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Help with homemade shrinkwrap crimp....

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Oct 28, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    I'm in a bind and I need a crimp for sealing shrink wrap. I thought it
    might be a fun little project and it should be easy, but I am very new
    to electronics. I think what I need is nichrome wire, but I don't know
    what type. Does anyone know if the nichrome wires are "live"? in
    otherwords do I need to encase the wire or can it be exposed? It
    shouldn't need to get hot enough to start a fire, only melt and seal
    the shrinkwrap. So, here's my plan: electrical outlet to one end of
    wire to a dimmer (to control heat) and back to the outlet. Will this
  2. mike

    mike Guest

    If your objective is to electrocute yourself, you're on the right track.
    Get yourself a transformer and run lower voltage isolated from the line.
    Reread the above line until you believe it...

    Shrink wrap doesn't seal well. It tends to...well...shrink.
    I've never had success trying to seal shrinkwrap. And I have
    a commercial plastic sealer. Sealable plastic wrap works well,
    but it's not shrinkwrap.

    IF you only need a few, you can do some interesting things with
    a variac and a pencil soldering iron. With some practice, you can swipe
    it across the area to be sealed.
    Another way is a flat hotplate on a vairac. Use a "knife edge" of the
    right width to mash the plastic down briefly onto the hotplate.
    You can buy food bag sealers fairly cheaply...almost free at thrift stores.

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  3. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    nichrome wire is typically uninsulated (like the heating element in a pop-up

    But there is encapsulated nichrome available (the heating element in an
    electric blanket would be one example)

    last time I saw shrink wrap being used it was done with a proopane torch,
    the only electric bits were a piezo trigger and a spark plug to ignite the
  4. Two thoughts are:

    1. Use a Weller soldering iron, preferably one with several heat ranges, and
    temporarily engage the trigger at what ever heat ranges and times seem to
    work best by using the radiant heat to heat the shrink wrap rather than
    touching the iron directly to the shrink wrap.

    2. Another method that I have used is a small electric blower-heater of the
    type used to dry finger-nail polish.

    Heat shrink tubing will, if used properly, shrink quite tightly with good

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