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Manual rotary wire stripper from a Bic pen, a screwdriver, and a razor blade.

I recently bought a spool of 30AWG teflon wire. I thought it would be great for prototyping, because a hot soldering iron won't melt the insulation. Well, it's sort of not great at all... the problem is this wire is hard to strip. None of my wire strippers worked, including my DIY "hot tweezer" stripper. The only way I could strip it was with a a razor blade and a lot of care. So after a lot of thought and a couple of other prototypes, I came up with this.

Here's a video link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJzRcn9hIZU

Here's a vid of my homemade nichrome wire tweezer stripper:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2hXvcF6ANU

Step 1: Action

A V-shaped cutting edge resides on the end of the tip. You hold the wire in a pair of pliers, like so, and you slip the tool over the wire. Holding the tool flat against the pliers, you position so that the blades contact the insulation. Then you carefully twist the tool, keeping pressure towards the wire.

Make one or two complete revolutions.

Step 2: Stripped!

Now, dislodge the tool from the wire. As you are slipping the tool off of the wire, you can now grab the insulation with the tool and slide it off.

If you think this is a lot of trouble to strip a wire... it is. But if you have ever stripped 30AWG teflon wire and know of a better way, then please post it!

FYI, a "hot tweezer" stripper works great on regular wrapping wire.

Step 3: Construction

Take a Bic pen. Remove the collet that holds the tip. Save for later. Cut the barrel into several one-inch sections.

Take some standard razor blades, as for window scraping. Put on safety glasses. Snap them into little bits. Keep snapping until you get two good size blades for each bit of pen barrel.

Lay the blades out into little "V" shapes.

Now mix up some epoxy. Apply to end of pen barrel and press down over the razor blades, so that the blades fit basically like so, in the picture. Repeat for the remaing sets. Let epoxy set.

Using a Dremel and cutting wheel, grind the excess parts of the razor blade away, until it looks like the pic.

Now take your screwdriver, and cut the tip off of it. Take the pen collet and stuff the end of the screwdriver in it. After you are sure it fits properly, make it permanent using super glue. Now you can slip the blades onto the screwdriver, and when they get dull, you have replacements ready to go.
Excellent and clever 'ible. I don't have a grinder so am going to use the snap-off blades from a cheap box cutter (6 knives for a dollar at my nearby Just A Buck store). The blade tips snap off so you can always have a new sharp tip. They are scored so they break into tiny parallelograms. Small enough so I can KWIK epoxy them onto the pen tube. Thanks!
You could always strip wire with a razor. This is a great instructable.
Awesome, I've yet to ever lay down money for wire strippers. I've always been stuck with either my teeth or a razor blade and neither are fun or tidy looking.
what a genious idea! thanks
the blades are FLAT against the top so you have to cut semi cirles in the blade? (\/) ??? or are the blades pointing back towards the screwdriver
Yeah, the blades are flat and arranged in a V. You grind the blade AFTER epoxying it on the pen tube. I posted a couple action vids that should be active in an hour or so.
My teeth havent failed me yet :D
lol, wow, I'm glad I'm not alone. My wire strippers are fine for every kind of wire except the really tiny kind like this.
I had that problem with the small wire also. I used a large nail clipper and a small file to cut a v shape grove in the clippers. I had to do it a few time to get it just the righ size, but the errors work for other wires that are to small to strip. Works every time without a strand of wire cut...
for the 30awg specifically, the wire wrap tools they sell at RShack have a stripper that comes in the handle. I've had mine & used a lot over the past 10-12 years and it still works great -- though the stripper is really tiny & if you're not really careful about how you put away your tools you'll lose bunches of them. it probably takes more dexterity than this tool, and the coolness factor isn't nearly so high as this homebuilt one (-- and it's like $15 for the set).
The Rat shack wrap tool is the one I use.. although I filed down the end a bit to get a tighter wrap. The tool in the handle takes a bit of effort to use, and it's no good on short wires that are already attached to a circuit. The BEST way I have found for regular Kynar is "hot tweezers." Even my DIY nichrome wire jobby works like magic on this wire, and anything up to about 20 awg, even. The tool you mention sadly does not work, whatsoever, on teflon-insulated wire.
This is some cool stuff i often find that its very hard to strip smaller wires with the tools i have at work so this will come in handy thanks!!! you rock
If you are using standard type wire stripper tool, You can turn the strippers at an angle to strip most small wires. Hmmm kind of hard to explain. Insert the wire in the smallest hole and turn the tool about 35-40 degree angle to the wire and pull the wire out. Hope that makes sense cause it sure has made my life allot easier
I wanted to add this pic, it is more of a ten - twenty degree angle. Takes a little bit of practice but it works 99% of the time
That is a sweet instructable. As I use a lot of 24AWG wire (I strip it our of CAT5 cable, comes in all sorts of handy) and when you need to strip the ends, this would sure beat the heack out of my plier type strippers. Thanks for the new tool!!! ~C

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