had to do this for some LED displays and tried several methods. All
>>worked to get length, but pre-clipping as (1) and (2) were experiments
>>only
>>    
>>

2006\04\16@000658 by Picdude

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It's sounding more and more like it.  I'm shocked that this is not a common item.  Only thing here is that the manufacturer does not offer these LEDs in T&R -- only bulk packed.

-Neil.


> ---{Original Message removed}

2006\04\16@000847 by Picdude

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But these *must* be cut *vefore* they are populated/soldered.

-Neil.



{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\04\18@053719 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Back in the old days of through hole components ...
>She showed me a small tool with about a 4 inch circular
>blade she used to trim the leads after soldering. Zing, zing, zang!

Never seen one, but heard them described - bit like a tractor carried lawn
mower upside down ;))

However for the OP's problem, do I understand you want to trim the leads
before stuffing? If so, I would be tempted to use a piece of material of
suitable thickness for the desired lead length, and something that will
clamp the component onto it, such as a bar with some sponge, and then use a
paper guillotine (the sort with the blade you lift up, not the sliding disk
type) to shear the leads against the back of the spacer piece.

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