Introduction: Disassemble a Transformer Easily!

Use a putty knife to take apart those stubborn transformers and get to the magnet wire inside!
You'll need:
  • A putty knife
  • A hammer or wooden mallet. (Anything with a good amount of weight to force the putty knife in between the ferrite sheets.)
  • a transformer to take apart! (quite obvious!)
Subscribe! My next instructable will show you how to use your newly found magnet wire to make a relay!
Please rate and comment!
Thanks for watching!


jbatista f made it! (author)2014-03-27

well, it says the video is private.

spirit x made it! (author)2014-02-17

is a ferrite necassary in a transfromer

hend175 made it! (author)2012-06-23

hi this is nice video.

i face a problem. which is i want to make a 10 amps 12-0-12 transformer. so i want a video tutorial. plz help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

agis68 made it! (author)agis682013-07-28

follow this

Here are some calculations what I made and from what I build transformers.

Transformer: 220V - 2x27V 8A
Input voltage 220 Volts.
Output voltage two times by 27 Volts 8 Ampere, symmetric for amplifier.
EI core intersection square is 50 by 48 millimeters.
Calculated values:
Input 220 Volts 2.258 Ampere
443 coils of 1.05 millimeters wire thickness
Here I use wire of 1 millimeter, because core is big enough and warming at that thickness is low. True reason is that I didn't have wire of 1.05 millimeters. :)
Output 2 x 27 Volts 8 Ampere
2 x 54 coils of 1.98 millimeters round to 2 millimeters.
In assembling I use for output two wires of 2 millimeters at one quill.
Beginning point of two wires are joined and this is output ground, end point is two outputs of 27 Volts.
I build that transformer and it works perfectly.

nerd7473 made it! (author)2013-06-20

cool another thing I get to disassemble lol

hend175 made it! (author)2012-06-23

hi, this is cool.

but i face a problem. the problem is i want to make a 10amps 12-012 transformer in my home . so i want a easy video tutorial about this. please help me!!!!!!

piper1234 made it! (author)2011-06-10

I think I taw a putty knife

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-06-15

ha! nice

pfred2 made it! (author)2011-04-09

So you're using a putty knife to loosen the potting material? I've heard what you call the bar referred to as an "I" plate. Goes with "E" somewhat better. Old McDonald had a transformer E I E I O. Copper, the poor man's gold! Now all you have to figure out is what to do with all those silicon iron plates you're piling up there.

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-09

I already have a use for them. throw them in the trash! lol, jk. I do need to find a use for them... thanks for the comment!

pfred2 made it! (author)pfred22011-04-10

You could always wind your own custom transformers. making a winding machine is a classic project. By the looks of your homemade relay you could use one! But for that I'd have used a VSR drill and just chucked the screw. And by chuck I mean place in the drill chuck not toss.

ElectroFrank made it! (author)ElectroFrank2011-06-12

Slap all the E's back together (same way round this time), poke them back through the coil, and you will have a good electromagnet. 

Now stick all the I's together as a pole piece, add a little spring & hinge, and you will have the mechanism for a really beefy relay. Just add contacts !

In order to get to Uni,  please don't touch mains live wires before you arrive !

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-06-15

nice idea!

pfred2 made it! (author)pfred22011-06-12

Old time electricians used their thumb and forefinger as voltage testers on mains wiring all the time. But they knew what they were doing and grounded their thumbs first etc. so probably best if no one here tries to copy them.

Recently I have been messing around with transformers some here. I've had bare mains voltage all over my experimenter's desk a lot too. Things were looking a lot like this if not worse:

That'd be one tough transformer to disassemble huh?

Another shot of my recently enclosed variac which I think is about the neatest transformer type going:

Earlier in that project:

Now I have to figure out a really tiny transformer for an ESR meter project I am working on. I need one with a 20::1 turns ratio and a ferrite core, not a laminated one. I think because of the frequency it will be operating at. These are uncharted waters I'm going into for me.

My oscillator works good but I'm a little sketchy about this whole transformer deal. Oh well I guess this is how we all become familiar with things.

scraptopower made it! (author)scraptopower2011-04-10

lol, I have a huge collection of these too. There must be some great project we can make with them ?

haunted2097 made it! (author)2011-06-11

Thanx for your instructable!

I was actually trying to tear apart a transformer recently but I gave up.

I have one question though:

Of course this is a material with a high magnetic permeability, but is it any good for use as a motor or generator core? I read somewhere laminated STEEL was good choice.

There is a chart in wikipedia listing various properties, I would like an explaination based on it so I learn stuff too


reberturus made it! (author)2011-06-09

If yout want disassembly Ferrite (SMPS) Transformers I have 2 solution
1. Long time waiting but safe - put transformer to vessel of acetone for 6 - 8 hours then glue make soft and easy to remove it
2. Short but risky - Put transformer to hot oven (150'C) to few minutes then should easly to disassembly

Inducktion made it! (author)2011-04-13

Not to be a total jerk, but it's not ferrite; it's just laminated iron strips. ^^

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-13

ahh. I see. Aren't there some transformers that use ferrite?

Inducktion made it! (author)Inducktion2011-04-13

Yes; Iron laminated cores are used at lower frequencies, typically around 50-60 khz. Ferrite cores can be used at a much wider range of frequencies: some 1khz to hundreds of thousands of KHZ. A flyback transformer uses a ferrite core. Most wall adapters use iron core transformers, like the one you're tearing apart!

Inducktion made it! (author)Inducktion2011-04-15

Er, 50-60 HZ, not khz, I apologize xD

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-15

No probs. I knew what you meant and i didn't even notice the "K" in front of "Hz" either! lol

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-14

thanks for the response! very interesting.

Odomus made it! (author)2011-04-10

Out of blantant curiosity... If Iam not in use of the ferrite core at all, and jsut want the wire... it is possible to just use a cut off disc and cut off the core on the I and E bars? Instead of using a putty knife? Is it possible anyways? Never tried it myself as I have gone through all my cut off disc's. BUt thought to ask before I go out an buy any in the near future.

And again, great instruc. And keep up the good work.

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-10

if you try to cut through the ferrite core, you are going to so much more work than necessary. using the putty knife is so much easier than trying to cut through the "E" and "I" bars surrounding the wire.

Mudbud made it! (author)2011-04-09

Wow this is c00l! :D

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-09


TSC made it! (author)2011-04-08


jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-09


TSC made it! (author)TSC2011-04-09

Your welcome!

Jimmy Proton made it! (author)2011-04-08

Pretty nice! I once took a transformer apart and rewound it to convert 20VAC into 1.5VAC, it had two output's but it wasn't very efficient at all because I only used 20 turns on each side so with the same amount of turns on each side it still acted as a step down transformer.

jensenr30 made it! (author)jensenr302011-04-09

cool, and interesting. thanks for sharing!

jensenr30 made it! (author)2011-04-09

thanks for the comment!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an 18 year old Electronics enthusiast. I have completed five semesters of schooling at Minnesota State University in Mankato. I'm pursuing a ... More »
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