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Need Some Tips on Stripping Rather Small Wire on Tomar Signals

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Need Some Tips on Stripping Rather Small Wire on Tomar Signals
Posted by peahrens on Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:39 PM

I'm setting up to install 6 Tomar HO mast signals in the layout (with Rail Logic Signal Animators).  I first created a test setup added to my portable test track so I could see how everything needed to be wired and test the photocell sensor sensitivity for my room lighting.

I'm adding small connector pins to the signal wires that will make under table connection easier and/or more easily allow removal if needed.  My problem yesterday was difficulty in stripping the fine wires attached to the signal.  My strippers go to 30AWG but they would not grab the insulation enough to cut and strip it.  I tried several techniques with it.  I also tried gently scribing around the insulation with a #11 blade but could not get the insulation cut enough (without cutting the few, very fine wires) to pull the insulation off.    

Any tips would be appreciated.  My success rate is near zero. 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:49 PM

I've seen on-line demonstrations where they just stick the wire end in a flame and quickly pull off the burnt stuff.  Appears to work.

I've also heard of putting the wire end in a hot blob of solder.  

That said, being a traditionalist, I bought this wire stripper:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019UZM26/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's expensive.  It worked when I tried it out, though I haven't used it on a "job" yet.  But I really like the useful range.

 

Ed

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:59 PM

I use a pair of sprue nippers. With a bit of practice, you can easily grab the end of the wire and with a bit of pressure cut and remove the insulation.

Mark.

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Posted by peahrens on Thursday, May 11, 2017 5:18 PM

I'll try all the above (except the $40 stripper) tomorrow.  Mark, do you use the Xuron plier type sprue nippers or the MicroMark tweezer type? I have both.  And are you indeed talking this very fine wire (I'd guess AWG 32 or 34)?  It's quite a bit finer than decoder wire.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, May 11, 2017 5:37 PM

Paul, I have a large number of Tomar Industries signals, including dwarfs, search lights, and grade crossings. The wires are, indeed, very thin gauge.

I use an Exacto Knife with a new #11 blade whenever I need to strip the wire. I wear an Optivisor to get up close and personal. I find that if I gently score the plastic insulation, I can remove the insulation without damaging the wire. 

The other trick is trying to solder the stripped wire to a resistor. I wrap the wire several times around the resistor leg. Then, I use heat shrink tubing to protect the soldered wire and to add stability to the setup.

Hope that helps.

Rich

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, May 11, 2017 6:17 PM

Mark,

Can you roll the individual wires with your finger?  If so, lightly score the insulation with a NEW #11 blade and pinch it off with your finger nail - i.e. if you have any.

I use cutting tweezers at work to deinsulate very fine wires and they work great.  Prices run the gamut but you could fine some inexpensives ones for $20.  An OptiVisor and good task lighting is advisable so that you can see what you are doing.

FWIW...

Tom

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:22 PM

peahrens

I'll try all the above (except the $40 stripper) tomorrow.  Mark, do you use the Xuron plier type sprue nippers or the MicroMark tweezer type? I have both.  And are you indeed talking this very fine wire (I'd guess AWG 32 or 34)?  It's quite a bit finer than decoder wire.

 

I use the tweezer type on 32 AWG wire on a regular basis and very rarely if ever cut the actual wire.

Mark.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:57 PM

Good information. I have been having a bit of difficulty stripping fine wires like the ones on pre-wired SMD LEDs, so now I have a couple of different things to try.

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, May 11, 2017 10:12 PM

hon30critter

Good information. I have been having a bit of difficulty stripping fine wires like the ones on pre-wired SMD LEDs, so now I have a couple of different things to try.

Thanks,

Dave

 

Dave - If you are referring to enamelled wire, that's an entirely different animal. Smile, Wink & Grin

Mark.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, May 11, 2017 10:23 PM

Many of the signals I have built use teflon (PTFE) wire insulation. The stuff is tenacious to say the least. It is impervious to heat, that's why I use it in brass masts, the heat of soldering doesn't bother it. Tomar sells PTFE 32 ga. wire but I'm not sure if it is available any more. [Is is]

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Tomar-HO-6080-Teflon-Coated-Wire-4-5-each-c-p/tmi-6080.htm

 

It is also very abrasion resistant. Many of the various strippers I have will only stretch the stuff, it really doesn't cut and strip.

I have found that if I use a scraping motion on the very end of the wire I can separate the conductors from the insulation enough to grab each with forceps and pull them apart from each other for about 1/4" to 3/8". Then I snip the insulation segment away, carefully, with sprue nippers.

YMMV

 

http://www.alphawire.com/en/Company/Blog/2015/May/Hand%20Stripping%20of%20PTFE%20Insulated%20Wire

 

Hope that helps,

Ed

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Posted by peahrens on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:20 AM

Thanks, everyone!  Once again the Forum folks have provided lots of relevant, helpful info on a topic where I started in the dark.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by Lee 1234 on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:33 AM

Stripper Klein Tools

I bought this stripper and it works great for DCC wire.  You may be working with smaller than 32 ga stranded.  

L

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Posted by railroader777 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 8:18 AM

Try putting a pin that is slightly larger than the copper wire next to the wire you want strip and roll a sharp blade over both the wire and the pin. This will keep the cutting edge away from the wire while cutting the insulation. You might have to play with the pin size but it will work. 

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