Picture of Magnetic Wire
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Magnetic wire is used by hobbyists and engineers for coils, inductors, transformers, and solenoids, and it is not cheap to buy at $25 to $60 dollars a pound. This is the wire I gathered in one weekend for no more cost than my time. The ten pounds of salvaged magnetic wire from 16 AWG to 34 AWG would have cost me about $300.oo dollars to buy new. And that doesn’t include the other salvaged parts like heat sinks, transformers, and other components as well as sellable scrap.

I have a homemade coil winder I use to make my own custom transformers, coils, and solenoids that I use in my projects like this auto loading coil for a coil gun, or my first coil gun where I made the step up transformer as well as the propulsion coil.

As a green project this one saves energy in the making of wire and other components as well as recycling, one of the biggest savings is to your pocket book.

Step 1: Locating the Magnetic Wire

Picture of Locating the Magnetic Wire
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I get most of my magnetic wire from working TVs and Monitors, people are throwing these out because they are upgrading to the new stuff on the market. Or in the case of TV sets upgrading because the transmitters have gone digital and the old analog TVs can’t receive the signal.

The yoke ring coils as indicated in the second photo with the yellow arrows, the yoke ring coils consisting of 28 to 34 AWG wire are in the front and the back of the yoke.

The lacquered yoke coils wrapping the yokes ferrite cores indicated by the red arrow in the second photo are too hard to salvage for reuse as magnetic wire, however they bring as much as $2.50 a pound cleaned copper.

The picture tube coil indicated by the yellow arrow in the third photo, on the back of the picture tube can be wrapped in electrical tape, foil wrap, and shrink tube. The magnetic wire in this coil can be 24 to 34 AWG.
Is there anything dangerous inside a television?
Is potentially lethal electricity still inside an unplugged TV?
If so, what precaution should be taken?

I've been wanting to try some simple DC motor experiments with my stepson but I don't want to buy special magnet wire if I don't have to.
Josehf Murchison (author)  Northrrn_Joe1 month ago

Yes high voltage can be stored in a number of places for a long time even with the TV unplugged. I short the prongs of the power cord and ground the high voltage of the flyback. The red wire that goes to the side of the picture tube. If you are working with a TV that has tubes instead of transistors you may need to short all the capacitors one at a time. If you are not sure short all the capacitors and the flyback. After that there is the gas from the picture tube if you crack or brake the tube it will suck air in first and then the gas will leak out it has mercury in it.

goldenshuttle8 months ago

very useful. Many thanks

I'm new to electronics, what is the difference between magnetic wire and copper wire?
Copper wire is copper wire but magnetic wire is all about the insolation, with magnetic wire the insolation is designed not to be or inhibit the windings from being a capacitor.

A capacitor is a simple device; it is a conductor and an insulator.

Think of every component in a circuit as a resistor

A capacitor is an insulator with dc current, but apply a frequency to it and it is a resistor.

An inductor coil is a dead short with dc current, but apply a frequency to it and it is a resistor.

If you really pay attention to what electronic components do they are all resistors.

It is all about making sure the inductor is an inductor and not a capacitor.

By the way a very good question.

Hello Josehf:

When you say "insolation" you mean "insulation." Insolation means: "solar radiation that has been received" and, as mentioned above, "magnetic wire" would imply an iron based wire, which would react to a magnetic field.

Josehf Murchison (author)  Robin-1 year ago

Ah don't pick on words it is not that important if you get the point.

ohh that makes sense, thank you. next question- so if i wanted to make an electromanet, using magnetic wire would be far more effective than copper wire?
yes the insolation is thin on magnetic wire enabling you to get more turns in a smaller area.

just one thing with high voltages you may want fish paper between the layers it also further reduces the capacitance of the windings.
Thanks for the info!
Oh I forgot to mention did you notice the wires are different colors.

Red is low frequency

Gold is all frequencies

And green is audio
Actually thin is high frequency and thick is low frequency due to the skin effect.

Somebody tell those china manufacturers that the wire that they use in headphone cabling makes great litz wire and they have buyers here...

Well, wire is wire. Though the term is used here in this 'ible, there's no such thing as "magnetic" wire. What the author is showing here is called "magnet"--not "magnetic"--wire because that's one of its common uses: electromagnets. Since most copper wire is coating with some sort of insulation, and magnet wire is coated with one kind of such insulation, then it's just the same as any other wire. The lacquer-coating insulation is often more convenient for the purposes the author discusses here, but it still just insulated copper wire. Except for it bulk and sometimes the "dielectric" properties of the insulation, various kinds of plastic-insulated wire can be used for many--if not all--of the applications shown in this Instructable, including coils for RF applications.

cdigman1 year ago
Is there a way to connect two pieces of magnet wire and have them work the same? Possibly by coating the soldered part with liquid electric tape? I need to make two coils with 6lb of wire each for a magneto magnet charger.
Josehf Murchison (author)  cdigman1 year ago

Yes you can join the ends however if it is a high voltage side of a toroid or a transformer make sure the joint is in fish paper as well as well insulated it is better to have the joint outside the transformer.

Fish paper is a paper you put in between the wrap layers to prevent arks inside high voltage coils it also inhibits capacitance storage in a coil.


It is for a magneto magnet charger for mags before WW2 when they came up with perminant magnets. It's basicly a big electromagnet
jmpm46191 year ago
Okay and How Will this magnetic coil react to another magnet... Does it attract ,Repel, Or repel and attract to another magnet ?
Josehf Murchison (author)  jmpm46191 year ago

Here is something you can try that is fun, connect the coil to a battery then put a compass near it. The compass will follow the magnetic field of the coil use a 12 volt battery.

jmpm46191 year ago
What would happen if I cut the circular wire on the chair and place a battery at each end?
Josehf Murchison (author)  jmpm46191 year ago

Ok if you joined a battery to the ends of the wires you would get a magnetic coil.

A good instruct. I do have a question though. Why is the lacquered yoke coil wire not worth salvaging. There seems to be quite a bit of wire there.

Keep the info coming.
Josehf Murchison (author)  bigdaddy89511 year ago
Dipped coils like the lacquered yoke are almost impossible to take apart without destroying the wire.

The only thing you can do is burn, bake, or use paint stripper to take off the lacquer, this would also take off the wires insolation and brittle the copper.

You would need to build a device to de-temper and reinsulate the wire, you might as well be making your own wire from scratch.

Easier to get paid for the copper
rimar20002 years ago
Josehf, you are like me, always recovering things from the waste. But you are more clean and neat doing the work. I have some pound of copper wire too, but it is in many little hanks.
Josehf Murchison (author)  rimar20002 years ago
I came from a family of little assets my first bicycle I built out of parts from the garbage. By the time I was 14 I taught myself TV and home entertainment repair by taking TVs and other household articles out of the garbage repairing them and selling them.
Wow, that is very worthy, Josehf. It is not my case, I had many opportunities in my life, and and let it go too much.
Josehf Murchison (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Life is like that.