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Does nail polish work well as ...

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by AB2T, Nov 7, 2010.

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  1. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member

    ... a temporary bare wire insulator?

    I was in the dollar store tonight and saw a rack of nail polish jars for a buck each. I remember hearing somewhere that having a bright color nail polish in the toolbox is useful for temporary insulation. Ideas?

    I'm going to give it try. Is it okay to paint the polish over solder?

    73, Jordan
  2. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member

    Nail polish is good for your fingernails with a good undercoat and a top coat and clean and buffed nails.

    I prefer acrylics or fiberglass myself they last longer and are tough. :p

    Nail polish has no use in electronics.
    As soon as you put it on a wire it will flake off. :)

    It's not designed to stick to anything that doesn't have pours.

    Your nails have pours, wire doesn't. :cool:
  3. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member

    d'oh! I thought it could be a cheap alternative to shrink tubing.

    Since I don't do drag, it's a buck lost. Crap.

    73, Jordan
  4. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member

    You can use it for anti-tamper on coil slugs, trimcaps and trimpots.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber

    Most nail polish is also flammable (put some on a piece of wood and touch it with a match -- bingo!) and is not designed to be UV resistant.

    I wouldn't rely on it to be any sort of insulator.

    "Liquid tape" (easily found at Home Depot, etc) is pretty good.
  6. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber

    I have used it on several antenna projects spanning over 40 years to wx proof connections, seal coax, etc. Never never had a problem with it flaking off or breaking down. I took a TA33 out of service last year that had nail polish over the coax connections for the past 6 years and it looked like the day I applied it and would certainly work well as a temporary insulation on wire. Try it, if it works (and it will) you won't be out your buck if it doesn't then you know.
  7. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber

    and is not designed to be UV resistant.

    I do wrap it with a high quality vinal electrical tape to prevent UV breakdown. I now use undercoating used on cars for sealing. I can bum it from the local body shop, can't beat free and it really works well.:D
  8. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member

    That's an understatement.
    The stuff fades fast, even the good nail lacquer like OPI fades in a week when you are out in the sun. The dollar store crap.....
    is worse, it doesn't stick to anything very well.
  9. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber

    The BEST use for nail Polish is as a RESIST for PCB making. Especially over large areas that a SHARPIE would use too much ink to cover. It is Excellent for that, and easily removed with some Acetone once the PCB is etched.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber

    Yep, I used to use it for that, also.

    But the best fun is to paint it on, and then while it's still wet, light a match to it! The stuff is really exciting.
  11. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member


    Methinks if you were to do that with your wife's fingernails, "if" you survived her reaction, you would soon hear from a divorce lawyer! :rolleyes:

    Glen, K9STH
  12. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber

    Me thinks your right:D It will be 47 years for us this September and I can assure you she puts up with much more then I do. As for the polish, grabbed some last night and put it on a chunk of 18AWG as well as on the outer jacket of some RG8 also covered a nut and screw. Looked great this morning and couldn't scrape it off, also I checked the out of service RG8 I used for the TA33 6 years ago it was still fine, no cracking or peeling. Like I said try it I am sure it will work fine. I never used it on my nails, ok ok once but I was in college and alcohol was involved, so can't attest as to how it holds up on nails.
  13. KC4UMO

    KC4UMO Ham Member

    I have nail polish on my work bench. Its purpose is for temporary speaker repair in old radios.
  14. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member

    It does work really good for that.
  15. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber

    One thing I should add, the newer stuff with glitter or flakes in it does NOT hold up.
  16. KC4UMO

    KC4UMO Ham Member

    My TS-520 had a speaker that was cracked up pretty bad. I used this temporay fix with nail polish. Still going strong. That was 6 years ago.:D
  17. KR2C

    KR2C Premium Subscriber

    Another good use for nailpolish is as a loctite type of product. If you have a screw or nut that keeps working loose, then a small dab of nailpolish might help you out in a pinch.

    That's my story and I'm sticking with it. I haven't found an excuse for my wadded up panties yet. :D
  18. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber

    also covered a nut and screw.

    Yepper. Works great for that.
  19. K3RKS

    K3RKS Ham Member

    Is Glyptal still available? I wonder if it would be useable in an RF environment.
    We used it a lot in our DC motors on the windings. It helped us to meet the 3 KV hipot tests.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  20. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber

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