How to Get Tons of Free Enameled Copper Wire

There are tons of free copper wire rite under your nose and you dont even know it, hidden at the widest part of a CRT television/monitor held in by springs. There is a square black cable wrapped in tape. What many people dont seem to know is that its full of magnet wire!
All you gotta do is mess up a TV and cut it out.

-=please dont comment on the dangers of taking apart TVs and such, that is discussed in the link above. this Instructable has nothing to do with taking apart TVs just an extra thing to get out of a TV when you take one apart=-

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Step 1: You Will Need

not much,
a pare of scissors,
a wire spool
and a chair to sit down in and relax for a while.

as well as the wire! 

Step 2: Unwind the Tape

This is the hardest part as well as the most boring!
The tape usually starts where the two wires go in or sometimes about 6 inches down.
You may want to upload a YouTube video before you start because its going to take a long time!
If you want to keep the tape you could wrap it around a pencil or something.
use the scissors to cut excess tape and the two main wires but DONT cut the magnet wire!!!

Step 3: Unwind the Copper

this part is more fun, but takes just as long.
do it however you want, i put the wire over my knee and turned it and wrapped at around the spool. 
As you can see Im not very good at winding the wire but thats cause it takes much to long to do it neatly. 
Different TVs will have different gauges and colors but i like the red wire best.

Step 4: And Your Done

now you got tons of wire to make transformers, electromagnets, coil guns, etc. whatever you want with it!



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    68 Discussions


    6 months ago on Step 2

    Upload a YouTube video? I think you mean start.


    1 year ago

    i dont have any


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Im concerned about the lethal voltages that are stored in these tubes for a period of time after they are turned off.Do you know how long you would have to wait before tinkering with one of these tubes ?
    And also could you do the same with an old computer tube type monitor?

    8 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Length of wait for safety is INFINITE.
    ALWAYS use standard tube discharge procedures. I
    f you didn't just discharge the tube yourself, it's not safe.
    The longest I've seen a tube hold a measurable charge was just under one year...larger tubes may hold for longer. I dunno, and am not gonna risk it.

    Dischargiong is SIMPLE, and safe, when done properly. no reason to avoid it.

    As to the computer CRT question... YES.
    Some REALLY old monitors don't have the coils, but pretty much anything with a VGA connector will. Same tube discharge rules apply to Monitors as to tv's. 


    Reply 2 years ago

    There can be some subtle differences in technique, but basically, get a flat bladed screwdriver, and a length of heavy gauge wire with aligator clips on both ends. Clip one end onto the screwdriver, and the other to ground. Carefully poke around under the rubber cap with the tip of the screwdriver until you hear the ZZzzzzttttpppop sound.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    .  +1.
    .  Waiting for the charge to dissipate is not a good idea - it takes "forever" and doesn't always work well. Follow the procedures to safely discharge the tube.

    Jimmy Protonalphatron

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Again, this instructable has nothing to do with taking apart TVs. I dont know how long its takes, probably a few months. Any CRT display screen will have at least one.

    John T MacF Mood

    3 years ago

    Removing the eenamel, well, it is tough.

    Acetone might work. Some enamels were made VERY tough to avoid shorts
    in coils,so it's purposely VERY hard to remove. Fire removal gets you
    much less at the scrap yard. Perhaps smelt it thereby cleaning the ash
    and rendering better grade bright copper... Be prepared for a high
    propane bill, and a costly smelter, unless you build your own. Heavy
    fireproof gloves, tongs, a crucible, and some other safety equipment is
    in order.


    3 years ago

    Awsome! I finished removing all of the copper wire from my television last night. I even had the patience to unwind all of the wire from the deflection coil because I needed the ferrite core to make a giant joule thief. I found that the wire from the coil was more useful for winding magnets, inductors, and transformers because there were only a few places where I had to solder the wire. I have been thinking about soldering all the individual strands of wire from the cable together, but that sounds more like busywork than a project, especially when you consider the fact that I already have a huge roll of 24 AWG wire just waiting to be used.


    3 years ago

    Can " the black cable" be used for anything?.I mean it looks like a base for metaldetector or?

    it is a very long wire with 1 outlets,same coil.

    i tried google but didnt find anything it can be used for.


    3 years ago


    I recently took apart a CRT and found that weird thing wrapped in tape... I did not know it was full of enameled wire! I will have to rip it open sometime! Thanks!

    Don't forget the CRT deflection coils; they have lots of enameled wire too.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, but how do you REMOVE the enamel from the wire? it makes the wire worth more to scrap. I've tried lye, denatured alcohol, varnish remover, and other things but nothing works - and some like the lye ate the wire. :(