How to solder 30ga wire?

Attempting to repair a coil (mag guitar pickup) that's gazillion gauge enameled copper (probably

30ga - I'm guessing).

Do you have to strip (sand?) the enamel off first or will soldering it melt through the enamel?

Attempting to "strip" it with 2000 grit sandpaper results in stripped copper about half the time, broken wire the other half. When it does work, the wire coils unpredictibly and seems to take a "set" making it incredibly difficult to solder to any kind of terminal or larger gauge wire.

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Try holding the wire briefly over a gentle flame, like a match (not a blowtorch). This should burn away the insulation and leave you with bare wire. There are some chemicals that they claim will work on enamel but not on formvar, but I have no experience with these. If you need to insulate it after you are done, I like to use clear fingernail polish.

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The wires must have the enamel (or whatever it is) insulation removed before soldering. The best method is putting the end you want stripped into a pool of melted solder for a few seconds, but it does not work for all enamel or enamel-like insulation.

Sometimes you can melt it off with a flame, as has been mentioned. You still need to clean the wire after that to remove any residue.

I've been able to strip that stuff with a razor knife. Angle the top of the razor blade in the direction you will move the knife, like this:

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Place the wire on a flat, solid surface and drag the blade across it as shown above. Be gentle! Watch closely. As the enamel insulation is scraped off, you'll need to rotate the wire from time to time. You'll need a number of strokes before rotating the wire. If you are patient and careful, this works.


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It depends on the enamel..

you could try steel wool, also try less pressure on the sandpaper.

I was successful stripping thinner than 30ga wire with coarser sandpaper (300 grit?) by pinching it between two pieces of sandpaper and pulling zinc chloride flux can help with tricky soldering jobs, but clean it up well afterwarsa as it's acidic and corosive.

Bye. Jasen

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Jasen Betts

Back in the good old days I cleaned the end of litz wire by way of a match held underneath, then the application of a findernail to scratch the crud off. For very fine enammeled (sp?) wire, I just lay the end on the bench, and g e n t l y scraped the enamel off with a razor blade - rotating the wire a little at a time. But then I was only a kid then, and knew no better - but it worked just fine


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