Speedy Component Replacement
By:  Al Klase
The obvious way to replace a leaded component, such as a capacitor, is to “excavate” the two solder joints using a solder sucker and various tools to clear the solder and unwrap the wire leads from the terminal.  Unfortunately, this is not only time consuming, but is also likely to result in an unsightly mess if not actual damage to irreplaceable parts.  All too often the component being replaced was the first one wrapped around the terminal.  Even if the repairman exercises extreme care, the original craftsmanship is destroyed.
An answer to this problem comes to us from the 1950’s.  Sprague capacitors, packaged for replacement service, came with devices called quigs.  These were small spirals of wire heavily coated with solder and flux.  The recommended procedure was to cut the leads of the old components leaving a generous stub.  The new cap was then sleeved onto the old leads with the quigs.  A brief application of the soldering iron completed the job.
Quigs are now vanishingly rare, but a similar technique can still be used.  Cut the leads of the old part near the component body.  Twist tight “pigtails” in the leads of the new device.  Thread these over the old wires, and solder in the usual manner.
A convenient tool for forming the “pigtails” can be fashioned from common hobby-shop materials.  It consists of two short lengths of brass tubing, 1/16” and 3/32” diameter, soldered to a length of 0.040” music wire, and glued into a handle made of thick-walled 5/16” plastic tubing.  When the end of a component lead is inserted into the brass tube, a neat spiral can be quickly formed.

Another alternative is a stiff piece of wire or drill rod held in a pin vice.  With luck, the collet will have sufficient open space to insert the end of the lead.

This technique allows a capacitor to be replaced in just a minute or two, even if its buried deeply in the chassis.  (This is a real boon when doing a Hallicrafters SX-28!)  The results are tidy and preserve the original craftsmanship of the radio.