Make Electrical Jumpers Using Clothespins

Learn how to quickly and easily make a pair of electrical jumpers using little more than wire and clothespins.
By Wayne Fugate
May/June 1982
Add to My MSN

Learn how to make a simple pair of electrical jumpers using clothespins.

Content Tools
Folks who enjoy fiddling with "nuts 'n' volts" often need to make temporary electrical connections — and there's a handy little item called a jumper that's designed to handle just that job. (Even people who only occasionally deal with electricity will almost certainly be familiar with the large jumpers used to start cars.)
I needed one such connector a few months back. However, a quick search through my toolbox revealed that I was flat out of the ready-made units and even lacked the alligator clips that would have allowed me to put one together quickly. Well, the nearest electrical supply store was several mountainous miles away — and while I couldn't justify wasting the trip (and the fuel) for such a small purchase, neither could I allow myself to weasel out of the job at hand for lack of a simple component.
So, with a mixture of resignation and anticipation, I set out to cobble together a homemade jumper. I began by drilling two 1/8-inch-diameter holes through one jaw of each of a quartet of spring-type wooden clothespins. Then I stripped an inch or so of insulation from the ends of two 4-foot lengths of soft, multistrand No. 12 copper wire.

To assemble the jumpers, I threaded a bare wire end through each spring and pair of holes. The end of the stripped wire was wrapped around the portion going into the first hole, to secure the assembly. (I was careful, though, to keep the bare wire from making contact with the springs.)

I've found that my homemade jumpers work fine in all but the tightest spots. And better still, the insulating quality of the dry wood prevents shocks!


Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.