How to Unwind (and Rewind) A Hammer Wire
By: Tony Dziepak, Track and Field Enthusiast
I have unwound hundreds of track & field hammer wires over 30 years, and I never needed a tool except for removing a broken wire.
The main point to derive from this article is that it is important not to scratch the wire, which may possibly create a weak spot where the wire could break. You don't need plyers or any other tool. My technique is to place the long end of the wire in one hand, place the double wound section of the hammer in the other end, and place both thumbs on either side of the wire end, being careful to keep your thumb ends 1/2" away from the actual end, which may be sharp, in some cases.
Apply gentile pressure with the thumbs to create daylight between the end of the wire and the adjacent long part of the wire. Create just enough od a gap to (hypothetically) slip a credit card in. Then, maintaining that gap, put side pressure to make the wire end pass over and around the shaft without having the sharp end of the wire etch the wire and create a weak spot. This is the spot where most wires break, usually on a cold day with a wire that has been etched by improper opening.
Once you get the wire end past, it is easy to just untwist the rest of the wire.
Also when closing the wire, easily retwist most of the wire, but at the end, do not let the wire snap shut. Take care to do apply pressure with both thumbs to guide the wire end closed while maintaining a gap to prevent the wire from being scratched.
That's it for my tips on unwinding a hammer wire.
This article is a reprint from The Throwers Page.