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How to solder 30ga wire?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Lumpy, Aug 22, 2005.

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  1. Lumpy

    Lumpy Guest

    Attempting to repair a coil (mag guitar pickup)
    that's gazillion gauge enameled copper (probably
    30ga - I'm guessing).

    Do you have to strip (sand?) the enamel off
    first or will soldering it melt through
    the enamel?

    Attempting to "strip" it with 2000 grit
    sandpaper results in stripped copper
    about half the time, broken wire
    the other half. When it does work,
    the wire coils unpredictibly and
    seems to take a "set" making it
    incredibly difficult to solder
    to any kind of terminal or larger
    gauge wire.

  2. Guest

    Try holding the wire briefly over a gentle flame, like a match (not a
    blowtorch). This should burn away the insulation and leave you with
    bare wire. There are some chemicals that they claim will work on
    enamel but not on formvar, but I have no experience with these. If you
    need to insulate it after you are done, I like to use clear fingernail
  3. ehsjr

    ehsjr Guest

    The wires must have the enamel (or whatever it is) insulation
    removed before soldering. The best method is putting the end
    you want stripped into a pool of melted solder for a few seconds,
    but it does not work for all enamel or enamel-like insulation.

    Sometimes you can melt it off with a flame, as has been
    mentioned. You still need to clean the wire after that to
    remove any residue.

    I've been able to strip that stuff with a razor knife.
    Angle the top of the razor blade in the direction you
    will move the knife, like this:

    / <blade
    / Direction of travel >>>>

    Place the wire on a flat, solid surface and drag the blade
    across it as shown above. Be gentle! Watch closely. As the
    enamel insulation is scraped off, you'll need to rotate the
    wire from time to time. You'll need a number of strokes
    before rotating the wire. If you are patient and careful,
    this works.

  4. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    It depends on the enamel..
    you could try steel wool, also try less pressure on the sandpaper.

    I was successful stripping thinner than 30ga wire with coarser sandpaper
    (300 grit?) by pinching it between two pieces of sandpaper and pulling

    zinc chloride flux can help with tricky soldering jobs, but clean it up
    well afterwarsa as it's acidic and corosive.

  5. quietguy

    quietguy Guest

    Back in the good old days I cleaned the end of litz wire by way of a match
    held underneath, then the application of a findernail to scratch the crud
    off. For very fine enammeled (sp?) wire, I just lay the end on the bench,
    and g e n t l y scraped the enamel off with a razor blade - rotating the
    wire a little at a time. But then I was only a kid then, and knew no
    better - but it worked just fine

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