Assembly Instructions for Neptune Triggers
Neptune Triggers are very easy to assemble. They can either be screwed, or glued, to secure a particular shape of trigger. Lets look at the two options.
Screw Your Triggers
The use of #6 X 5/8″ stainless steel screws creates a strong connection in the corners. A 5/64″ pilot hole is first drilled through the slit pipe and male stud of the one piece end piece. Then the SS screw is added. Aside from forming a good connection, it also offers a method where the screw can be removed to reorient the fingers, or to replace damaged fingers. The screwing method can be used on both the ABS and PolyPro plastic end pieces. We use an assembly jig to hold the semi assembled trigger in the same position as the previous one. We drill our pilot holes with a Dremel type tool and then we add the screws. Using a jig like this would be more appropriate for building large numbers of triggers. Assembly jigs are easy to make with plywood and 2 X 2’s. For smaller amounts, the other assembly method using PVC cement is probably the best choice.
Glue Your Triggers
You must use the black ABS end pieces if want to cement your triggers together to the ABS slit pipe. We recommend using PVC solvent cement. You should do this in a well ventilated location and also use protective gloves. Once your fingers are slid in the slit pipe, you can hang 2 side pieces on a sidepiece holder extending out from a bench top. You would dab cement on both the male studs on one of the end piece and quickly insert them into the ends of the slit pipe. You would make an initial adjustment at this time to get the finger tip gap you want. You would then do this again to other end piece and insert it as well. Now you would take it off the holder, stand it up on the bench and make the final finger angle and gap adjustments. The cement sets up quick so be prepared. It should be allowed to cure a couple of hours at least. Stack them on their ends in a nesting manner to cure.
Preparation for Screwing or Gluing Neptune Triggers
In order to make a finished trigger you first have slide the finger units into the slit pipe. Make sure there is enough room on both ends of the slit pipe to allow the male stud on the end pieces to be fully inserted. On numerous trigger designs, you must cut off one of the ‘spacer studs” molded on each finger unit to allow the room for the male elbow stud. This also makes it easier to match up the ribbed sides of the fingers so that they are on the same side. In general, we recommend the finger ribs be on the walking surface for crab and lobster species. For fish pots, we recommend the smooth side be on the inside.
We use a ‘sidepiece hanger’ to hold 2 of our side pieces holding the finger units. This hanger is simply two dowels, or pieces of plastic pipe, that extend out from the edge of a bench. They would be spaced to hold a particular finger unit size, either for regular finger units or mini finger units. For triggers that are to be cemented, you would now daub PVC cement on both studs of the first end piece and insert into the sidepieces. Make a preliminary angle adjustment, and then add the second end piece. You would then remove the trigger from the sidepiece holder, stand on end on the bench, make your final finger angle adjustments and set aside to cure.
If you are screwing your triggers you would still use the sidepiece holder to help hold the pieces in place while you insert the orange end piece studs into the ends of the slit pipe. You would now adjust the trigger to get your desired shape and then put it on the screwing jig for final assembly.
Finger tip gap is important in making Neptune Triggers work as desired. For cod, we have our finger tips just about touching and they are slightly offset from the opposing fingers which helps prevent escape. For larger crab species, the fingers don’t have to be offset and work with a variety of gaps depending on the size of the crab. For Dungeness crab, we have discovered that a gap of around 1″ between opposing finger tips works well.
All of the above info about finger tip gap relates to side entry applications. When a trigger is made for a top entry pot, it is important to leave a good sized gap between the finger tips. This allows easy access. In NZ the preferred gap in the spiny lobster top entry pots is around 3″. For crab species, you might want something wider considering their legs are wider than a lobster.