Gimp Pins
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Gimp Pin Removing Tool for Beekeeping

A tool made from a pair of side cutters that can be used for removing gimp pins from bee hive frames and other beekeeping parts.

Microshear flush cutters, original shape The original side cutters were a pair of 'Microshear' flush cutters that were purchased during the 1970s for removing component leads that were too long after being soldered into a printed circuit. They had an original appearance very similar to the small illustration at right. They had considerable use and eventually one of the jaws snapped off about half way along their original length. There is no suggestion that the material was faulty as they must have clipped hundreds of thousands of wires in their life. At this point they were chucked in the bottom of the tool box 'in case they come in useful', sure enough, shortly afterwards I had a need to remove a large number of gimp pins from some experimental nucleus frames that had been assembled incorrectly.

I shortened the jaws even further and re-shaped the outside edges of the jaws until they were very similar to their original design, but the jaws were much shorter and stubbier, the tips of the jaws were thinned down and relieved so that they were easily able to be forced under the lip of the 'penny on a stick' shaped gimp pin heads, then the pin could be levered out until the shaft was far enough exposed to allow the tool to be re-positioned for another pull.

The illustration at far right shows the tool as it was in 2006 after many years of use and abuse, the small inset shows the under surface of the jaws. The two holes that are in the handles originally had rivets in that anchored the ends of a spring that aided opening, but that broke at sometime during their life and was never replaced.

Using the tool does leave behind a triangular impression in the wood, but this does not actually remove any wood fibres, as many of the parts concerned will receive further treatment that involves steeping the wooden parts in water or water based solutions, this causes no problems as the wood fibres swell back to their original positions.

  Modified side cutters, for removing gimp pins

 Written... 26, 30 September 2006,
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