Insulation on Decoder Wire

Discussion in 'Electrical/Electronics' started by Boomer John, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Boomer John

    Boomer John Member

    I'm trying to wire a signal. I have to attach wire to the decoder.
    I was sold AWG 36, which in fact is about the biggest I could use and get four lenghts down the pole that holds the light standard.
    My question to you decoder guys is how do you get the insulation off of this stuff. My wire tool only goes down to AWG 20. I've tried to do this with an exacto knife and a magnifier, gee that was a lot of fun and the results were poor. Seems like an easy question, but his is baffling me.

  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    The only thing I've ever found that works on small wire is an xacto knife. Is you blade dull or worn down? Try a new blade. And try applying a little less pressure, and instead of just trying to cut it off, scrape it off.

    Hope this is of some help

  3. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    Is your wire called magnetic wire? If so, dip the end in solder and the insulation will come right off.
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    This will sound a little weird, but I pinch the wire between my thumbnail and my pointer finger, with the end of the thumbnail pressing tight against the insulation where I want to begin the strip. I then pull on the wire with the other hand to strip the insulation from the conductor.

    Attached Files:

  5. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Supporter

    Having been an Electroonics Tech for 34 years, I have to agree with Kieth's idea. I use this method often. I also use a very fine pair of Dikes. Using Dikes works well if you have the knack and a delicate touch. To Kieths method I would add this. Hold the other side of the area being stripped with the opposite hands' thumb and fore finger if you are stripping a wire that has say a decoder attached to the other end for safety's sake.

    Bob Wintle MMR
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  6. Boomer John

    Boomer John Member

    I thought of this technique last night, tried it this morning seems to work. I laid the wire on a piece of metal, then took the tip of a hot pencil
    soldering iron and burned it off. I just kept stroking the iron towards the end of the wire, rotating the wire as I went. I was careful to clean the tip of the
    iron after I finished. I then examined the end of the wire under a magnifier to insure all the insulaiton was gone. I think this works, I'll know for sure this weekend
    building the signal.

  7. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I do what Keith does but first I roll the wire between the work bench and an X acto blade to lightly score the "separation" point.
  8. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    The fingernail thing is very good on this small wire. I used to strip small wire between my front teeth if you can believe that. I also have a wire stripper for smaller wire, but I don't think it goes that small.
  9. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Another possiblility that I did not have time to illustrate earlier is a type of stripper that is self-adjusting. This type grips the insulation with a pair of flat teeth that cut the insulation without nicking the conductors.

    Attached Files:

  10. wmrx

    wmrx MP Trainmaster

    That's the technique I would use. Wire strippers are difficult to use on this size wire. Personally, I never had much luck using my teeth or fingernails.
  11. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Whatever you do, you do not want to nick the wires for that sets up a later failure. Fingernails are softer than copper and unlikely to nick; knife blades are harder than copper, so work carefully.

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