First I would like to say that I am by no stretch of the imagination a snare expert. I am the opposite. In fact I'm only about half way through construction of my first real arsenal. I have hit more than my share of hurdles and the learning curve at times didn't have much of a curve at all. Since I was unable to find all this info in one spot (in fact it came from threads, archives, pm's, emails,manuals, and telephone calls) I thought someone might benefit from my legwork if they were interested in duplicating some or all of my thread. I will admit that I may have done things incorrectly or made poor choices in different aspects. This is just a general construction, you can swap what you want.
And in no particular order I would like to thank Spek Jones, Takotna, HFT, nook sack, TJ, Northway, Family Trapper and anyone else that sent photos and answered my questions. I'm sure I'll have plenty more.
There seems to be two very distinct snare factions, those that love wire and those that hate it. I can see the reasons some would not like the wire. It is a little involved to install at the beginning and causes some headaches upon retrieval.
But I also think that it has distinct advantages and with Spek Jones
ingenuity with the snap anchor, and a couple other innovations, it's nearly perfect.
The snares I made and am making are made of the following components:
3/32 1x19 cable
3/32 Thompson locks
Annealed nuts(two biggest sizes from snare shop)
1/8"x5/8" flat washers
1/4" snapsThe Wire
I cut the #9 to lengths to about 8 feet. By the time the ends were processed this left me with about seven feet of working wire on
the snare. I was getting about 22 snares out of a ten pound roll, so I'd cut the whole roll. With only one vise, I would do all the pigtails first and then switch the vise over for the snap end twist. To rehash for those that aren't familiar( there still are some ) the pigtail is used to provide an in-line swivel as well as facilitating a nice hang of your snare no matter the wire orientation. I found a bunch of 8"
nails that were just slightly
bigger in diameter than the wire. (you might want a couple spares as there may be bending and scarring) Cut the head off with cable cutters. Place horizontal in vise about 3/8" from the top and crush vise down. Bend end of 9
wire into a 90. Figure about one wrap per inch of this tail. ( I was bending 8-9 inches over= 8-9 wraps) Place longer length in space
above nail. Attach vise grips to wire end.
Begin wrapping the wire around the nail holding an even pressure through the arc of the turn.( The longer end will pivot a bit above
the nail until it comes up against the vise. If it doesn't catch you may have to drop the nail lower.) This will give a nice tight even wrap. When you get to the end, I was using the vise grips to squeeze the last little bit as opposed to pinching and turning. This avoids the nail getting chewed up and bent by the grips. This was only a seven wrapper in the pic. I went with 8,9, or even 10. I felt I wanted a little more in case the crap hits the fan.
So what I was doing next was taking the vise grips and locking onto the nail tight up to pigtail. This will keep it from sliding in the next step. I never really saw this done before and I wondered how guys were getting their tails turned. This is what I came up with. Take
the long end out of the vise and slowly bend it straight up perpendicular to the pigtail. Slide a screw driver in between the vise and the pigtail. After you do one you will know how much space to leave there when you clamp the grips.
Now with your palm slowly push the length down toward the vise bending it smoothly over the screw driver. This lines the pigtail up with the rest of the wire as well as gives a nice flat seat for your washer. Leave the screwdriver there and release the grips. Use the grips to tap against the screwdriver to get the tail off the nail.
Set aside and move onto the next 20 or so. Snap End
I was putting a twist end in my wire for the snaps as I couldn't get the wrap around method to look very good and I didn't like getting poked by the end. There was some debate on the strength of the twist and I was curious so I put it in a two ton hydraulic lift. The wire
broke first in three tests. Nothing scientific, but good enough for me. In fact I put the whole completed snare through the same test. The weak link was the pigtail. With no inline scale, I have no idea at the weight it began to unravel, but it was substantial. I ran two snares head to head though with different sized washers. The 5/8" outlasted the 7/16 every time. That's why I went with the wide guy.To do the twist
Bend end back 2 1/2 to 3 inches and place ends in vise.
Insert spike or long screwdriver and twist in smooth action holding tension away from vise. This will give nice even wraps.
Before you remove the twist from the vise, now is a good time to put on the snap, ID tags, and/or the SleepyCreek restraining device.
I had to do both at different times as I was waiting on an order from the snare shop on the first and hadn't yet invented the second.
(It's optional of course.) I clipped my ID tags on the snap loop and the restrainer is nothing more than an 18" or so piece of #16 wire
wrapped on the twist. The snare restrainer comes into play a little down the line so read on to see if you want it. There wire is wound tight enough to stay on the twist, but loose enough to swivel around. I also bent 1/8" back on itself on the free end. Dont like getting my hands poked and wanted to give my eye a fightin chance as i like to poke various things in them from time to time. Here's a pic though. The Sleepy Creek Can
Now we are ready to coil. I MacGrubered up a paint can with a bolt tightened near the opening. As I said I didn't have my snaps yet so I just put the wire loop over the bolt and wrap the wire around the can. Actually works better with the snap.
So this is what you should have, but with snaps and other accouterments . The Cable
I cut my cable at 75". And used the medium nut as a stop. Lay flat on a table and bend your lock cradle with needle nose plyers away from lay of cable. I was using a peg sticking out of the side of the hydraulic lift to load on. You will have to do your own research on loading, as that's a big ball of wax. I was doing a medium load getting a 22-23" loop when I put the lock on. Nice round circle. I had a pigtail wired to a jack that I would slide each snare into to check each for overall appearance and firing action. If they passed they moved onto a big pile, if not they got adjustments.Bringing them together
I'd slide a cable into the pigtail, put on a washer, and then for this stop I was using the large nuts from the snare shop. Initially this was because I ran out of the medium ones, but I kind of like the width it gave on the large washer so I went with those.
Now initially I was wrapping the snare cable around the coiled wire to contain everything. This sucks if you ask me. The snare end always wants to pop out and the wire may have weird wows in it that cause the whole thing to puff up to a couple inches thick. A complaint that I share with a "non wire" guy. And this wrapping and unwrapping the cable around the wire? It crazy and a PIA. The wolf manual says something about wrapping the 9 wire around the cable and it "springing out" ready to party. Whatever!
So this is where the Sleepy Creek restraint comes in. Once you have everything coiled up you just wrap the 16 wire around the close edge once and then go across to the far edge. This allows you to keep the cable on one plain without the winding and waste of time
and it will
actually spring out. If your restraint is too long wrap the excess down the length of snare, if too short do the same at
This keeps everything nice and flat and only takes about two seconds to secure or deploy. And then when making a set just fold it up 3 or 4 times or wrap around the tree.
So here's a quarter of what I'm doing for now. You can get 70 snares in a roughneck tote, so 35-40 in a bucket. These are tied in groups of 5 and have been bathed in Coleman fuel. Need to be boiled and painted yet.
Field test in the back yard. Could have mashed the restraint down more. Actually bending it up like that works good when recouping. Just shove that in the can and it stays out of your way.
More field testing. Had the dog on the porch and waved a treat from the bottom of the stairs. Interesting discovery, on steep or trecherous ground they look at their feet. Milo is getting quite snare wary, but I got him on the old "stair/milk bone set".