12 Easy, Helpful Uses for Heat Shrink Tubing


Introduction: 12 Easy, Helpful Uses for Heat Shrink Tubing

About: 19 year old hobbyiest and future EE.

I just bought a heat gun and shrink wrap from Harbor Freight, and I was totally blasted with the usefulness of shrink wrap. Here are just a few projects I came up with as far as my electronics workbench goes! I thought of a billion others, but they weren't necessarily relevant to my electronics revolution!

Before you do anything in this instructable, see Kurt E. Clothier's  heat gun reflector. This is awesome as it speeds up the shrinking time tremendously!

I'd actually be happy if you guys would inform me about what you find heat shrink useful for, if it's not already in this instructable. If I like it, and with your permission, I'll post your picture or I'll make one and I will credit you. Thanks Tomdf for the first awesome use for heat shrink, a wire fix! (step 9)

How about we call this an open instructable, where YOU guys get to contribute!

Thanks, and enjoy!

Step 1: LED Cluster

You will need a soldering gun for this project, but that's all!

Step 2: 9v Battery Clip

This is probably the most basic project you could make.

Step 3: Solderless DC Jack

Step 4: Easy Servo Arm Holder

Step 5: Helping the Helping Hands

Step 6: Soft-Grip for Helping Hands

I was working with an LCD the other day and I couldn't hold it and solder all at the same time, so I grabbed my helping hands. Just as I was clamping it though, I saw the rigid teeth, and knew that they would scratch up my screen. Seeing the heat shrink on laying around on my desk, I put a little on!

Step 7: Resistor and LED

Step 8: Supporting Wire Connectors

Step 9: Quick, Temporary Wire Fix

Step 10: Fixing Two Wires by Tomdf

Thanks Tomdf!

Step 11: Fixing a RC Helicopter Arm

Step 12: Custom Pencil Grip

Step 13: Heat Shrink Tubing!

Have any more ideas? Comment below, and I'll feature your comment and add another step with what you suggested!



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    19 Discussions

    I just learned of this cool stuff & am buying my shrink tubing and heat gun as I'm typing (amazon)...I just know I'm creating a monster! LOL Thanks for these ideas...I'm certainly gonna use the one with the helping hands (which, I'm getting as we speak, also (building a work station for small at-home side business). I've got a feeling I'm going to try to shrink-tube anything that CAN be :oD -I'm excited, can you tell!?! (oh, and gonna take the tip from the other poster about the heat reflector so heat is better targeted...thanks Kurt!

    4 replies

    Haha awesome! Sorry for some reason I didn't get the message sent to my inbox :( Anyways, have fun, and don't burn yourself!

    Don't burn myself? Oh lawd, you only say that cause I'm a girl...puleeze! :P I wear gloves while working plus I'm not stupid. ;-) Tata!

    Haha no really! I skinned my leg super bad last year because I was shrinking alot of stuff, burned my thumb, then dopped my gun into my lap! That nozzle burned me up. So seriously. . .

    Anyways I'd expect a girl to be more careful :)

    Ouch! Well, that does sound like something that certainly could happen to me, too, LOL...I was just picking at you anyway ;) ..I'll certainly be careful!

    I do this. But I solder the leads and bring them out the same side. I use red and black 24/2 w/ the lil connector on the ends. Snip them in half for two 9V clips. I also used three sizes of shrink tubing. One size for the 9V clip itself the smallest sized over the wires and under the bigger tubing for the clip. Then I shrink those and it ALMOST closes over the small tubing, so I slide a lil bit of one size larger over both and I get a really rugged clip that can take a ton of abuse. Unlike the crap you buy, which breaks with over use.

    You put a piece of shring tubing over the end of the rod, then you heat it and it is like a ferrule, although with a hole. Obviously, it is not for heavy duty.

    Oh ok, I get it. Basically that's what I did when I fixed my helicopter's tail arm. Right?

    These are some great tips. I just want to point out a couple of things for clarification: On Step 1: LED Cluster, did you use heat shrink over one of the leads before adding it to the entire cluster? You did in Step 6: Resistor and LED. Otherwise, someone is likely to short the two power leads together when they shrink the tubing. Second, I can't really recommend that you just add heat shrink over twisted wires (as in Step 8) without soldering them first unless you need a quick, temporary fix for something. It would take a lot less force to pull them apart than you might anticipate. Otherwise, these are some awesome ideas. Keep up the good work!

    If you do a lot of work with a heat gun, you might one to consider fashioning a reflective collar to help focus the heat on just what you want to shrink. This cuts my shrink time in half, even switching from the high to the low heat setting.


    In Use.JPG
    4 replies

    Yeah, I'd rarely do that, it would just be for a quick fix- I should clarify that. Oh, and on the cluster, I forgot to mention putting heat shrink over the negative lead. I'm gonna have to fix that. Oh, and I've seen your instructable before! I really liked it!

    Thanks Kurt! I'm trying my best with the little knowledge I have. I just bought another electronics book, hoping to learn more!

    Oh, and Ill be making your reflector soon :P

    Tomf that's an awesome idea! I kept on wondering how I'd do two wires without shorting them! Can I post your pic and comment? Can you send it to me as a patch?

    1 reply

    Ah, it's relieving to find out that I'm not the only person who get's excited about heat shrink, lol. I especially like the 9v battery clip, that's rather clever, and the helping hand helper, because those things really need the help :p

    Since you asked, I have a tip to contribute: how to solder two wires with one piece of tube. I use this with two wire ribbon cable and since the wires are stuck together I feel there is little risk of them slipping and causing a short.