can i make a solenoid out of these materials? will it work? school project pls help?

I have 50 meters of uninsulated copper wire 20 gauge. I want to make 4 solenoids out of it, yes i know i need magnet wire or insulated wire but they don't sell it where i live (Mississauga, Ontario, canada) so i was wondering if i can use electric tape (vinyl electric tape) to insulate the uninsulated wire and use it to make solenoids. first time on instructables so i apologize in advance for any mistakes in this posts.

Oh and the metal object needed inside the solenoid that goes in and out (idk what its called) can i use canadian pennies and apply hot glue to make a long rod? would that work? i don't need the engine to push anything heavy i just want it to work. 


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Kiteman1 year ago

As long as the turns of your coil don't touch, you're fine. If you want to apply layers of turns, then, yes, electrical tape will work. So will varnish, is you have time for it to dry. If you are wrapping around a conducting object, then you need to tape that up as well.

As for the pennies, it depends. They need to be steel or iron, and a continuous rod is preferable. A big old nail, bolt or lump of scrap rebar is ideal. Otherwise, I might try a food can, washed, with both ends cut off, and the remainder hammered flat and rolled up like a sheet of paper. Pennies might work, but I would not bother gluing them - make your stack, then wrap tape around them. This means the coins are as close together possible (make as continuous a rod as possible), and can also be re-used after you are finished with the project.

ZaidA10 (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

would it be better if i got a bunch of neodymium (or other material) magnets and just stuck them together? or do i need a steel or iron rod?

What are you actually trying to make?

ZaidA10 (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

A solenoid engine

Oh, that's fun!

I've never built one of those, or even seen one in the flesh, but it seems that other people do use magnets in their core:


I grew up in Mississauga just south of Cawthra and Lakeshore, just Google "electronics supply mississauga" and pick the one nearest you to get supplies.

Sayal Electronics and A-1 Electronic Parts are not bad.

You might find this page helpful.


The plunger should be made of soft steel so it loses any residual magnetism between on and off states.

That's the most useful information posted here !

And I didn't tell him how to do it.

I almost forgot this is a good source of magnetic wire for free.


Being a school project you are in the wrong place as in most cases this would be called cheating.
Get proper wire, best much thinner than your 20 gauge, use a steel rod instead pennies, use Google and Wikipedia.
Homework and school projects are meant to make you do the research, come up with your own ideas but not meant to make other people think and work for you ;)

ZaidA10 (author)  Downunder35m1 year ago

research has been done though, I know the mechanism behind it I'm just asking if these materials would work since i don't have the materials that my research refers to. Its not cheating to ask if a certain material would work instead of another, I'm not asking for anyone to tell me what to do. Anyways, thank you for your answer i truly appreciate you taking your time and helping me out !

Anything that is not thinly insulated won't work, so stick to what is recommended.
And if you can't buy magnet wire use your imagination ;)
I am almost certain that even in Canada you will be able to find some old mircowave, old style halogen floor lamp similar conatining a transformer.
A bit of elbow grease and you have more than enough magnet wire...
That is why said cheating as it seems you did not try hard enough ;)

-max- ZaidA101 year ago

You can use that wire, but not recommended. It will just be pain and suffering, trying to add layers of wax paper or something simalar with each turn of wire.