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How to remove enamel from (toroid) wire?

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by AA7EJ, Jul 12, 2017.

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  1. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page
    OK, I stole the title so flame me.

    Check the above link.
    Judging from the first and few following "answers " it seems that other hobbyist are pretty much same " funny bunch " as some amateur radio hobbyists.

    Seriously - this is not such hilarious issue as those clowns ( funny persons ) made it look, especially when dealing with very thin ( large AWG gauge) magnet wire wound thru the toroid.

    I usually stick the wire into small pool of tin heated with 100 W iron , however, it is not that reliable.

    Scrapping it is also iffy - thin wire can beak easy and results in rewinding the coil.

    Please share your preferred way to accomplish this.

    73 Shirley
  2. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some enamels can be softened with thin petrochemicals eg. nail-polish remover ( acetone based ) or MEK ( methyl-ethyl-ketone ) depending on the enamel composition. This process of softening and then wiping with a lint-free cloth can cause the area to be less than uniform ( stripped unevenly- one side may be cleaner than another ). Almost all of these petrochemicals are considered hazardous for both flamability and toxic fumes, thus consider first how well the area is ventillated ( and to the outside ). The oxide of copper is a darker color red or black than a shiny penny. The sulfate is blue-green. If your chemical process leaves either, then you will need to consider the oxide as damage and remove it with a fine pumice-like abrasive ( I have used a pen eraser ) or expect some small additional ohmic loss ( which depends upon the solder joint in general ). The measurement of that loss would require precision equipment. Your idea of using a pool of 'tin' is not bad, yet many solders contain lead. Again, do not breathe the fumes on a continuous basis.
  3. N8CBX

    N8CBX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Use a new single edge razor blade and scrap it. But obviously, #41 wire can't be scrapped that easily (even hard to see). I have rewound small RF transformers using #41-#43 wire and luckily the solder will melt the enamel.
    Jan N8CBX
  4. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for reply.
    I get a kick out of "government lead warnings".
    While in high school I spent my summers working in print shop. Wiping yesterday's colors with rungs soaked in smelly gasoline / diesel solvents barehanded, preparing for today's printing. Ventilation? Nope, AC ? Not in sixties.
    Only "prevention / remedy " - (state) employer supplied milk, about a liter a day.

    Did it work? I am still here and that what counts for me. Selfish? YES.

    I'll try my XYL nail polish remover, hopefully I'll stay married.

    74 Shirley
  5. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That works, but I find that 25 W iron used to mount the PCB components is not hot enough, even on tiny wire ( #32)
    So it is a two step process - tining with 100 W , mounting with less.
    I have not try silver bearing solder, but since it melts at lower temperature it probably be no good in melting the enamel.

    73 Shirley
  6. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    The best thing is to use the type of magnet wire that has the insulation that melts at soldering temperature. No mechanical stripping required. Too bad Shoiley has me on ignore.
  7. N7EKU

    N7EKU Ham Member QRZ Page


    Just buy your wire from TEMco USA, "Soderon" type. No need to pre-strip it.


  8. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Belden "beldsol" has allways worked for me.

  9. KB3ZYN

    KB3ZYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have found that fire works well. Passing the wire through the flame at just the rate to see the enamel burn off is quick an effective. Just don't let the wire dwell too long in the hot spot - especially with fine wire gauges such as "magnet wire" found in TV's and speaker cores.
  10. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    At least with the finer wires there are certain methods that dentists would not approve of.

    More seriously, a light scrape with a hobby knife can do (several times, turning the wire around. Or even with wire cutters if you're careful not to press too hard.

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